Europe & the Middle East

Europe and the Middle East—neighbours. While one could argue that not all of Europe is particularly close to the Middle East, and not all of the Middle East is within close proximity to Europe, both geographic locations are within touching distance at their closest points.

Examples include: Southern Europe to North Africa, Southeastern Europe to Western Asia or Asia Minor, etc. In previous blogs, it has been made clear that when it comes to the genetics of ancestral groups within close proximity to one another, there is little difference. Regional differences may be present, but that’s it. Based on this, it would be logical to assume that Southern Europeans, North Africans, and West Asians would share a common ancestry, with some differences mixed in. This is exactly what is found if we examine Southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. A country like Turkey, located in Asia Minor, would have a great deal of similarity to places in Southern Europe such as Greece, parts of Macedonia, Albania, and so on. Because Turkey is such a large region that belongs to more than one continent, someone who’s family has remained in the Northwestern part of Turkey will not have the exact same ancestral origins as someone living in Southeastern Turkey. However, while differences are present, the majority of ancestry between the two people will be congruent. If we examine the entire Middle East and North Africa, we see that all of them to some degree are related to Southern European populations. While a person in Egypt will have slightly less commonality with European groups than a person from Armenia, an Armenian will have less in common with West African groups. This shows that in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southern Europe, there does seem to be a common background, with regional differences. For example, a Greek person and an Albanian person may have 90% commonality when it comes to their ancestral origins. As we get further away, we see that a Turkish person may have 70% the same ancestral origins, with 30% of their ancestry coming from other influences. An Egyptian person may have 60% of the same ancestry as a Greek or an Albanian person, with 30% influence from other African regions. These differences, as mentioned before, are regional differences.