"Erasmus’ solution to the Turkish problem, which would have seemed harmless enough in the thirteenth century, took on far greater significance when set against sixteenth‑century Christian divisions. ‘If we really want to heave the Turks from our neck,’ he concluded, ‘we must first expel from our hearts a more loathsome race of Turks, avarice, ambition, the craving for power, self‑satisfaction, impiety, extravagance, the love of pleasure, deceitfulness, anger, hatred, envy.’" (Jerry Brotton, This Orient Isle-Elizabethan England and the Islamic World)

I don't understand the emphasized phrase, what does that mean?


He is speaking figuratively. The list of nouns after "Turks" is supposed to be the figurative evil foreigners we must get rid of before we worry about getting rid of the actual Turks.

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