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Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Another Turkish Power Grab

In 1979, Dr. Frank Weber published a seminal study of Turkey's World War II era duplicity, entitled, "The Evasive Neutral"

Here are Weber's relevant conclusions:

...Turkey, though bound to Britain and France in mutual assistance treaty since October 1939, broke her pledge to them on numerous occasions and declared war against Germany and Italy only in February 1945, when the fighting was all but over..Turkey despite her flagrant bad faith toward the Allies, has become a member in good standing of the United Nations, a participant in NATO, and the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars in American equipment and aid. Westerner's have tended to forget Ankara's ambiguous foreign policy during the Second World War, and, as if by international agreement, the true story of Turkey's wartime diplomacy has been left deliberately obscure, Only with the rise of Turkish demands for a federally constituted Cyprus has there been a tendency to examine the past in a harsher light...

Anthony Eden...commented [in 1944]...that Turkey would always have to be placated beyond her due to preclude an outbreak of her aggressive tendencies. "This may seem far-fetched, " he wrote, "but I know that all the Iraqis have it at the back of their minds that Turkey might well descend on the Mosul oilfields if for example we [the British] should be embroiled with the Arab world over the question of a Jewish State in Palestine."

Turkish diplomacy during the war was a brilliant accomplishment by all standards except honesty and integrity. Only thirty years later, when they invaded Cyprus, did the Turks reveal that, after all, they had been dissatisfied with what that [World War II era] diplomacy had gained for them.

From Youssef Ibrahim's column:

This would not be the first Turkish grab for hegemony in the Middle East. Turkish troops invaded Cyprus on July 15, 1974, using the pretext of defending the Turkish minority of the island against its Greek majority. They are still occupying an independent pro-Western democracy.

Posted on 10/30/2007 7:06 AM by Andrew Bostom
13 Jul 2011
Send an emailTwiggy
The genius store called, they?re rnunnig out of you.

30 Oct 2007
Send an emailEnoch
Duplicity and bad faith?  What total nonsense!  Turkey did exactly the right thing by remaining neutral in WW2.  She had nothing whatsoever to gain from declaring war on Germany before 1945, and much (if not everything) to lose.  It was the British who showed bad faith by trying to draw Turkey into the war in 1941, and thus expose Turkey to German punishment when Britain had no power whatsoever to protect Turkey.

Turkey, unlike Italy, learned the right lesson from WW1 - stay neutral and keep your head down.  Small powers that get drawn into Great Power quarrels invariably wind up as a puppet or a battleground, and rarely make gains commensurate with their losses.