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Historical errors or making a virtue of necessity?

Reader comment on item: Turkey's Islamist Turn, 10 Years Later
in response to reader comment: Historical errors

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Dec 21, 2012 at 17:56

Heraclitus wrote :

> Ataturk died in 1938, before the start of WW2.

His comrade of arms Inonu decided to stay out of the war.<

Actually, it was not Inonu or his Ataturkish entourage that decided anything but the victorious Red Army at Stalingrad that thwarted Turkey's decision to join the Hitlerite coalition.

4 days before Hitler's attack on Ruissia Turkey signed a non-aggression treaty with Nazi Germany. It was a major trade partner of Germany providing chrome and other strategic raw materials tro German war industry. Turkey's gold reserves quadrupled during the war as a result. In 1943 it floated a loan in germany amounting to 100 000 000 Reichsmark to re-quip its army. The trade agreement gave Turkey 62 000 000 Turkish lira. But the war revitalized more important forces than just notorious Turkish wartime profiteering.

After the invasion of Russia a mass Pan-Turkist movement arose in Turkey with full support by the government. The idea was to create a Greater Turkey - a new Turkic Empire including the Turkic nations of the USSR in the Caucasus, the Crimea, Central Asia and The Volga Region -Bashkiria, Tatarstan and parts of Siberia. In various newspapers and magazines maps were printed showing this new Turkish empire. The papers wrote that Turkey's natural borders are drawn far beyond the Caucasus and that the Volga is the ancient river where the ancestors of the Turks used to lead their horses to to drink water from. It is interesting to note that in the notorious Turkish police state created by Ataturk with no freedom of speech no cesorship was ever applied to silence or punish the authors of these views. Quite the contrary!

In autumn of 1941 a Turkish military mission with the Head of the Turkish military Academy General Ali Faud Erden came to inspect the German Eastern Front after which the Turkish press became even more enthusiastic about German victories in Russia prophecying a rapid downfall of the USSR and stressing the necessity to join the Hitlerite war effort. In 1941 a part mobilisation , including reserve officers above 65 years of age , was effected in the regions bordering on the USSR. Simultaneously skirmishes and border incidents were reported. The total mobilisation in Turkey conincided with the German offensive towards the Caucasus and Baku in the summer of 1942. The Turkish army reached then 1 mln soldiers under arms and the number of troops deployed on the Soviet border doubled up to 26 divisions. 4 Turkish Army Corps , 16 Infantry Divisions, 2 Cavalary Divisions and 1 Motor-borne Brigade (750 000 soldiers ), most being deployed near Batumi forcing Stalin to form on May 1st 1942 the Transcaucasian Front where barely 200 000 Russian troops could be spared to concentrate, mostly newly recuited soldiers. The Turkish General Staff eleborated a plan to attack Baku through Iran. The war was to begin in November/December 1942 - after the fall of Stalingrad.

At that time Turkey's Prime Minister Saracoglu told German ambassador Franz von Papen i,al. : "The Turks can't wait to see a total annihilation of Russia. The annihilation of Russia is a splendid feat of arms of the F├╝hrer which can be accomplished only once in a century. And this is a dream of the Turkish nation !" "The Russian problem can be resolved if and only if a half of all the inhabiotants living in Russia are killed !" In August 1942 Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs N. Menemecoglu said to von Papen : "Turkey is interested now just as it has always been in possibly full and complete defeat of Russia".

That under these circumstances Turkey did not attack the Soviet Union is no merit of Inonu or anyone else in that country at all. The neutrality was forced upon the Turks by external conditions despite the fact that internally they had already made their decision to start war.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".


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Reader comments (36) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1Saving Turkey -- Saving Western Civilization? [554 words]GWKMar 14, 2013 13:43204321
1I got news about Turkey for you, Dr Pipes [104 words]PrashantDec 19, 2012 02:25201580
7Turkish hagiography and its Western believers and parrots [779 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
IanusNov 21, 2012 15:28200842
3Kind of replying, not on behalf of Ianus, i wouldn't dare:) [1046 words]AlexandrosNov 23, 2012 05:33200842
3The Islamic imperialism and Turkey [1536 words]AlexandrosNov 24, 2012 07:24200842
Get the facts right [281 words]MozereNov 27, 2012 06:23200842
1Some questions because you might be right.... [518 words]AlexandrosNov 28, 2012 04:53200842
facts not prejudices [321 words]MozereNov 29, 2012 12:35200842
2Basically you deny [990 words]AlexandrosNov 30, 2012 05:50200842
Historical errors [21 words]HeraclitusNov 30, 2012 17:35200842
"Ataturk's leagcy" as cherry-picking [112 words]IanusDec 20, 2012 08:00200842
2Kemalists against the Jews vs. Islamists against the Jews [143 words]IanusDec 20, 2012 08:26200842
4"Ataturk's leagcy" as cherry-picking (1936 words , not 112) [1954 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
IanusDec 21, 2012 01:51200842
3Historical errors or making a virtue of necessity? [651 words]IanusDec 21, 2012 17:56200842
Stalinesque Disinformation [700 words]MozereDec 22, 2012 05:37200842
turkey imperialism [10 words]yasmeenMar 23, 2014 03:59200842
From it's designer [87 words]AlexandrosMar 24, 2014 05:55200842
5A general opinion for Turkish leaders [502 words]AlexandrosNov 18, 2012 14:58200769
2Idealism morphing into cynical manupulations of ignorant masses [226 words]MozereNov 15, 2012 11:07200646
1Too much optimism? [16 words]HeraclitusNov 30, 2012 18:07200646
2Turkish warlords as bourgeois or bureaucrats ? [998 words]IanusDec 22, 2012 17:12200646
what? [33 words]cuneytNov 14, 2012 13:28200593
4Smoke and mirrors of Kemalism [425 words]IanusNov 15, 2012 11:31200593
The AKP is pro western and they have not much choice in the matter. [115 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
MozereNov 14, 2012 10:40200579
Turkey and Ezekiel: an interesting viewpoint [96 words]UgriNov 14, 2012 02:37200569
Gog, Magog, Meshech, and Tubal [45 words]Kepha HorDec 16, 2012 20:22200569
Turkey [35 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Fred SchwartzNov 14, 2012 00:01200566
2A Muslim... [17 words]MarkNov 13, 2012 18:28200543
10Turkey Regressing to Ottoman days [57 words]Michael Hanni MorcosNov 13, 2012 16:55200531
2does anyone else see the "proto-dictatorial mentality" parallel? [77 words]MarkNov 13, 2012 16:48200528
Turkey's Islamist Turn, 10 Years Later [156 words]JudithNov 13, 2012 16:34200526
Excellent article [29 words]Reyhan IlhanNov 13, 2012 13:05200517
1The other way around ... [53 words]Mihai-Robert SoranNov 13, 2012 12:32200516
5Give'em enough rope..... [19 words]ates gurbuzNov 13, 2012 12:14200515
1Two worlds [139 words]HalikarnasNov 14, 2012 14:16200515
5"Kemalism that philosophy of an immoral warlord and drunkard is a decaying corpse that is poisoning all of our life" [245 words]IanusNov 15, 2012 12:21200515

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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