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Turkey, İskenderun (Hatay) and Cyprus

Reader comment on item: Is the Hatay/Alexandretta Problem Solved?

Submitted by J. J. Kaplan, Amsterdam (Turkey), Jan 20, 2022 at 04:51

Annexing Alexandretta (Iskenderun laterHatay) to Turkey became an obsession for President Mustapha Kemal Ataturk from mid- 1930's onwards. The main reason: He was seriously ill at the time (cirrhosis) and the illness was unfortunately affecting his psychology. Prime Minister Inonue as well as several big shots in the government, probably including the chief of the armed forces Marshall Chackmac, were opposing the president's idea or plan. But, being the strong One Man of Turkey Ataturk prevailed. In view of the increasing threat of Nazi Germany, Syria's administrator France was, from one hand, ready to get rid of its Syrian burden, on the other hand, eager to keep Turkey as a friend (if possible even an ally) during the approaching difficult times. The Turkish population of Iskenderun was 40 per cent. İn late 30's Ankara did everything to change the social, political and demographic conditions in its favour...As a result of bribes, intrigues, threats, manipulations and propaganda this percentage could be seemingly raised to 60. On the basis of this "majority", İskenderun was first made an entity with a special legal/political status where Turks were mainly in charge and later on, through a decision of its parliament, it joined Turkey.

As to the relation between the İskenderun and Cyprus questions...The first was allowed to join Turkey with a Turkish population of 60 percent (don't forget the process and methods used to to arrive at this "hıgh" figure), the second, Cyprus, was unable to join Greece despite the fact that 82 per cent of the population was Greek.

Submitting....

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