Daring and Caution in Turkish Strategic Culture: Republic at by Malik Mufti (auth.)

By Malik Mufti (auth.)

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By Malik Mufti (auth.)

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The closest analogy is Hatay, another disputed province with a mixed Turkish and non-Turkish population that became a point of contention after the Western colonial power decided to relinquish control. In both cases, Turkey’s security establishment lacked clear strategic cultural guidelines on what to do, so the decision ultimately depended on the characters and inclinations of individual leaders. In 1964, as in the 1930s, I˙ smet I˙ nönü displayed caution, arguing against intervention on the grounds of military unpreparedness and on 44 Taking Root the basis that even a successful operation could embroil Turkey in a quagmire.

26 In April 1960, the Turkish government announced that Menderes intended to make his first visit to Moscow three months later. He never made it. On 27 May 1960, following months of turmoil in which CHP partisans took to the streets and the government responded with increasingly repressive measures that provoked charges of tyranny, a group of military officers staged a coup d’état and rounded up all the DP leaders. 27 Although most were eventually released, Bayar, Menderes, Zorlu, and Finance Minister Hasan Polatkan received the death penalty.

At a crisis session of the Baghdad Pact Council in Ankara, Menderes warned that if ‘the Iraqis could do nothing to prevent these developments, the other States in the area must take steps to defend themselves. ’13 The rift between Ankara and Washington peaked after the coup that overthrew Iraq’s monarchy on 14 July 1958. ’15 In the end Turkey did not act, partly as a result of American pressure and partly due to resistance from a Turkish military conditioned by its strategic culture to view ‘adventures’ into the Arabian ‘swamp’ with the greatest aversion.

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