Truman Doctrine of 1947. Turkey became a member of the nato in 1952 and became a member of the Western Bloc led by the usa. Moreover, Turkey’s relations with the us strengthened in the 1950s

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At the end of the World War II, there was no more a balance of power system, but a bipolar system. A new era began with the Truman Doctrine of 1947. Turkey became a member of the NATO in 1952 and became a member of the Western Bloc led by the USA. Moreover, Turkey’s relations with the US strengthened in the 1950s, after the Marshall Aid Program and the new government in Turkey.

Why did Turkey have intimate relations with the US? This can be analysed under two headings:

  1. Domestic Factors

  2. External Factors.

  1. Domestic Factors:

In 1946, multiparty system began in Turkey and Turkey was ruled by the Demokrat Parti led by Adnan Menderes between 1950 and 1960. Demokrat Parti had a different understanding of foreign policy than the CHP. DP was pursuing liberal policies under Western capitalist point of view. This point of view was similar to the American point of view.

Also, the Soviet threat made Turkey approach the US in many aspects. Also, Menderes was personally targeting to reach Atatürk’s wish for “the developed civilisation”. In the 1950s Turkish political system was liberalised with the help of the US. With liberalisation and the growing civil society, sympathy of America in Turkey grew as well. There was an Americanisation in politics and economics.

  1. External Factors:

Effects of the Cold War: In the 1950s, the Cold War enlarged its influence from Europe to other regions of the World. In addition to Western and Eastern Blocs, a new bloc, the 3rd World which was officially declared in the Bandung Conference of 1955 supported by the Non-Aligned countries. The Middle East was divided between pro-American and pro-Soviet groups.

In this period, Arab-Israeli wars (after Israel was founded in 1948) occupied TFP.

Who made TFP during the 1950s?: Foreign policy makers were DP officers but it is partly wrong to say that, because in a democracy relevant positions should propose their own ideas into TFP.

How did the TFP evolve?: Turkish Foreign Policy in the 1950s can be grouped under seven patterns:

  1. TFP towards US and NATO was very positive and in favour.

  2. TFP towards the Soviet Union was very low and partly unfriendly but later, in the late 1950s there was a short rapprochement.

  3. TFP towards the Middle East was intimate.

  4. TFP in the Balkans was looking for new ties within the NATO and American perspective.

  5. TFP towards the 3rd World was ideological.

  6. TFP towards Europe opened up after 1956 in order to open economic and trade relations (especially within the EEC).

  7. TFP towards Greece and Cyprus was hesitant and undetermined.

1) TFP towards US and NATO: In terms of Turkish relations with NATO and the US, the 1950s can be considered as a Golden Era. In the late 1940s, Turkey’s future was discussed across Europe and Soviets had claims over Turkey on the Straits and Eastern Anatolia. So, Turkey had to find a county as powerful as the USSR to support it. The Inönü Government asked the US to engage in long-term territorial alliances. After the Soviets expanded in the Balkans and the Middle East, President Truman woke up to the importance of Turkey’s territorial security. The Soviet demands on changing the Montreux Convention become the focus.

The Truman Doctrine was a turning point for the TFP. Additionally, the Marshall Plan helped Turkish economic healing and these two brought Turkey much closer to the Western alliance.

In time, Turkey became a member and the South-eastern wing of the NATO. Turkey signed many agreements with NATO members and the US and with these agreements opened up its military bases to the US in relation with the NATO alliance.

When Eisenhower became US president, he issued a doctrine to keep American interests alive in domestic politics and against the Soviets. “If a threat emerges above a government, the US can intervene the situation.” In Turkey, when the Menderes Government was overthrown with the 1960 coup d'état, people began to think that the Milli Birlik Komitesi (MBK) might be direct representatives of the US because of the Eisenhower doctrine. When the USSR recognised the MBK government, the fears faded.

The most important military development in Turkish-US relations in the 1950s was the deployment of Jupiter missiles to Izmir.

An important problem in this period was the bilateral agreements between the US and Turkey, because the opposition claimed they were illegitimate because they were signed by the Foreign Ministry and the President Celal Bayar without asking anything to the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

In the second part of the 1950s, the Menderes government made mistakes in the economy and had to apply for IMF stand-by agreements (making debits from the IMF) and for US aid in order to close the gap in the budget.

2) Turkish-Soviet Relations in the 1950s: By the 1940s, the old friend of Turkey has become a big threat. The threat left its place to a positive image when after the death of Stalin in March 1953, Khrushchev followed a more friendly relationship with Turkey. The policy Khrushchev followed is called peaceful coexistence and it is a struggle in all means with the West, but in a peaceful environment. The Soviets, in consistency with the peaceful coexistence thesis, sent a nota to Turkey apologising for the territorial demands and telling they were giving up on their claims over Kars, Iğdır, and Ardahan. After this nota, the Turkish policy towards the Soviets didn’t change, however the relations improved. The Soviets opened an exhibit in the Izmir International Fair and Turkish and Soviet delegations visited each other’s countries.

Despite good diplomatic and economic relations, strategic and political relations went badly. In the Middle East crisis Turkey supported the American view and the Syria crisis created tension between Turkey and the USSR.

3) Turkish Foreign Policy towards the Middle East in the 1950s: Since the Cold War intensified in the Middle East region, Middle East was the heart of the 1950s. The Turkish vision was to create an extension in the region against the Soviet threat and that required help from the region.

The British Middle East Defence Organisation (MEDO) project was not effective. The US Secretary of State Dulles visited Middle East to discuss their Northern Tier project which would cover the south border of the USSR. After negotiations, Turkey and Iraq concluded the Baghdad Treaty and the UK joined this pact, too (Baghdad Pact). Later, Pakistan and Iran joined efforts to contain the Soviets; however Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon which saw the project as an extension of Western Imperialism which had also created the state of Israel. These three countries remained closer to the Eastern Bloc.

Regional crises created problems, too, and Turkey followed Western Bloc policies during these crises. These crises are: a) the Arab-Israeli Wars of 1948 and 1956. Turkey was the first Muslim country to recognise Israel. In 1950, Turkey, Israel, and Iran signed the “Trilateral Intelligence Agreement”; b) the Suez Canal Crisis (War) of 1956: When Egypt declared it nationalised the Suez Canal Authority, Britain, France, and Israel attacked the Suez Canal; c) the Syrian Crisis: Domestic instability took place in Syria with the Soviet support for the rebels. To prevent a pro-Soviet government, Turkey deployed troops to Syrian border and Syria escalated the crisis by drawing its troops to the border, too. d) the Iraq Revolution of 1958: King Faisal was overthrown by Abdul Kasim who was a nationalist with good relations with the USSR. However, Turkey didn’t show negative reaction to the revolution because of its good relations with Iraq. Both Turkey and Iraq were fighting against Kurdish uprisings. The Iraqi revolution ended the Baghdad Pact because it was a pro-Western organisation. After the Iraqi revolution, the Americans saw that the pro-Soviet movements were speeding up in the Middle East and therefore the US chose to intervene directly to the region. e) the Lebanon Crisis: In Lebanon, just like in Iraq, there was a possibility of regime change. So, the US intervened in consistency with the Eisenhower Doctrine and Turkey played a part in the Lebanon Crisis because it gave the Incirlik Air Base to the US. f) the Algerian Independence Movement against France: To end colonial rule in Algeria, domestic uprisings were held against France. In this crisis, Turkey supported France.

In all cases in the Middle East, Turkey experienced very bad events as it supported the West. It lost its prestige in the Islamic world in which Turkey was perceived as a Western agent.

4) Turkish Foreign Policy towards the Balkans in the 1950s: Since pro-Soviet activities were taking place in the Balkans, too, Turkey looked to this region as same as the Middle East. Yugoslavia was a Soviet satellite state and the essence of the problem. However, Tito soon broke up with Stalin and COMINTERN and the US tried to pull Yugoslavia to the Western camp. US convinced Turkey and Greece to work together for this purpose, and the Balkan Treaty was signed among Turkey, Greece and Yugoslavia to counter a Soviet threat. Turkey and Greece were to make Yugoslavia a NATO-member. However, there were Turkish-Greek problems in Cyprus and border problems between Greece and Yugoslavia; so Yugoslavia remained a part of the 3rd World.

5) Turkish Foreign Policy towards the 3rd World in the 1950s: The Third World movement (Non-Aligned Movement) emerged in mid-1950s with the Bandung Conference (1955). This movement has shown that countries might exist without being members of either the Western or Eastern Blocs and without getting any benefits from them. Turkey’s position against this movement was like odd-man-out because Turkey was already part of the Western Bloc.

6) Turkish Foreign Policy towards Europe in the 1950s: Turkey’s aim to be Europe was followed by the establishment of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957 (with the Treaty of Rome). Turkey applied for membership to the EEC in 1959. The Turkish application was made because of a) the Greek application; b) Turkey wanted to create an alternative economic and financial source; c) Turkey followed Westernisation policy; d) NATO was the security partnership and the EEC was thought to be the economic side of the Western Alliance. Turkey’s application for membership to the EEC ended with the signing of the Ankara Treaty in 1963.

7) Turkish Foreign Policy Towards Greece and Cyprus in the 1950s: Cyprus was at the centre of the Turkish-Greek relations in the 1950s. UK was controlling the island which was given to it by the Ottomans with the Berlin Treaty and the Lausanne Treaty legalised the British authority over Cyprus. During the process of decolonization, Cyprus had a struggle of independence against the British led by Makarios. Later, when the island gained its independence, the British influence continued. The Zurich and London conferences (1959) changed the status of Cyprus. The treaties had chapters on three issues (notlarda 4 konu deyip 3 anlatıyor. Baskın Oran’dan kontrol et bu konuyu):

a) Cyprus would become a republic with a unified constitution.

b) Treaty of Guarantee (Guarantorship) would make UK, Turkey, and Greece accepted guarantor countries for Cyprus to carry on with its status and constitutional responsibilities.

c) Treaty of establishment: Guarantors would have symbolic military forces on the island. [buna kitaplardan bakmakta fayda var. Ayrıca 1960ların notlarında Kıbrıs sorunu son derece etraflıca anlatılıyor.]


The Turkish Foreign Policy in the 1960s was a search for balance and it was led by multilateral, multidimensional, relative autonomy. Multidimensional policy can be seen under these headings: a) the legacy of the 1950s; b) changes in the domestic environment; c) changes in the external environment; and d) the Cyprus issue.

Turkish Foreign Policy of the 1950s was characterised by unilateral, pro-American acts. In the 1960s, this turned to a multilateral (çok taraflı) shape as Turkey tried to balance East and West. In the international arena, Turkey abandoned/left pro-American policies and acquired and followed its own interests. For instance, during the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, Turkey didn’t permit US to use Incirlik Air Base. Turkey chose to remain neutral in the wars and conflicts, as well.

While unilaterality shaped Turkish Foreign Policy in the 1950s, during the 1960s Turkish Foreign Policy began to gain strength. The Turkish Foreign Policy of 1960s became less dependent on outside actors and started to search for a balance in practice.

After the execution of Menderes, new policy-makers didn’t follow the Demokrat Parti policies anymore.

The legacy of the 1950s: There are two main chapters: 1) changes in the international environment; and b) changes in the domestic politics arena.

A)Changes in the International Arena: There were crises such as the 1961 U2 spy-plane crisis and the Cuban Missile Crisis between the superpowers. However, after 1964, Détente began. There were cracks (divisions among contributors) in both Blocs. NATO HQ had to move to Brussels in 1967 after France declared it was leaving the military wing of NATO in 1966 and asked all non-French NATO troops to leave France (crack in the Western Bloc). China and the USSR had ideological problems and separated their ways in 1962 (the Sino-Soviet Split; crack in the Eastern Bloc). After the Bandung Conference of 1955, 3rd World Countries emerged as a new bloc (the Non-Aligned Movement) in the 1960s.

Also in the 1960s, Europe [re-]emerged as an economic power, an economic community and with that development, European integration entered an important positive process.

Finally, after all those events, bipolarity of the international system has been shaped to become a multipolar system in the near future.

B) Changes in the Domestic Arena: During the Menderes period, Middle East countries had seen Turkey as an American agent. In the 1960s, this had to change. Softer and passive relations had to be established, so Turkish governments in the 1960s worked on that.

The 1960 coup d'état demolished the Menderes government and established a military rule. As a result, new institutions, ideologies, actors and power elements emerged. Most importantly a new (1961) Constitution was prepared.

At Society Level: New leaders and ideologies raised their voices in the society (e.g.: communist thinkers, leftist people). New political parties, pro-Soviet (TIP), pro-Islamist (MNP), pro-Western (CHP, AP) parties entered the parliament.
The Cyprus Issue: The Cyprus constitution was made by the Greek Cypriots (Rum). They began to protest separationist Turkish landowners. In 1963, the political system completely collapsed in Cyprus. As a guarantor, the Inönü Government wanted to re-establish order, and interfered to the bad situation in Cyprus. However, Turkey could not manage to have a military intervention, because the US didn’t allow it. {President Johnson wrote a very harsh letter to Inönü and forbade Turkey to intervene.}
Patterns of Turkish Foreign Policy in the 1960s:

Developments in Practice:

Turkey-US-NATO relations were in decline in contrast with the late 1950s. There was a growing deterioration in Turkish – American relations and an improvement in Turkish – Soviet relations. There was a kind of rapprochement between USSR and Turkey. Turkey’s relations in the Middle East were improving, with new policies. When we look at these four areas, we can say that Turkish Foreign Policy was reaching its targets with the exception of Turkey’s relations with the US.

Turkey’s Relations with the US:

The Cuban Missile Crisis: This crisis (14-28 October 1962) was a major element in the loss of trust between Turkey and the US. In 1959, the Menderes Government had agreed to deploy 15 Jupiter missiles in Turkey and the missiles arrived in Izmir in 1961, so the US had the capability to strike Moscow and other Soviet cities from Turkey. This deployment was not warmly welcomed by foreign policy makers (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), because they were not sure about the consequences of this move but the Menderes Gov’t and the Army supported the move. With this move, Turkey’s relations with the West were entering a new, higher level, and the leaders of the country were feeling more secure [against the Soviet threat] with such weapons. This view didn’t change after the 1960 Coup and the 1961 İnönü Government didn’t step back on the issue. However, the Americans were not too willing to send them to Turkey but that would mean to harm Turkey’s security, self-confidence, and loyalty to the Western alliance; so the missiles arrived, but missiles and the missile launchers were not set up.

In September 1962, the Soviets deployed nuclear missiles to Cuba. Americans began a blockade around Cuba on 14 October 1962 and the Soviet navy circled the American ships. At the end, after much tension, on 28 October 1962, the two sides [Presidents John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev] agreed on a solution: The Americans would withdraw the missiles in Izmir, Turkey and the Soviets would withdraw their missiles in Cuba.

The Cuban Missile Crisis affected Turkish view in some ways: Firstly, the focus was on secret bargaining and trade of interests. The secret negotiations showed that the US would sit for bargaining even if it hurt the interests of an alliance partner’s interests. At the end, the American leaders would sacrifice others’ security in order to keep American objectives alive.

Two major viewpoints emerged on the question as to why Americans removed the missiles deployed in Turkey: 1) They were already planning to change the weaker Jupiter missiles with the stronger Polaris missiles; or 2) Americans made a deal with the Soviets; the removal of the missiles from Turkey was obligatory, a must. In either case, Turkey’s opinion was not asked. This made Turkish defence and security interests insecure and this brought a disturbing new situation. Later, it was understood that the US decided to remove the missiles in connection with a Soviet-American agreement and they didn’t care about Turkey’s security at all.

The Cuban Missile Crisis also affected Turkish-Soviet relations as for the first time since 1932, a Turkish commission visited the USSR.

The Turkish position in the Cuban Missile Crisis is very important, because if Turkey panicked and withdrew from the Turkish-American alliance, that might have broken down NATO, too.

* Reasons for Anti-Americanism in Turkey:

Starting with the 1960s and with the legacy of the 1950s, anti-Americanism grew in Turkey. In this period, both sides signed secret or unpublished agreements. At the first half of the 1960s, the US politics on Cyprus issue deeply deteriorated the relations between the two countries.

After the 27 May 1960 military coup d'état, the new constitution had granted rights to other views that weren’t so far expressed in Turkish society. These were mostly leftist groups who thought that American capitalism is a conqueror for imperialist forces.

In addition, most of the aid Turkey received from the US, especially military aid it was receiving , was “tied aids,” that is to say, Turkey had to require the approval of the provider of these materials. The amount of economic aid Turkey was receiving was lowered after the Marshall Plan Aid Program, and Turkey was now turning to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) for economic aid. The OECD was aiming at supporting weaker members of the Western alliance.

The {strategic political} importance of Turkey was also declining after the end of the 1940s. The US either left Turkey alone or made deals with the Soviets behind closed doors which jeopardised Turkish interests in the region or harmed Turkish prestige and security [e.g.: the Cuban Missile Crisis].

The [value of] Turkish membership to NATO was also questioned in Turkey’s domestic politics; especially on the Cyprus issue during the Ecevit Government.

Also, the US presence in Turkey in terms of NATO was creating unpleasant protests. At that time the US was controlling some very strategic bases in Turkey (Ankara Balgat, Adana Incirlik, etc.). Also, the presence of the American military officers who lived in Turkey near the bases was creating reactions in the society.

In 1969, in order to rehabilitate the US – Turkish relations, the Süleyman Demirel Government signed the US Defence & Cooperation Agreement which aimed to bring stability to the relations between the US and Turkey. Also, during the Demirel Government, all the Menderes-era bilateral agreements between the US and Turkey were codified [to codify=yasalaştırmak].

On the other hand, the control over the military bases were taken back by the Turkish government under some circumstances. Base commanders have been managed by Turkish military. American military officers were banned to wear their uniforms when in public {in society}. The number of American troops and officers in Turkey was also lowered during the 1960s.
The Cyprus Issue:

During Lausanne Treaty, Cyprus was left to British rule and it continued until 1960 when Cyprus became an independent republic. Greece wanted Enosis [unification of all greek lands] with Cyprus and this wish created the Turkish-Greek problems in Cyprus and between Turkey and Greece. In 1951, the Greek Government wanted to unite with Cyprus in Enosis, but Britain refused and tried to keep the Cyprus issue an internal problem of the UK. However, the Cyprus problem was brought before the United Nations in 1954 when Greece complained; the Greeks and Cypriot Greeks were acting as if they owned the island. From 1954 on, the Cyprus question became an important international problem with Turkey, Greece and Britain being the immediate sides. The UN refused the Greek claims for self-determination [Greeks supported self-determination principle before the UN because the Greeks were in majority in Cyprus].

For Turkey, the Soviet threat was the main issue at hand between 1945 and 1952, but after the UN involvement, Cyprus became the major issue for the Turkish Foreign Policy. Geostrategically, the Greek Aegean Islands and Cyprus were very close spring points to reach Anatolia. However, even after joining NATO, Turkey took the Cyprus issue as an internal problem of the UK, a problem between the Greeks and the UK. Because of this, Turkey abstained from voting in the UN. The date of the voting was a week after the signing of the Balkan Pact between Turkey, Greece, and Yugoslavia. In 1955, after UN refusal, the Greek Cypriots established a terrorist organisation, the EOKA to threaten the Turks and the British on the island. The UN reconsidered the issue after growing tension, and with the London Conference on 30 June 1955 they tried to reach a consensus. With the London Conference, Turkey became an “official” side to the problem. In the London Conference a) the Turkish party proposed and stuck to the status-quo of the island. Turks claimed that if there would be a change in the status quo, then the island should return to the Turkish control again. B) the British party proposed giving autonomy to the island and concessions to the Greeks. C) the Greek party proposed and insisted o self-determination on Cyprus. The British chose to pursue their own idea at the end, but this created hatred against the UK in Turkey and rumours of genocide completely deteriorated relations between Turkey and Greece. In 1955, US had to intervene because all three parties were NATO members. In 1956, Britain saw that EOKA was a terrorist organisation and to punish them, exiled the Greek Cypriot leader Makarios. On the following days, British PM Anthony Eden told in a speech that Turkey’s consent was a top priority in order to reach a conclusion in Cyprus and that the island was vitally important in the defence of the Anatolian peninsula. In return, Turkish Foreign Minister Fuat Köprülü reported that violence has to end and that Enosis was just a dead dream.

Still, Britain was determined to grant autonomy to Cyprus. Turkey had to accept British policies and started to find out a new achievement in autonomy option which could strictly defend Turkish rights on the island. But, Britain was hurrying to determine Cyprus’ future. Britain used autonomy as a temporary solution in order to re-establish order in Cyprus. However, they changed the rules a bit and self-determination was offered to both Greeks and Turks on the island. This was seen as division [taksim] of the island and became the major Turkish thesis after 1956. In 1957, NATO tried to regroup the parties and reach a solution, but this didn’t work much. In 1958, British PM Harold MacMillan planned a new project for Cyprus based on cooperation between Greek and Turkish societies and establishing a new system led by the British and cooperated by Greeks and Turks. This was called the MacMillan Plan. Again in 1958, Greece once again took the issue to the UN and the decision was that the sides should negotiate. In 1959, the Zurich Agreement was reached where both Greeks and Turks were granted rights and a unified, independent republic was to be established on the island. After the Zurich Agreement of 11 February 1959, Turkey changed its policy from division to supporting the new, independent republic.

The developments of the Zurich Agreement were approved with the London Agreement of 19 February 1959. In general, the London Agreement of 19/02/1959 was targeting strong cooperation of all participators. The four major chapters of the London Treaty are: a) Transfer of British control to the new Republic of Cyprus; b) Greece, Turkey, and the Cyprus Republic will have military cooperation agreements; c) Preparing tasks for future agreements; and d) Guarantee agreement for territorial and constitutional sovereignty of the island.

For issues interesting specific societies, assemblies would be established and Greeks and Turks would decide for themselves; for common issues there would be a presidency system. The head would be Greek and its co-head [deputy, vice-president] would be Turkish. 3 of 10 ministries would be given to Turks.

Republic of Cyprus was officially established on 16 August 1960 and accepting the constitution, the Greeks of the island sidelined Turks both in society and government. Because it gave legal rights to Turks, the Greeks hated the constitution. They still wanted Enosis. In 1963, as quick as possible, President Makarios proposed 13 changes to the constitution which were covering Turkish rights on the island. Turkish members of parliament withdrew due to this disrespectful attitude, and violence began. 1/3 of the Turks were forced to leave their homes.

In 1964, the İnönü Government tried to convince the US to deal with the conflict in Cyprus. İnönü in fact wanted to protect the status-quo in the Republic of Cyprus. Turkey had a right to intervene to re-establish order according to Article 4 of the 1960 Guarantorship Agreement. However, the US answer to İnönü was very harsh: President Johnson wrote a letter on 5 June 1964 in which he said “…a military intervention in Cyprus by Turkey could lead to a direct involvement by the Soviet Union. I hope you will understand that your NATO allies have not had a chance to consider whether they have an obligation to protect Turkey against the Soviet Union if Turkey takes a step which results in Soviet intervention,” and that “Under Article IV of the Agreement with Turkey of July 1947, your government is required to obtain United States’ consent for the use of military assistance for purposes other than those for which such assistance was furnished…I must tell you in all candour [frankly] that the United States cannot agree to the use of any United States supplied military equipment for Turkish intervention in Cyprus under present circumstances.” Turkey was dependant on the US military and economic aid and some of these military aid was given according to the NATO alliance. So, Turkey failed to intervene.

In 1967, there was a military coup d'état in Greece. The problem in Greece had a positive impact on American-Turkish relations despite the growing anti-Americanism in the country. The Greek army controlled Greece until 1974 and were heavily supporting Enosis with Cyprus. With this support, the Greek Cypriots started to attack Turkish villages again. The Turkish PM Süleyman Demirel was very careful in talks with Greeks. On the other hand, the violence of Greeks in the island enlarged the crisis and an inevitable intervention by Turkey became obligatory. By the time, Turkish parliament gave the right for military intervention the government in a closed meeting on 17 November 1967. The international community blamed the Greeks for the 1967 crisis and the Soviets supported Turkey. President Johnson tried to put an end to the problem by making mediation {arabuluculuk} efforts.

After all the efforts, the Greeks had to step back to agree with Turkish demands and Greeks had to payback for their uncaring behaviour. The new steps on Cyprus continued with more diplomatic negotiations. The Turks established their own “Temporary Turkish Administration” to progress and to protect their constitutional rights. The Greeks saw this as the “first step towards division.” Despite efforts to improve the situation, the Greek dreams of Enosis continued and the Turkish side converted its “temporary administration” to “permanent” administration in the year 1971.

In the following years, the Greek junta pressurised Makarios to leave his office because he was not working enough for Enosis. This led to a power struggle, and with the support and orders of the Greek junta, Makarios was overthrown by EOKA and they selected Nikos Sampson as the new leader of Cyprus, and EOKA turned into EOKA-B.

This sudden aggression from the Greek junta was a turning point for Cyprus. However, all sides were hesitant for military intervention. British and American diplomats tried to change PM Bülent Ecevit’s mind on intervention, but it didn’t work. However, there were other strategic problems for a military intervention: a) there were British tourists and settled people on the island that the Greeks might target; b) Turks on the island were settled separately from each other, the intervention needed a two-step progress; and c) there was a possible risk of starting a war between Turkey and Greece.

However, at the end, on 20 July 1974, Turkish military intervened Cyprus in accordance with the rights given by Article 4 of the Guarantor Agreement. Actually, Article 4 allowed a guarantor state to intervene after taking approvals of other guarantors, in order to establish order and protection of status quo in Cyprus.

On the first phase, the Turkish intervention was partly successful because at least half of the Turks remained outside the secured territories. This first step of the intervention hasn’t created a reaction from the other parties and other actors. Soon after the intervention, the UN Security Council declared a ceasefire but Turkish intervention had to continue and a second step had to be made. On the second phase, Turkish military controlled 37% of the island and stopped moving forward. This second phase allowed Turkey to control Northern part of Cyprus rather than reordering the status quo. As a consequence, all other actors opposed this second phase and Turkey was named as invader of Cyprus.


The Turkish Foreign Policy in the 1970s can be described as the continuation of the multidimensional policy of the 1960s but with more alienation from the West. There was a growing gap between Turkey and the West in the 1970s.

In some major cases, the 1970s can also be seen as a decade of crises with the West, mainly caused by external developments, domestic pressures, and the Cyprus problem.

External Developments:

1. Firstly, in the scope of Turkey-Europe relations, Turkey had taken positive steps despite it was still being criticised by some politicians. Mainly, Turkey had the chance to develop connections with Europe. However, Europe was different from what it was before World War II and the European states had become tied to American politics after 1945 as a result of the Western [Bloc] Alliance.

In 1959 Turkey had applied to become a member of the European Economic Community (EEC). With the 1963 Ankara Agreement, Turkey became a half-member of the organization. Actually, the Turkish reasons to be involved in an economic organisation were much more political than economic. This development [the EEC] was understood as an extension of NATO in economics. On the other hand, some members were approaching Turkey’s full membership to the EEC with doubt. The 1963 Ankara Agreement covered three chapters (Preparation; Integration, and Closing Period) and was to be followed by customs union with the members. Short time afterwards, Turkey asked for the second chapter (phase?) but it was an unsure decision. When Turkey signed the Additional Protocol in 1970, the Demirel Government was thinking that the Turkish economy could rapidly grow and even surpass some of the EEC members.

However, integration of Ireland, Britain, Norway, and Denmark to the EEC created heavier consequences than was planned. Consequently, EEC had to reduce its relations with non-EEC countries while Europe was geographically progressing on integration. Turkey had also experienced reactions from some EEC members in domestic political level.

2. Tension between Eastern and Western Blocs was lowered by [the Ostpolitik policy of] German leader Willy Brandt. He produced “Ostpolitik” which has started dialogue between the two blocs. After the beginning of Ostpolitik, Turkey found more [manoeuvring] space to move between the blocs.
3. In the meantime, US was having some problems of its own. The Bretton Woods System has collapsed and the US was defeated in VietNam and US had to withdraw its soldiers from VietNam (1972?). President Nixon had a tendency toward isolationism. He gave priority to domestic problems rather than global issues. Soon afterwards, Nixon had to resign due to the Watergate Scandal. [Nixon also started diplomacy with the People’s Republic of China.]
4. The oil crisis of 1973-1979 had two impacts on Turkish Foreign Policy: Firstly, Turkey was affected by the rising petroleum [oil] prices and Turkey experienced economic depression in this period. Secondly, Turkey became dependant to Middle Eastern countries which held petroleum resources.
Changes In the Domestic Arena:

1. The 1971 military intervention destroyed the political system in Turkey. After 1971, there were several coalition governments which were very incapable and inconsistent. This period can be seen as a period of disorder in Turkish politics. The legacy of the 1961 Constitution had given rights to different [marginal] political views and ideologies to participate in society and parliament. As one of the most marked movements, the socialists had been marginalised from late 1960s onwards. Especially youth and labour movements emerged as a threat for both nationalist groups and the military. The AP government wasn’t responding to the situation strongly. Depending on these anti-regime [anti-establishment] movements, the military seized control to end the disorder on 12 March 1971.

As a whole, the army-manipulated technocrat government tried to keep the system as it was before. However, there is one exception, the military claimed that the 1971 intervention was a necessity to stop the struggle for legitimacy and power between right and left; and to punish those responsible for radical actions a socialist hunt was started.

In this respect the constitution has been changed [amended] in several issues which made the army’s position stronger than the legitimate power ruling the state. Actually, it was another negative development that caused limitation of liberal thought and state authority in Turkey.

During the rule of the technocrats government [led by Prof. Nihat Erim] Turkey’s foreign relations with the US didn’t break down. In fact, some officers who thought that the Turkish Foreign Policy should be more independent from US [influence] were dismissed/discharged from the Army.

However, the technocrat government itself was not powerful because there was no support from the public for the government and the members of the government didn’t know how to use power correctly. In the society level, the leftist youth abandoned the “leftist, Kemalist Army” and stood against the Army.

As a result of these unplanned policies, Turkish Foreign Policy began the 1970s in inconsistency. Unlike the 1970s, the 1960s’s domestic patterns were based mainly on bipartisanship. But, after that period, there have been coalition governments and political polarisation. Political party leaders implanted their ideas into party politics. Leftist and Kemalist approach remained under CHP, but it became closer to the general public. During the rule of Bülent Ecevit, the country enjoyed social democracy and foreign policy semi-independent from the West. Ecevit tried to improve Turkey’s relations with the 3rd World countries, Middle Eastern countries, and Eastern Bloc countries.

On the other hand, the Right produced new political parties and new leaders, too. Division among the Right-wing parties meant division of votes and consequently inconsistent short-lived coalitions emerged.

The Nationalist perspective was characterised by Alparslan Türkeş’s MHP. Türkeş’s Foreign Policy was based on protesting the status quo. He was familiar wiht the US but he was anti-USSR and anti-fundamentalist at the same time and believed in the Turan understanding of unity of all Turks.

Necmeddin Erbakan and his Milliyetci Selamet Partisi (MSP) was pro-Islamist and was aiming to get together all the Muslims of the world under the Turkish command. He was also following anti-capitalist and anti-communist policies.

Süleyman Demirel and the Adalet Partisi (AP) was more liberal rightists. Demirel believed in Turkish Foreign Policy based on preserving the status quo.

Right after the interim technocrats government the 37th government was established by a coalition of CHP with MSP and it was a clash of Ecevit and Erbakan, because Ecevit was moving towards more liberal, democratic policies while Erbakan was trying to avoid sharing these policies.

The 38th [39th?] government was established by the National Front [Milliyetci Cephe] coalition of Demirel, Türkeş and Erbakan. In this period, there was a general stretching against the West and the Western institutions.

As a reaction to the Turkish military intervention to Cyprus, embargoes started against Turkey and the MC government left (resigned from) the 1969 US-Turkey Defence and Cooperation Agreement against the United States and the EEC-Turkey negotiations have been frozen in 1976.

On the other side, the Nationalist Front government was following tough policies against the Leftists by denying details (rights?) of social democracy. Also, extreme partisanship and patronage caused a social disorder at the end of the 1970s.
Patterns of Turkish Foreign Policy in the 1970s:

In the 1970s, 5 important patterns built the Turkish Foreign Policy:

  1. Turkish-Greek relations with new problems emerging in the Aegean Sea.

  2. Turkish – EEC relations: the 1973 [oil?] crisis and additional protocol.

  3. Turkish – Middle East relations: improving relations with the Islamic world.

  4. Turkish – American relations: further deterioration.

  5. Turkish – Soviet relations: continued to be good.

Turkish – Greek Relations: The Turkish – Greek relations started to decline because of the Cyprus problem. In the 1970s, two new problems also emerged; the Aegean Sea disputes and minorities created further deterioration after the Turkish military intervention to Cyprus.

The Aegean Sea dispute is on:

  • Territorial waters;

  • Continental shelf;

  • Airspace control problem over the Aegean Sea; and

  • Demilitarization of the Aegean Islands.

In essence, the problem was how to share the Aegean Sea. Greece had majority of the Aegean Islands [and so, wanted to expand its territorial waters to 12 miles].

The Minority Problem was related with settled Greeks in Turkey and Turks settled in Greece. Two countries were complaining about violation of their rights.

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