POLICIES TURKEY PURSUED TO STAY OUT OF THE WAR AND CONSEQUENCES IN WORLD WAR II

F. Rezzan ÜNALP

World War II began upon Germany's incursion of Poland on 1 September 1939. When this war started, Turkey's basic concern was to successfully manage this difficult situation without any threat to its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Therefore during this tempestuous six-year war the Turkish government have made great efforts to follow the politics of balance that would exclude her out of this war and also took great care and attention to take the necessary precautions against any possible attack on his own land despite the intense pressure of the warring parties. The failure of the Nazi-Soviet bargain in November 1940 was one of the incidents that severely affected the pace of war. Turkey, likewise, being extremely concerned about both the German and Soviet intentions, took defensive measures against any invasive attempt to be directed at its territories under priority threat–Thrace and the eastern territories bordering the USSR: began procuring the needs of the army: and tried hard to avoid any agreement that would lure her directly into the waging war. To this end, she signed agreements and treaties of nonaggression and of security commitments depending on the developments between the blocks throughout the war, in order to secure its borders. When World War II ended upon conclusion of unconditional surrender agreements by Germany and Japan, Turkey saved herself from the destructive effects of the war by staying out of the war. However, as the balance of powers in Europe changed in favor of the USSR upon the defeat of Germany, Turkey faced an even greater danger evolving in a different manner.This article aims at redefining the intensive pressures the Axis and the Allied Powers exerted on Turkey for her entry into the war and the resistance Turkey displayed against these pressures, within the framework of Turkish foreign policy. Furthermore, the impacts of these policies on the course of war, and the consequences for Turkey will be assessed.

Key Words: Second World War, Turkey, Foreign Policy, İsmet İnönü.