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The military history of Turkey is the history of modern Armed forces established under Republic of Turkey beginning with the Turkish War of Independence.

Contents

War of Independence

The Turkish revolutionaries rejected the Treaty of Sèvres (1920), which had left the Ottoman government in control of substantially less of Anatolia than modern Turkey controls. Following the victory of Atatürk's forces in the War of Independence, the Treaty of Sèvres was substituted with the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), which granted international recognition to the government of Ankara, rather than the Ottoman government in Istanbul.

World War II

World War II broke out in the first year of the İsmet İnönü presidency, and both the Allies and the Axis started to put pressure on Inönü to bring Turkey into the war on their respective sides. The Germans sent Franz von Papen to Ankara, while Winston Churchill secretly met with Inönü inside a train wagon near Adana on January 30, 1943. Inönü later met with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill at the Second Cairo Conference on December 4-6, 1943. Turkey remained neutral until the final stages of World War II and tried to maintain an equal distance between both the Axis and the Allies until February 1945, when Turkey entered the war on the side of the Allies against Germany and Japan.

Until 1941, both Roosevelt and Churchill thought that continued Turkish neutrality would serve the interests of the Allies by blocking the Axis from reaching the strategic oil reserves of the Middle East. But the early victories of the Axis up to the end of 1942 caused Roosevelt and Churchill to re-evaluate a possible Turkish participation in the war on the side of the Allies. Turkey had maintained a decently-sized Army and Air Force throughout the war, and Churchill wanted the Turks to open a new front in the Balkans. Roosevelt, on the other hand, still believed that a Turkish attack would be too risky, and an eventual Turkish failure would have disastrous effects for the Allies. Inönü knew very well the hardships which his country had suffered during 11 years of incessant war between 1911 and 1922 and was determined to keep Turkey out of another war as long as he could. Inönü also wanted assurances on financial and military aid for Turkey, as well as a guarantee that the United States and the United Kingdom would stand beside Turkey in case of a Soviet invasion of the Turkish Straits after the war.

Korean War

During the Cold War, Turkey participated in the Korean War as a member state of the United Nations, suffering 731 deaths in combat. The fear of a Soviet invasion and Stalin's unconcealed desire to control the Turkish Straits eventually led Turkey to give up its principle of neutrality in foreign relations and join NATO on February 18, 1952. Following NATO membership the Turkey initiated a comprehensive modernization program for its Armed Forces.


Echoes of the Kunuri Battle in Korean War:

"4500 soldiers in the middle of the firing line have known how to create miracle. The sacrifices of the Turks will eternally remain in our minds." - Washington Tribune

"The courageous battles of the Turkish Brigade have created a favorable effect on the whole United Nations Forces." - Time

"The surprise of the Korean battles were not the Chinese but the Turks. It is impossible at this moment to find a word to describe the heroism which the Turks have shown in the battles." - Abent Post

"The Turks have shown in Kunuri a heroism worthy of their glorious history. The Turks have gained the admiration of the whole world through their glorious fighting in the battles." - Figaro

"The Turks who have been known throughout history by their courage and decency, have proved that they have kept these characteristics, in the war which the United Nations undertook in Korea." - Burner - U.S. Congressman

"There is no one left who does not know that the Turks, our valuable allies, are hard warriors and that they have accomplished very great feats at the front." - Claude Pepper, U.S. Senator

"I now understand that the vote I gave in favor of assistance to Turkey was the most fitting vote I gave in my life. Courage, bravery and heroism are the greatest virtues which will sooner or later conquer. In this matter, I know no nation superior to the Turks." - Rose - U.S. Senator

"While the Turks were for a long time fighting against the enemy and dying, the British and Americans were withdrawing. The Turks, who were out of ammunition, affixed their bayonets and attacked the enemy and there ensued a terrible hand to hand combat. The Turks succeeded in withdrawing by continuous combat and by carrying their injured comrades on their backs. They paraded at Pyongyang with their heads held high." - G.G. Martin - British Lieutenant General

"The Turkish forces have shown success above that expected in the battles they gave in Korea." - General Collings - Commander US Army

"We owe the escape of thousands of United Nations troops out of a certain encirclement to the heroism of the Turkish soldiers. The Turkish soldiers in Korea have added a new and unforgettable page of honor to the customs and legends of heroism of the Turkish nation." - Emanuel Shinwell - U.K. Minister of Defense

"The heroic soldiers of a heroic nation, you have saved the Eighth Army and the IX'th Army Crops from encirclement and the 2nd Division from destruction. I came here today to thank you on behalf of the United Nations Army." - General Walton H. Walker, Commander, Eighth Army

"The Turks are the hero of heroes. There is no impossibility for the Turkish Brigade." - General Douglas MacArthur - United Nations Forces Commander in Chief

"The military situation in Korea is being followed with concern by the whole American public. But in these concerned days, the heroism shown by the Turks has given hope to the American nation. It has inculeated them with courage. The American public fully appreciates the value of the services rendered by the Turkish Brigade and knows that because of them the Eighth American Army could withdraw without disarray. The American public understands that the United Nations Forces in Korea were saved from encirclement and from falling in to the hands of the communists by the heroism shown by the Turks." - 2

December 1950, from the commentary of a US radio commentator The Turkish Brigade, as can be understood from the summary of the Kunuri battles and the echoes it produced in the world, had successfully accomplished its mission. The Brigade was proud to have informed the country of the news of success which the state and nation expected, at the highest level. A handful of soldiers had provided the state with power, great opportunities and esteem.

Cyprus

Map of Cyprus showing political divisions

In July 1974, the Turkish Armed Forces intervened against a coup in Cyprus, organized by EOKA-B and led by Nikos Sampson who ousted the democratically elected Cypriot President Archbishop Makarios III in order to establish Enosis (Union) between Greece and Cyprus. The coup was backed by the Greek military junta in Athens. The conflict in Cyprus lasted until August 1974 and resulted in the de-facto division of the island between the Turkish Cypriot controlled north and the Greek Cypriot controlled south. Turkey still maintains troops in Cyprus, since a political solution could not yet be achieved, and since many members of the Turkish Cypriot community fear a return to the intercommunal violence which occurred between 1963 and 1974.[1] A referendum in 2004 for the Annan Plan which aimed at reunifying the island was supported by the Turkish Cypriots, but rejected by the Greek Cypriots, on the pretext that it gave too many rights and political power to the Turkish Cypriots who make up 1/5 of the island's population.

Recent

Towards the end of the 1980s, a restructuring and modernization process has been initiated by the Turkish Armed Forces, which still continues today. The final goal of Turkey is to produce indigenous military equipment and to become increasingly self-sufficient in terms of military technologies.

See also

References

  1. ^ Cyprus Intercommunal Violence

External links

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