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German–Turkish Non-Aggression Pact

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German–Turkish Non-Aggression Pact

The German–Turkish Non-Aggression Pact (German: Türkisch-Deutscher Freundschaftsvertrag) (Turkish: Türk-Alman Saldırmazlık Paktı) was signed between Nazi Germany and Turkey on June 18, 1941 in Ankara by German ambassador to Turkey Franz von Papen and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Şükrü Saracoğlu.[1][2] It became effective on the same day.

The pact, which was intended to be in force for a period of ten years, lasted only until 24 October 1945, when Turkey joined the United Nations.[3]

Geopolitical context

After the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Turkish president İsmet İnönü pursued a policy of neutrality, tried to avoid involvement in the war, and asked for military equipment deliveries from both sides.[4] On the other hand, Nazi Germany tried to draw Turkey away from Britain using diplomatic efforts.[5]

As Germany prepared to invade Yugoslavia and Greece in April 1941, German troops arrived at the Bulgarian border, and demanded permission to pass through its territory. On March 1, 1941, Bulgaria signed the Tripartite Pact, and so officially joined the Axis powers.

On 4 March 1941, Franz von Papen forwarded a letter from Adolf Hitler to İnönü. In his letter, Hitler wrote that "he did not start the war, and he was not intending to attack Turkey". He emphasized further that "he ordered his troops in Bulgaria to stay far from the Turkish border in order not to make out a false impression of their presence". Hitler offered a non-aggression pact to Turkey.[4]

On 6 April, Axis troops attacked Yugoslavia (in Operation 25) and Greece (in Operation Marita) through Bulgaria in an effort to secure its southern flank. The invasion of Yugoslavia was accomplished on 17 April. With this, the annexation and occupation of the Balkan region by the Axis powers was completed.[6]

A military coup d'état launched on 1 April 1941 by Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani overthrew the regime in Iraq, which was sympathetic to Britain. The four revolting generals worked closely with German intelligence, and accepted military aid from Germany. Hitler asked Turkey for permission to pass through Turkish territory to give Iraq military assistance. The Turkish government demanded border concessions from Iraq in response to the German request. As the negotiations were held, British forces attacked Iraq from 18 April on, and finally on 3 June, Britain restored the regime of Emir Abdul-Illah, regent of four-year-old King Faisal II. The problem was resolved with this development.

On 22 June 1941, only four days after the signing of the German–Turkish Non-Aggression Pact, German troops invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Tageseinträge für 30. 1941" (in German). chroniknet. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  2. ^ "Nazi-Turkey Pact Reported Ready To Sign". Middlesboro Daily News. 1941-06-18. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  3. ^ Dr. Mücahit Özçelik (2010). "İkinci Dünya Savaşı’nda Türk Dış Politikası". ASOS Index (in Turkish) (29). Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  4. ^ a b Solak, Cemil. "Savunma Tarihimizden Trajik Bir Olay" (in Turkish). arastiralim.com. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  5. ^ "Nazi Panzer Spearheads Drive Through British-Greek Defense Line". The Pittsburgh Press. 1941-04-15. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  6. ^ "18 Haziran 1941 - Türk - Alman Saldırmazlık Paktı imzalandı" (in Turkish). Almanak TR. 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
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