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Kemalist Turkey and the Palestinian question, 1945-1948

2020-06-01
Ünlü Bilgiç, Tuba
Bilgic, Bestami
This article analyses Turkey's policy vis-a-vis the Palestinian Question from the end of the Second World War to the final months of 1948. During this interval, the main foreign policy issue on the agenda of the Turkish policy makers was the Soviet menace, against which the Turks sought the assistance of the British and the Americans. However, they did not align their Palestine policy with that of the Anglo-Americans, which supported the Zionist project. The Turks, who portrayed the Arabs in their school textbooks as traitors due to the revolt of Sharif Hussein during the First World War, endorsed the Arab cause in Palestine. The Kemalists were convinced that Palestine was historically Arab. Besides, they were co-religionists with the Arabs. Therefore, according to Ankara, the Arabs should have their own independent state in Palestine. In fact, far from following the Anglo-American policy in Palestine blindly, the Turkish government tried to persuade the Anglo-Americans to the Arab cause.