The Massigli affair and its context: Turkish foreign policy after the molotov–Ribbentrop Pact
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This article examines Turkey's wartime diplomacy between the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and Hitler's unleashing of Operation Barbarossa. Rather than a survey of Turkish foreign policy as a whole, it takes a critical episode from July 1940 as a case study that – when put in context – reveals how fear of Nazi power and even greater fear of the Soviet Union created in Turkey a complex view of a desired outcome from the Second World War. Juxtaposing archival materials in Turkish, Russian, German, and English, I draw heavily on the hitherto untapped holdings of the Turkish Diplomatic Archives (TDA). Overall, this article demonstrates both the breadth and limits of Nazi Germany's sweeping efforts to orchestrate anti-Soviet propaganda in Turkey; efforts that helped end interwar Soviet-Turkish cooperation. Against previously established notions in historiography that depict Soviet-Turkish relations as naturally hostile and inherently destabilizing, this article documents how the Nazi–Soviet Pact played a key role in their worsening bilateral affairs between 1939 and 1941. The argument, then, is in keeping with newer literature on the Second World War that has begun to compensate for earlier accounts that overlooked neutral powers.