British ambitions in the Mediterranean and their effect on the allied quest for Turkish belligerency in WWII
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Turkish belligerency which was not quite desired by Britain during the World War II was interwoven with the British ambitions in the Mediterranean including the post- World War II settlement of the region into the British sphere of influence. The importance of the Mediterranean and its effect on Anglo-Turkish relations during the World War II has been narrated through Britain‘s point of view in the literature considering that the region was one of the life-lines of British Empire. However, the Eastern Mediterranean was also a primary concern for Turkey. Since the 1930s as the recent literature confirms, Italy was perceived as the biggest possible threat to Turkey as all the military preparations were made accordingly by the Turkish state. The total 4.400 km of Turkish Mediterranean and Aegean coastline combined with the young Republic‘s obsolete and impotent navy, and the close proximity of numerous foreign islands, made Turkey equally apprehensive for the situation in the region since the opening rounds of the war. Thanks to the opening of the Soviet archives, and published British intelligence records alongside the important secondary sources, we now have a better understanding of Turkey‘s relations with the major belligerents. With this motivation and along this line of research this thesis aims to show the relation between Britain‘s Mediterranean strategy and Turkey‘s belligerency.