Smokestacks and pipelines: Russian-Turkish relations and the persistence of economic development
Oxford University Press
834 - 859
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When Aleksei Kosygin visited Turkey in 1975 for the inaugural firing of a massive Soviet-built steelworks, he laid out an ideologically charged vision of development: “unlike the Americans with their Coca-Cola factories, we contribute to industrialization.”1 The Soviet chairman of the council of ministers picked an unusual audience for his disparagement of the United States. Even though Washington had recently imposed an arms embargo in response to Ankara’s intervention on Cyprus, Turkey was still a NATO member. More to the point, Turkey had been a key recipient of U.S. aid since the beginning of the Cold War.2 The Soviet Union could not truly compete with the Western investments that included a Coca-Cola plant which opened in Istanbul in 1964, but Moscow nevertheless committed extensive resources to industrial sites in Anatolia in the 1960s and 1970s. Given that Turkey was closer to the Transatlantic Alliance than the Non-Aligned Movement, the Soviet challenge to U.S.-led modernization in Turkey is an unusual and thus revealing place to find what looks like Cold War competition to develop the Global South.