Turkish government

Type of Entity
Corporate Body


In examining the decision-making process in the Turkish government during the Second World War years two factors must be kept in mind; the government during this period was authoritarian, and power was very centralized. The Grand National Assembly, the Parliamentary Group of the CHP, the Cabinet and Inönü. This power structure included practically all the politically active elements in Turkish society.

Yet despite Italy’s entry into the war in 1940-06 and the subsequent Axis campaign in the Balkans, which culminated in Germany’s invasion and defeat of Yugoslavia and Greece in spring 1941, Turkey did not become a military partner of the Allies as Britain and France had expected in 1939. Germany’s defeat of the latter in 1940 and its near-unstoppable military expansion had put a damper upon the commitment of the Turkish government to the Allies. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941-06, the balance within the Turkish government took a more pronounced tilt towards the Nazi regime. By mid-1941, Turkey found itself in the curious situation of being bound to Germany in the Treaty of Friendship and Non-aggression of 1941-06-18 while, at the same time, still acknowledging its mutual assistance treaty with Britain.


  • Nazi Germany and Neutral Europe During the Second World War / C. Leitz. - Manchester, 2000. - p. 86 Turkish Foreign Policy during the Second World War : An 'Active' Neutrality / S. Deringil. - Cambridge, 2004. - p. 41