Turco-British Rapprochement on the Eve of the Second World War
Keywords: Turco, British, Second World War, History
The Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 marked the beginning of a definite closeness in Turco-British relations, which were to undergo a long process of development. During the Ethiopian crisis, Turkey followed Britain in defence of the League of Nations Covenant. Firm co-operation between Turkey and Britain during the Montreux Straits Conference of 1936 further accelerated the pace of rapprochement. With King Edward VIII's visit to Turkey, just after the Montreux settlement, the mutual friendship took a step forward. At the Nyon Conference of 1937, Turkey supported Britain in its defence of international shipping against attacks by pirate submarines in the Mediterranean. Nyon drew the Turks and British closer together. In 1938 Britain granted a credit of sixteen million pounds to Turkey which strengthened the growing friendship between Ankara and London and aimed at reducing the necessity of Turkish economy depending on Germany. Germany's occupation of Czechoslovakia and Italy's annexation of Albania in the spring of 1939 soon led Turkey and Britain to sign a mutual assistance agreement. This accord combined Turkish and British energies for the protection of peace and paved the way for the conclusion of the Turco-Anglo-French Triple Alliance Treaty in the autumn of the same year.