THE HISTORIC ROOTS OF TURKISH-IRANIAN RELATIONS
Volume 7, No. 3 – September 2003
ESSENTIAL FRIENDS AND NATURAL ENEMIES:
THE HISTORIC ROOTS OF TURKISH-IRANIAN RELATIONS
This article outlines Turkish-Iranian relations since the early 1820s from the viewpoint of the Turkish political and military elite. The author argues that Turkish-Iranian relations have basically been determined by historical, geographic, strategic and cultural dimensions rather than leaders (the Shah or Khomeini), regimes (the monarchy or the republic), or ideologies (secular or Islamic).
On examining the history of Turkish-Iranian relations one finds many parallels for contemporary events and issues, which show the importance of long-term geostrategic and cultural issues in shaping this relationship. These apply to the Ottoman Empire and monarchical Iran as well as to the successor regimes. In turn, the problems├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żand sometimes solutions├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żinvolved give a good sense of the underpinnings for contemporary and future issues between the two countries.
After the establishment of the Safavi state in Iran during the early sixteenth century, Ottoman/Turkish-Persian/Iranian relations were characterized by continuous struggle and numerous wars. Power struggles took place over eastern Anatolia/Iranian Azerbaijan and Iraq/western Iran. The Ottomans├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż focus of interest was Azerbaijan and the Caucasus region, while the Iranians were concerned with Iraq, which contains the holiest sites of Shi`i Islam. This prolonged struggle continued in varying degrees until the end of the First World War.(1)
Following the 1821-1823 war between the two countries, and despite Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs relative military inferiority, Ottoman statesmen considered Iran a potential military threat, particularly in the event of a Russian invasion of Anatolia. For this reason, policy toward Iran remained a central preoccupation for the Ottoman government during both the Crimean War of 1853-1856 and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. The remarks of Fuad Pasa, one of the chief policymakers, conveys this concern:
The government of [Iran], which is in a state of continual disorder and in the grip of Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi fanaticism, has always been at one and in agreement with our enemies. Even in the Crimean War, she came to an agreement with Russia and united her ambitions with hers. The fact that she was unable to bring her hostile calculations to fruition was due to the West├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs prudent and vigilant diplomacy. Today, the Shah├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs government follows in the wake of [Russia]. As long as the Ottoman government is not occupied elsewhere, the discredited Iranian government, being impotent, ignorant and incapable of taking any initiative on its own, dares not quarrel with us. However, at the moment of our first confrontation with Russia, Iran will take her place among our most irreconcilable enemies, due to her political dependence and, more important, her blind jealousy, in spite of our cautious and well-intentioned attitude. Fortunately, the Ottoman government, in addition to material resources, also possesses moral possibilities to contain a country which is crushed under such a barbarous despotism, faces a series of governmental crises, and is entirely surrounded by Sunnis.(2)
Fuad Pasa`s prediction proved true. For example, one of the core problems in bilateral relations remained the question of boundaries. Several Kurdish tribes inhabited both sides of the Turco-Persian frontier and did not recognize any border. Both states competed to gain the tribes├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż loyalty and to establish patronage over each other├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs Kurds.(3) After the peace treaty of 1823 failed to solve the problem and as the process of Ottoman centralization began, the boundary question once more came to the fore. As a result of Russian and British intervention, an agreement was finally reached in 1847 stipulating that the entire border be surveyed by a mixed commission, whose work was finally completed in 1865 and the frontier was confirmed by a convention signed in Istanbul in 1869.(4)
But this step did not finally resolve the issue either. When Iran proved useful to Russia during the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78, Russia inserted article 60 into the Berlin treaty ending the conflict which gave the disputed territory of Kotur (near Van) to Iran. Ottoman observers recorded their disappointment with Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs behavior:
In those dark days, when we had emerged from the war [with Russia] with many wounds, and faced manifold difficulties at the congress [of Berlin], the Muslim state of Iran, which, in a war considered a jihad, should at least have been benevolent, if not a helper, came forward with various demands to the detriment of our country, as if placing salt on those wounds, and the territory of Kotur was added to the territories of Iran: truly, these are evils to be neither forgiven nor forgotten.(5)
While in strategic terms Iran was ready to side with the Ottoman Empire├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs enemies, though, elements of the political and religious elite of Iran considered the reforms implemented by Turkey during the Tanzimat era to be a model for their own country, viewing the Ottoman Empire as a bridge between Europe and Iran. Iranian bureaucrats who visited the empire often attempted to implement or at least recommend similar reforms in Iran on their return home. These people included, for example, Mirza Taqi Khan Emir-e Kabir, Mirza Hosein Khan Moshir od-Dowleh, and Malkom Khan.(6) At the same time, Istanbul became a center for Iranian dissidents, political refugees and opposition groups consisting of former officials, intellectuals and men of letters. One of the most important and influential Persian newspapers of the time, the Ahter, was published in Istanbul.(7)
The center for the Iranian religious elite in the nineteenth century was in another corner of the empire: the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi holy places in Iraq–known as the Atabat. The Atabat became a center for the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi ulama; together with most of the important Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi mujtahids, a large number of mollas, akhunds, and students resided in the Atabat. The Atabat always retained its primacy as a center of religious authority, and the role of the Atabat mujtahids actually increased in Iranian politics in the late nineteenth century.(8) At the same time, a pro-Ottoman group, called ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻPan-Islamists├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż, emerged in Iranian politics, especially among the ulama.(9) All these afforded the Ottoman government the possibility of exploiting ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żmoral opportunities├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż to influence Iran.
The Pan-Islamic tendency first emerged in Ottoman public opinion in the early 1870s.(10) Followers of this tendency addressed themselves directly to Iran. For example, a leaflet distributed among Iranian pilgrims in the Hijaz during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 stated:
O people of Iran! You are not among the Imamiye taife (followers of the recognized Imams). The Ehl-i Sunnet (followers of the Sunna) acknowledge that you are Muslim and ehl-i kible (People of the Qibla). You in turn acknowledge that they are Muslim and ehl-i kible. The matters in dispute are points of no importance; the basis and refuge for both parties is the Holy Qur├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żan. Is it fitting that you should remain mere spectators when you observe that for so many years up to the present the Ottoman Empire has been at war with Russia? When Russia occupied Hiva, there appeared rumors that you had helped Russia. If, henceforth, when Russia attacks one of her neighbors, you do not assist the victim, but assist the oppressor who wishes to destroy Islam, our affection for you will be destroyed and furthermore we will be unable to look upon you as Muslims.(11)
This new approach toward Iran appears to have become the dominant view, among foreign policy makers as well as public opinion, from the late 1860s onwards. For Ottoman statesmen, this was not an idealistic approach as in the case of public opinion, but a realistic one. Ali Pasa, the chief policy-maker of the time, explains the approach in the following terms:
I do not deny that I really desire to win over and make friends of the Iranians, instead of permanent enemies, without thereby in the least harming the sacred rights of our padishah and the sultanate, which are of more value than my life. And I deem this within the bounds of possibility. If it becomes apparent that the Iranians fail to appreciate our conciliatory conduct, act high-handedly, and strive to destroy the just aspirations of the Ottoman state, then there is no doubt that with God├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs help, under the auspices of our padishah, it will be easy to compel them to adopt a correct course.(12)
Thus, while the Ottoman press appealed to the Iranians in the name of ittihad-i Islam (the unity of Islam or Pan-Islamism), the Ottoman mission to the Emir of Afghanistan in 1877 (in the midst of the Turco-Russian war) inquired as to ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żwhich attitude the Emir would take in the event of Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs [aggressive] action against the Ottoman state├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż.(13)
THE REIGN OF ABDULHAMID II
The policy described by Ali Pasa seems to have been wholeheartedly applied during the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II (1876-1908/9). In the context of Abdulhamid├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs Pan-Islamic policy, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żmoral possibilities├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż and ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żmaterial resources├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż were utilized interchangeably. After a short-lived rapprochement in the early 1880s(14) the Ottoman government faced two imminent threats involving Iran in the early 1890s. First, this period witnessed a marked increase in Armenian nationalist guerrilla activities. The Armenian revolutionaries received help from Armenians living inside Iran and enabled the revolutionaries to cross the border before and after their raids, allegedly with the consent of the Iranian authorities.(15)
The second and more significant problem was the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi threat emanating from Iraq. The Iraqi vilayets of Baghdad and Basra were home to a substantial population of Arabic-speaking Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi Muslims. They formed the absolute majority of the population in these two provinces. Furthermore, throughout the nineteenth century, there appears to have been a growth in this Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi population at the expense of the Sunni, largely due to conversion.(16) To the Ottoman authorities, the presence of a large and growing Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi population in Iraq represented a serious political problem. The Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żis were regarded as potentially disloyal and the growth of Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żism among the tribal population in Iraq alarmed the Abdulhamid regime in the late 1880s and early 1890s, prompting the Palace to embark upon serious consideration of the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi issue. Various measures were taken in order to forestall the growth of the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi sect. A number of commissions were sent to the region; local officials were asked to write detailed reports on the subject; some steps were taken in the field of education. However, nothing substantial resulted from all the effort undertaken.(17)
During a crisis over tobacco taxes in 1891-92, the Atabat emerged as an important opposition center in Iranian politics, and the mujtahids of the Atabat began to involve themselves in Iranian internal affairs. This development did not escape Sultan Abdulhamid, who seems to have seen the rift between the Iranian government and the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi mujtahids as an opportunity to promote a radical program to bring about a religious rapprochement between Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi and Sunni Islam, and thereby extend his own political influence at the expense of the Shah. His chosen tool was Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, who arrived in Istanbul in the summer of 1892. Abdulhamid wrote to Afghani:
It is evident that the remedy [to existing problems] will be├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żthe creation of Islamic alliance and unity through the removal of conflicts and contradictions [between the two Muslim sects]├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż.As [I] am certain that you desire to achieve the unity of Islam, it is my command as Caliph that you├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żconsider at length and in detail whether or not a general Islamic union may be achieved… by abolishing the sectarian differences between Muslims in some parts of the Ottoman empire, and also in some other places: by, for instance, forming a committee of two or three persons each from our ulama and the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi ulama, eliminating the dissension of sect, and thereby overcoming, and perhaps entirely removing, the influence of the Iranian mujtahids.(18)
The lofty ambition of this initiative is made clear as Abdulhamid concludes that this step would make possible, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żas in Germany├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż a union so that while ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żthe rulers of Iran continue to govern within Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż they would do so only under the caliph├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs patronage.(19)
The implementation of this project began in early 1894. A working group was set up under Afghani, which sent hundreds of letters to prominent Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi ulama all over the Islamic world. The correspondence between Afghani├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs Istanbul circle and the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi ulama was brought to the attention of the Shah. Tehran demanded the deportation of Afghani and his disciples; simultaneously, the Iranian authorities began to use the Armenian question as a means of pressure, giving a free hand to Armenian revolutionaries inside Iran and on the border. Facing pressure from the Armenian crises in Anatolia and in Istanbul, Abdulhamid appears to have been forced to give up his support for Afghani`s task. Afghani├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs relations with Abdulhamid deteriorated. The former remained in Istanbul as a virtual prisoner until his death in March 1897.(20)
The accession of Muzaffar al-Din Shah in 1896 brought a new climate to relations and an atmosphere of mutual understanding between the Porte and Teheran prevailed for a few years.(21) The Shah visited Istanbul in the autumn of 1900 and was treated with respect and distinction by the Sultan. The early 1900s, however, saw a fresh deterioration in the internal situation in Iran and the extension of the Atabat├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs influence in Iranian internal affairs. Taking advantage of that deterioration, Sultan Abdulhamid continued his efforts to gain support among the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi ulama both in Iran and the Atabat.
During this period, the opposition of the ulama to the Iranian government was being partly expressed in Pan-Islamic ideas, in terms of a Sunni-Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża rapprochement and sympathy toward the Caliph. Abdulhamid established connections with the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi mujtahids in Iraq as well as in Iran. Some mujtahids visited Istanbul, and were honored by the Sultan; some had regular communication with the Sultan and the palace camarilla; and some received regular salaries from the Tehran embassy. As a close observer of Iranian affairs, Abdulhamid even made an offer to the British to use the mujtahids to curtail the power of the clergy in Iran.(22) Although the empire broke with the mujtahids of the Atabat in 1904/5, following Russian and Iranian diplomatic pressure and suspicions about British contacts with the Atabat, Abdulhamid├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs contacts with the Iranian ulama seem to have continued, as did the prevalence of Pan-Islamic ideas among the Iranian opposition.(23)
The years from 1905 onwards brought new dimensions to relations between the two states. First, Iran underwent the turbulent events of the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911. However, some Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi ulama both in Tehran and the Atabat continued to maintain contacts or correspondence with Istanbul. The Ottoman ambassador to Tehran, Semseddin Bey acted as mediator between the mujtahids and the Shah. Second, from September 1905 onwards, Ottoman troops occupied a series of disputed territories on the Iranian border, from Bayazid south to Vazne (they would remain there until 1913).(24) This weakened the position of the constitutionalist party in Tehran. On several occasions, they asked the Sultan to withdraw his troops. Both Iranian and Young Turkish sources accused Abdulhamid of helping Muzaffar al-Din Shah to undermine the Parliament├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs position.(25)
Both the Shah and Abdulhamid faced internal challenges from those demanding a limit on their power. In the empire, the Young Turk (Committee of Union and Progress, CUP) opposition was interested in political developments in Iran and had some contacts with Iranian constitutionalists after 1905. Immediately following their revolution of July 1908, the CUP sent militiamen to Iranian Azerbaijan to help Azeri constitutionalists in their fight against the Shah.(26) The CUP├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs interest in Iranian affairs proved durable: CUP members visited Iran to support the constitutional cause on several occasions, while the embassy in Tehran and the consulate at Tabriz both played important roles in the struggle between pro-Shah and pro-parliamentary forces until 1911.
The CUP seems to have inherited Abdulhamid├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs Pan-Islamic policy toward Iran. The best example of this continuity was the harmonious relationship between the CUP and the mujtahids of Atabat, who had been ardent supporters of constitutionalism in Iran. The result of this was that the Atabat mujtahids proclaimed jihad during both the empire├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs war in Libya and the First World War in favor of the Sunni Caliphate.(27)
When the CUP came to power, it was expected that the Turkish army would soon withdraw from the occupied territories over the border in Iran. This did not occur however. In light of the annexation of Bosnia by Austria-Hungary, the CUP regime was inclined to persevere with the occupation. It appears to have had three main reasons for this: to give material support to Iranian (Azeri) constitutionalists; to help bring about Russian withdrawal from Iranian Azerbaijan; and to gain advantage and strengthen Turkish claims during the expected negotiations with Iran over the border delimitation. But as time went on, Ottoman governments proved unable to resist Russian and British pressure for an end to occupation and a swift delimitation of the border. Faced with growing domestic and especially external problems, the empire began to make concessions.(28)
When bilateral negotiations produced little result, Britain and Russia intervened and convinced the Ottoman government to concede a more favorable line to Iran. As a result, in the midst of the Balkan Wars, these quadripartite negotiations resulted in the signing of the Constantinople Protocol (November 1913), in which the boundary line was described in considerable detail. A new delimitation commission, composed of representatives of all four governments, was charged with confirming the exact demarcation. The work of the commission lasted from January to October 1914; the result, however, was never ratified in a formal treaty, due to the outbreak of the First World War.(29)
By the outbreak of the war, the CUP├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs good will towards Iran had ceased to exist. For one thing, the Shah had defeated the constitutionalists and dissolved parliament. For another, the CUP leaders were in their turn irritated by the Iranians├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż attempt to take advantage of the empire├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs critical situation.
THE FIRST WORLD WAR
During the First World War, the Allies and the Central Powers struggled for mastery over Iran. In addition to strategic factors, Turkey also possessed an ideological motivation. Iran, which was populated by a large number of Azeris and Turkmens, was to be included in the borders of the CUP├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs projected pan-Turkish state. Generally speaking, the Ottoman general staff had three main aims toward Iran: a) to induce Iran to side with the Ottoman government and its allies in the war, b) to use Iranian territories in order to reach Afghanistan and the Caucasus area for military and propaganda operations against Britain and Russia, and c) to establish a lasting influence in Iran, especially in the Kurdish and Azeri regions, and to guarantee Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs integrity and sovereignty after the war.(30)
Throughout the war, Ottoman military and propaganda operations were carried out organized around three elements: regular army units, agents and squads of the Special Organization (Teskilat-i Mahsusa), and through collaboration with German officers and missions. Ottoman military operations may be divided into three stages as well: from the autumn of 1914 to May/June 1915; from April/May 1916 to the end of 1916 (or early 1917); From the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918) to October 1918.(31) In November 1914, just before the Sarikamis campaign, Enver Pasa, the minister of war, explained his vision in the following way:
[Over a map of Iran] Do you know what I am thinking? I do not want to think but to accomplish. To occupy Tehran with a division of troops, by the shortest route! After thereby releasing Iran from Russian influence, operations must be undertaken in Turkistan, Afghanistan and India against Russia and Britain. By sending another division via Tabriz to Daghistan, the Muslim lands of the Caucasus must be set in motion against the Russians, and so the Russian army opposing our army in the east must be struck from behind!(32)
When he was asked whether ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża treaty of alliance was signed with Iran,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Enver replied: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIt is obvious that Iran cannot dare to enter into any political commitment with us, as long as she remains under Russian influence. First we occupy Tehran, and then make a treaty of alliance…. I attach great importance to this unity. We can bring all Asian Muslims and Turks into action only through such a force.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(33)
Though Ottoman forces captured Tabriz for a short period in early 1915, the Russians regained control soon after. After the victory of Kut al-Amara in the spring of 1916, Ottoman ambitions in Iran seemed once more to be feasible, and Enver ordered the occupation of Kermanshah as a first step. According to Enver, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIt is not enough to save Iran from the Russians and the British during the war. It is essential to guarantee Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs integrity and sovereignty in the future as well.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(34) In his opinion, in the face of Russian or British aggression in the future, the Ottoman army could not defend Iran on its own. It was therefore necessary to cooperate with the Germans over the question of Iran. In accordance with Enver`s orders, Ottoman forces began to advance into Iran and, at the beginning of August 1916, occupied Hamadan.(35) The ultimate aim was to occupy Tehran, and thus to bring the Iranian government officially into the war.
Enver gave the following order to the commander of forces at Hamadan:
Do not stop but advance in the direction of Tehran. After assuming the functions of the Shah├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs chief of general staff, reorganize the Iranian army. After bringing this army into a usable state, it will be necessary to launch campaigns in the Russians├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż rear, towards Turkistan, and perhaps in the direction of Afghanistan.(36)
But because of the resistance of the local commanders and later the British advance in Iraq, Enver Pasa was not to realize his dream. This second stage was reflected in the opening speech of Sultan Mehmed V: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻOne of our aims in this war is to see Iran, a Muslim and neighboring country, achieve an independent and prosperous life, obtaining all necessary favorable conditions for its development and progress, and free from every kind of harmful ties.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(37)
After the Russian revolution, and especially following the signing of the treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918), Enver Pasa was determined that the Ottoman state, together with the Germans, should have influence in Iran after the war. Military planning once again came to the fore and the third Iranian campaign was launched. By early June 1918, Ottoman forces had occupied Tabriz. At the beginning of October, the commander of forces in Tabriz received the following order from Enver: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻMarch towards Tehran,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(38) but there was no time. The war was already approaching its end. Istanbul issued orders for the evacuation of Iran even before the Armistice of Mudros. The last Ottoman soldiers evacuated Tabriz in the middle of November 1918.(39)
AFTER THE FIRST WORLD WAR
After the war, the balance between the two countries shifted in favor of Iran. Though Iran would remain in a state of internal chaos for several years to come, it did not hesitate to take advantage of Turkey├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs predicament in the international arena. For example, Tehran initiated demands to acquire certain territories from Turkey first during the Paris Peace Conference and later at the Sevres conference.(40) Although the British rejected the demands, Turkish public opinion resented the Iranian initiative. In the Istanbul press, one headline read: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻYou too, Brutus?├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(41)
Reza Khan├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs coup in Tehran, in February 1921, marked the beginning of a new period in the history of Turkish-Iranian relations. At roughly the same time, in both countries, two nationalist, anti-imperialist, and open-minded soldiers, Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) and Reza Khan/Shah, struggled against enemies both internal and external. They had a common approach to international politics, especially regarding British imperialism and its influence in the region. It comes as no surprise therefore that this new climate created a slow but continuous rapprochement between Ankara and Tehran. During the Turkish war of independence, both governments sent diplomatic missions and messages of friendship to each other. The policy of the Ankara government in this period was to give moral support in order to assure Iranian independence and territorial integrity.(42) Turkey feared the occupation and dismemberment of Iran as a multi-ethnic society by Russia or Great Britain.(43)
But, on the other hand, the Ankara government was not very comfortable with Iranian foreign policy. It felt the need to watch Iran very carefully lest that country align with Turkey├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs enemies, as had happened in the previous century.(44)
One of the most interesting examples of Turkish ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żmoral support├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż was Ankara├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs encouragement for the proclamation of a republic in Iran. In spite of Turkish efforts, however, the republican project was not to be realized. When the Caliphate was abolished by the Kemalist regime in March 1924, the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi ulama in Iran, who had hitherto been in favor of a republic, suddenly changed sides. They became anti-republican, thinking that the real motive behind this project was to undermine the power of the clergy, as had recently taken place in Turkey. Finally, Reza abandoned the idea and instead proclaimed a new monarchy under his own dynasty.(45) The failure of the republican project seems to have disappointed Mustafa Kemal. As Hamdullah Suphi (Tanriover), one of the founding-fathers of Turkish nationalism, relates:
One day we were having a meal with a group of friends at Cankaya, at the President [Mustafa Kemal] of the Republic├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs table. A copy of a telegram was brought and submitted to him. The president read this telegram aloud: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻAfter discussion with the Akhunds [mujtahids], the Serdar-i Sipeh [War Minister Reza Khan], has judged that the time has not yet come for a move towards a republic, and has announced this decision in a proclamation├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż. Thereupon the Gazi [Mustafa Kemal] said a few words expressing his disappointment.(46)
In any event, the establishment of an independent state in Iran undoubtedly relieved Ankara. Turkey had feared the possibility of ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża new Iraq├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż, as one official in Ankara put it to a French observer:
As you know, we observe Persian events day by day, hour by hour. We wanted at all costs to prevent Persia from becoming a new Iraq. If England had realized Lord Curzon├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs project, this would have meant that all Asia would pass under British domination. What a major threat to world peace! That is why we supported Reza Khan. When we concentrated one hundred thousand men on the Persian frontier it was as a protection, not a threat, and the Serdar [Reza Khan] knew this perfectly well. What he needed before all else was a strong army. In the end, he needs reliable foreign support. He can rely on us. We assisted the nationalist movement in Persia with all our strength. We are not going to cease supporting it when it achieves victory. (47)
Nevertheless, as soon as the national struggles for independence concluded and new regimes had emerged in both countries, the old problems began to resurface. While Turkey was anxious about Iranian manipulation (or toleration) of Kurdish (and to some extent Armenian) nationalism, Iran for its part was suspicious of Turkish ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żirredentism├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Iranian Azerbaijan and Ankara├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs tutelage of Azeri nationalists.(48)
The key matter after 1925 in Turkish-Iranian relations was the growing Kurdish nationalism and sporadic Kurdish rebellions in eastern Turkey. Traditionally, Tehran had never viewed the Kurds (or the Armenians) as a threat to its regime; Turkey, however, continuously demanded that Iran pursue a hard line policy towards the Kurds, in line with that of Turkey├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs. Kurdish rebellions in Eastern Anatolia between 1925 and 1930 created tensions in relations, as Kurdish rebels easily made use of the Iranian frontier and received assistance from Iranian Kurds. In order to ease these tensions, the two governments signed a number of frontier and security agreements. But these failed to solve the problem. Tension grew and erupted into an open crisis during the third Agri rebellion in 1930. The Turkish press accused Iran of helping the rebels, both morally and materially. Iran was requested to put a stop to all rebel activity on her soil.(49)
In Ankara, two opposite views emerged regarding policy toward Iran. While Ismet Pasa (Inonu), the prime minister, and Tevfik Rustu (Aras), the minister for foreign affairs, advocated a tough policy, Mustafa Kemal and Ibrahim Tali (Ongoren), the inspector for eastern Anatolia, preferred a more moderate policy towards Iran. A compromise was reached: the Turkish ambassador to Tehran, Memduh Sevket (Esendal), who was accused of being pro-Kurdish and critical of Ankara├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs Kurdish policy, was recalled, and Husrev Gerede, a former soldier and companion of Mustafa Kemal, was dispatched in his place to Tehran.(50)
The difference of opinion between Mustafa Kemal and Ismet Pasa on the question of Iran is very apparent in the instructions which each gave to Gerede. Mustafa Kemal said: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻHusrev! Your passport is in your pocket! But I do not want you to return. I want you to stay there and be successful in our policy of peace and friendship by solving the frontier problem.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(51) Ismet Pasa, however, took a different approach:
Husrev! Your position is just like that of the Ambassadors of Great Powers who used to send their Dragomans to the Sublime Porte to dictate their wishes to the Grand Vizier, after having sent their fleets to the Dardanelles. There is only one difference: that our state sends you, with legitimate right and determination, in order to forestall the disruption of tranquility at home and the formation of a Macedonia on its frontiers. Therefore you are going to talk to the Iranian government with a mobilised army behind you, ready to move.(52)
After nearly two years of arduous diplomacy, a border agreement was finally reached in January 1932. The entire territory of Mountain Agri was to be given to Turkey, while Kotur (near Van) would remain with Iran. In spite of strong resistance by his general staff, Reza Shah accepted this unfavorable exchange without any hesitation. For, he had a different consideration in mind:
You do not understand me. It is not this or that hill which is important: it is the settlement, once and for all, of our frontier disputes with Turkey. The disagreements between our two countries in the past, which have always been to the profit of our enemies, must cease, and a sincere friendship based on our mutual interests be established between Iran and Turkey. If we are allied and united, I do not fear anybody.(53)
Relations peaked in 1934 with the Shah├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs visit to Turkey. This successful visit was an important milestone. After protracted negotiations concerning the boundary dispute between Iraq and Iran, a four-power (Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan) pact was signed in Tehran in July 1937. Though Reza Shah originally had a defense agreement in mind, what was eventually signed was a non-aggression pact. The pact, however, could not survive the challenge of the Second World War.(54)
THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Relations between the two neighbors were ruptured with the beginning of the Second World War. Each had to deal with its own strategic problems at regional and international levels. Turkey was highly concerned by the British-Soviet invasion of Iran in August 1941. In order to ease Turkey├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs apprehension, the British and Soviet governments assured the Turkish government of their commitment to safeguarding Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs territorrial integrity. But Russian involvement in the invasion, and especially Soviet support for Kurdish (and Armenian) separatist activity in its occupation zone, gave rise to further worry and widespread public criticism in Turkey. Turkey repeatedly warned Britain of the possible fallout from Soviet action in the region, but the British preferred not to clash with their essential ally.(55)
The situation of the ethnic Turks in Iran at this time also appears to have appeared on the agenda of the Turkish political and military elite. In a parliamentary group meeting, Sukru Saracoglu, the minister for foreign affairs, was asked by the Republican People├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs Party (RPP) deputies whether ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻThere was any consideration and initiative by the government for the Turks in Iran,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż who had been subjected to oppression and `Persianification` by the Shah├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs regime. Saracoglu answered: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIt is natural that we consider the Turks in Iran, without drifting into the war.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż According to a leading RPP deputy of the time, Faik Ahmet Barutcu, Saracoglu`s concern was right, since ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żwhatever the importance of the Sudetenland for Germany, the Iranian Turks are the same for us. We should not be content with expressing our feelings openly, but should strengthen those Turks [in Iran] in their national ideas and actions.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(56)
Articles in the Turkish press, pamphlets written by Azeri nationalists, and discussions in Turkish public opinion all began to deal with the fate of this group. In the years that followed the Turkish decision to give grants to a hundred Azeri students for their education in Turkey, Ankara├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs demand for the immigration of the pro-German Qashqai tribe to Turkey (in order to protect them from British and Iranian persecution), and the Turkish ambassador├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs contacts with pro-German sections of Iranian society aroused new suspicions on the part of the Iranian government as well as the allies. Iranian statesmen were inclined to see these initiatives by Turkey as a continuation of the CUP policy. In the words of an Iranian diplomat to his British counterpart in 1927, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻPan-Turkism dies hard in Turkey!├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(57)
THE COLD WAR YEARS
During the Cold War, both countries felt threatened by the Soviets and both turned to the West to guarantee their security. Even before the end of the Second World War, Turkey was extremely disturbed by Soviet-supported separatist activities in Iran. The fear was of a familiar nature: that Iran would come under Russian control or occupation, or disintegrate, as a result of the encouragement given to Azeri and Kurdish nationalism. Encirclement of Turkey by the Soviets and its satellites constituted a `nightmare scenario` for Ankara, which explains why Turkey no longer objected to Tehran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs policy towards Azeri Turks or Qashqais, as well as why Ankara did not show any sympathy for the Soviet-supported ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żrepublic├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Iranian Azerbaijan.(58)
Despite the climate of rapprochement in the early years of the Cold War, it took almost a decade for the neighboring states to develop their political, economic and, to some extent, military relations. Turkey, while trying to obtain Western security guarantees for itself, did not incline to any military, security or political dealings with Iran. Ankara was aware that Iran was politically vulnerable and militarily weak, and hence had little incentive to develop such relations. Thus, in 1949, Muhammad Reza Shah proposed to the Turkish ambassador that they develop a defensive alliance. Turkey├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs reply was a cautious one: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻThe Soviet Union is suspicious enough of NATO as it is; any arrangements between Turkey and Iran would only irritate Moscow still further. Besides, without U.S. participation, the pact would not have any force.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(59) Subsequent events vindicated this stance. A defense pact including Iran was only to be realized in the mid-1950s, following a change in U.S. global strategy.
Political rapprochement also moved forward at a slow pace, and was initially concerned with mainly symbolic matters. This was mostly due to events taking place within Iran. The rising tide of nationalism, neutralism, and the Communist party in Iranian politics in the late 1940s hampered relations. Iranian nationalists did not hold Turkey in high esteem but regarded Ankara as a tool of Western imperialism. For its part, Turkey was very apprehensive about the developments leading to the Musaddik premiership in 1951, and was highly disturbed by his foreign and domestic policy. Ankara feared that the political and economic instability, especially during the era of Prime Minister Muhammad Mussadegh, could lead to a Communist takeover; and, for that reason, openly sided with Britain and the West against him. Mutual vilification in the press of both countries was a recurrent feature of this period.(60)
Friendly relations between the two governments were resumed after the fall of Mussadegh in the summer of 1953. Turkey, as a NATO member, became very important for Iran, which was still a militarily weak and strategically vulnerable state. Iran joined the Baghdad Pact in November 1955 because of Turkey├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs special initiative and insistence, despite U.S. objections, and in opposition to her traditional policy of neutrality.(61) But neither the Baghdad Pact nor its successor, CENTO, met the Shah├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs expectations. He told the American ambassador that ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻAmerica treats Turkey as a wife, and Iran as a concubine.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(62) The Turkish government of Adnan Menderes attempted to convince American statesmen to meet some of the expectations of Iran, at least at a symbolic level, so that the pact might survive. Ankara even proposed the creation of a ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻCENTO Command├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż, which would take control of the divisions east of the Iskenderun-Samsun line. This proposal was made over the objections of some members of the Turkish general staff and the foreign office.
The Turkish military takeover of May 1960 marked a watershed in relations. The Shah, although he at first acclaimed the coup because of his deep anxiety over Menderes├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż projected visit to Moscow in July 1960(63) soon became wary of the new government├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs different view of Iran and CENTO. In their first manifesto, the coup leaders proclaimed: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻWe believe in and are loyal to NATO, and we are loyal to CENTO.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż This proclamation was followed by a new policy of rapprochement toward the Arabs initiated by the Turkish foreign ministry, and anti-CENTO attitudes in Turkish public opinion. Furthermore, the new government abandoned the project of the CENTO Command. This ambiguous situation, however, lasted only two years. From mid-1962 onwards, relations began to improve once again. High-level visits and mutual friendly remarks intensified; a number of projects were reactivated and several treaties signed. The pinnacle was the establishment of an organization for economic, technical and cultural cooperation, called Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), in July 1964, by Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. In creating this new body, the three states de-emphasized the security aspect of CENTO.(64)
In the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s, however, a number of issues led to renewed tensions. First, the Shah continued to express his dissatisfactions regarding CENTO, despite efforts by post-1963 governments in Ankara, especially the Demirel governments from 1965 onwards, to placate him in this regard. Second, Turkish public opinion, and especially the growing left, became increasingly critical of the Shah├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs dictatorship. The critical language of the Turkish press toward the regime in Iran was a source of irritation to the Shah. Third, a large number of Iranian dissident students living in Turkey received support from the Turkish Left. Fourth, Turkey was anxious about the Shah├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs support of Iraqi Kurds and repeatedly warned him concerning the possible results of such support for both Turkey and Iran itself. At a time when Iraqi-Turkish relations were progressing rapidly, and inevitably straining relations between Iran and Turkey, Ankara tried several times to mediate between Baghdad and Tehran on the issue of the Shatt al-Arab river forming part of their border. Fifth, Turkey was apprehensive about the Shah├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs attempt to establish patronage over Turkish Kurds and Alevis; the Turkish authorities believed that he had sent emissaries to the Kurdish and Alevi regions of Anatolia. All these gave rise to heated polemics and mutual accusations in the Turkish and Iranian press.(65)
Beginning with the years 1973-74, the equilibrium between the two countries continued to shift. Following the oil crises of 1973 and the 1974 Cyprus crisis, Turkey faced severe financial difficulties, an American arms-embargo and international isolation, while Iran became a rich, militarily strong and strategically important country in regional politics. Although the Shah, expressing his concern to Washington, was critical of the arms-embargo and supported the Turkish cause in Cyprus, he was nevertheless content with the change in the relative power situation between Turkey and Iran, and sought to turn it to his advantage. His rejection of Ankara├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs requests for cheap oil and other needs of the Turkish economy led to resentment among the Turkish political elite.(66)
THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION AND ITS AFTERMATH
Following the Islamic revolution in Iran, it was generally thought by outsiders that Turkish-Iranian relations were bound to suffer a severe downturn due to Turkey├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs strong secular and pro-Western stance. However, contrary to expectations, the same patterns of conflict and collaboration in relations continued as ever, and trade relations even reached their peak in this period.
From the outset, Turkey accepted and officially recognized the new regime and refused to contemplate intervening against it. There are several explanations for this: First, the Bulent Ecevit government, in line with its foreign and domestic policy, had been consistently critical of the Shah and the CENTO alliance. They were therefore pleased to witness the emergence of an ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żindependent├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż and ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żnon-aligned├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Iran. Second, the Turkish military and political elites, as after World Wars One and Two, were apprehensive about the disintegration of Iran as a result of civil war. Such a scenario could lead to the possibility of Soviet control of Iran, or a Kurdish separatist movement. Turkey therefore closely observed the policy of the new regime towards Kurdish disturbances in Iran following the revolution. Third, a weakened and isolated revolutionary Iran would be a good trading partner for Turkey├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs bankrupt economy. Last but not least, Turkey was pleased to see that Iran had lost its prestige, power and capacity in regional politics, as the pendulum swung once more in favor of Turkey. All these factors played a part to varying degrees in the development of relations between secular, Western-oriented Turkey and Islamic, anti-western Iran.
This article does not cover relations and Turkish policy after the Islamic revolution, a subject that merits a separate study.(67) However, in general, it may safely be asserted that existing patterns of conflict and collaboration in Turkish-Iranian relations continued in the years that followed. Relations revolved around the same topics, with ups and downs: border issues, minorities (Kurds, Azeris, and Armenians), trade and commerce, and ideological/cultural issues. In other words, geopolitical, geostrategic and geoeconomic factors once more determined the course and nature of relations between the two states despite strong negative factors deriving from the revolution.
One group followed the path of Ali Pasa and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, while another adopted the view of Fuad Pasa and Ismet Inonu. Turgut Ozal headed the ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żdoves,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż while Kenan Evren, leader of the September 1980 military takeover and later president of the republic, remained a hawk. A glance at Evren├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs comments on Ozal├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs first formal visit as prime minister to Iran in 1984 should make this point clearly:
Ozal returned today from Tehran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIran has never looked to Turkey as a friend├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻSince the day Yavuz Sultan Selim defeated Shah Ismail Safavi, Iran has watched for a chance to take revenge on us. Naturally, Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi-Sunni [antagonism] lies at the roots of this desire for revenge. I have told Ozal, from time to time, that he should never trust Iran, Libya and Syria, and that the administration of these three countries did not view Turkey in a friendly way. But I could not convince him. He always sees the matter from a point of view of trade, and tries to establish friendship with Iran and Libya to an unnecessary extent.(68)
A historical survey of Turkish-Iranian relations shows two main trends. One is the political, economic (and to some extent military) cooperation which may be traced from the Sadabad Pact, via the Baghdad Pact, CENTO, RCD and ECO. The other is a trend of disagreement and strife, which generally emanated from differences concerning minorities (Kurds, Azeris, and to some extent Armenians) and oppositionists (generally Iranians living in Turkey). While mutual economic interests have always constitued an important factor, and have always served as a factor militating toward compromise in relations, ideological/cultural matters in different forms (Westernized versus Oriental, different nationalisms, democracy versus dictatorship, secularism versus Islamism) have caused friction throughout the period under examination.
Turkish foreign policy toward Iran and the Turkish political and military elite├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs view of that country have deep roots, at least in modern history, regardless of the Islamic revolution in Iran. Looking back over the last 150 years of history, one can distinguish a number of recurrent themes: boundary problems, Armenian, Kurdish and Azeri nationalisms, Great Powers├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż (Britain, Russia/USSR and U.S.) relations with Iran and Turkey, Iranian oppositionists living in Turkey; Iranian covert operations in Turkey, Turkey├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs fear of dismemberment of Iran, the fear of Pan-Turkism on the part of Iran, and the role of trade, transport and natural resources. The future of Turkish-Iranian relations is likely to continue to be shaped by these same themes.
1. See R.K. Ramazani, The Foreign Policy of Iran, 1500-1941 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1966); Stanford J. Shaw, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIranian Relations with the Ottoman Empire in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Peter Avery, Gavin R. G. Hambly, and C. Melville (eds.), The Cambridge History of Iran, VII (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 297-313; Gokhan Cetinsaya, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻTanzimat├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żtan Birinci Dunya Savasi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żna Osmanli-Iran Iliskileri,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż KOK Arastirmalar, Osmanli Ozel Sayisi (2000), pp. 11-23.
2. Engin Deniz Akarli, Belgelerle Tanzimat: Osmanli Sadriazamlarindan Ali ve Fuad Pasalarin Siyasi Vasiyyetnameleri (Istanbul: Bogazici Universitesi Yayinlari, 1978), p. 5.
3. See David McDowall, A Modern History of the Kurds (London: I.B.Tauris, 1996).
4. See Richard Schofield, The Iran-Iraq Border, 1840-1958, III and IV (Archive Editions, 1989).
5. Ali Riza ve Mehmed Galib, Gecen Asrda Devlet Adamlarimiz: 13. Asr-i Hicride Osmanli Ricali, I (Istanbul: Tercuman 1001 Temel Eser, 1977), p. 115.
6. See Hafez Farman Farmayan, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻThe Forces of Modernization in 19th Century Iran: A Historical Survey├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in W.P. Polk and R.L. Chambers (eds.), Beginnings of Modernisation in the Middle East: The Nineteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968), pp. 119-51; Anja Pistor-Hatam, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIran and the Reform Movement in the Ottoman Empire: Persian Travellers, Exiles and Newsmen under the Impact of the Tanzimat├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in B.G. Fragner (ed.), Proceedings of the Second European Conference of Iranian Studies (Roma: ISMEO, 1995), pp. 561-78.
7. See Th. Zarcone and F. Zarinebaf-Shahr (eds.), Les Iraniens D├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIstanbul (Paris-Teheran-Istanbul: Institut Francais De Recherches En Iran-Institut Francais D├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻEtudes Anatoliennes, 1993).
8. See Hamid Algar, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻAtabat,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Encyclopedia Iranica, II, pp. 902-3.
9. See Hamid Algar, Religion and State in Iran (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969).
10. For details, see Roderic H. Davison, Reform in the Ottoman Empire, 1856-1876 (New York: Gordian Press, 1973), Ch. VIII.
11. Basiret, No. 2081, 3 Mayis 1877, transliterated in Gokhan Cetinsaya, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻII. Abdulhamid Doneminin Ilk Yillarinda Islam Birligi Hareketi, 1876-1878├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Ankara, 1988), p. 118.
12. Ali Riza ve Mehmed Galib, Gecen Asirda Devlet Adamlarimiz, p. 118.
13. Mehmet Saray, Turk-Afgan Munasebetleri (Istanbul: Veli Yayinlari, 1984), p. 21.
14. See Cezmi Eraslan, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIslam Birligi Siyaseti Cercevesinde II. Abdulhamid├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żin Ilk Yillarinda Osmanli-Iran Munasebetleri, 1878-1882├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Prof. Dr. Bekir Kutukoglu├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żna Armagan (Istanbul: IUEF, 1991), pp. 221-40.
15. See Salahi R. Sonyel, The Ottoman Armenians (London: K. Rustem & Brother, 1987).
16. The Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi ulama, through their financial resources, exercised considerable influence in Iraq, especially among the tribal population. It appears that through well-established madrasas in the cities, and through akhunds (Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi mollas who wandered among the tribal population), the Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żi sect expanded in the region. See Yitzhak Nakash, The Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żis of Iraq (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994).
17. For details, see Gokhan Cetinsaya, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻOttoman Administration of Iraq, 1890-1908├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż (Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Manchester, 1994), pp. 222-80. Cf. Selim Deringil, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻThe Struggle Against Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żism in Hamidian Iraq: A Study in Ottoman Counter-Propaganda,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Die Welt Des Islams, Vol. 30, (1990), pp. 45-62.
18. Sultan II. Abdulhamid Han, in A. Alaaddin Cetin and Ramazan Yildiz (eds.), Devlet ve Memleket Goruslerim, (Istanbul: Cigir, 1976), p. 310.
20. See Cetinsaya, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻOttoman Administration of Iraq├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż, pp. 222-80.
21. See Nejat Goyunc, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻMuzaffereddin Sah ve II. Abdulhamid Devrinde Turk-Iran Dostluk Tezahurleri├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Iran Sehinsahligi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żnin 2500. Kurulus Yildonumune Armagan (Istanbul: MEB Yayinlari, 1971), pp. 164-5.
22. PRO, FO 416/18, no.136, O├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻConnor to Lansdowne, no. 445 secret, Constantinople, 7 June 1904.
23. Semseddin Bey who served as Turkish ambassador to Tehran for quite a long time (1894-5, 1897-1908) created these contacts between the Iranian ulama and Istanbul. Semseddin Bey, who was a graduate of Mulkiye and had a profound knowledge of religious sciences, was known to have close relations with the mujtahids. See Ali Cankaya, Yeni Mulkiye Tarihi ve Mulkiyeliler, III (Ankara: Mars Matbaasi, 1969), pp. 83-5. Cf. Arthur H. Hardinge, A Diplomatist in the East (London: Jonathan Cape, 1928), pp. 272-3.
24. For details, see Sinan Kuneralp, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻThe Ottoman Drang Nach Osten: The Turco-Persian Border Problem in Azerbaican, 1905-1912├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Studies on Ottoman Diplomatic History IV (Istanbul: ISIS, 1990), pp. 71-6.
25. See, for example, Ahmet Bedevi Kuran, Inkilap Tarihimiz ve Ittihad ve Terakki (Istanbul: Tan Matbaasi, 1948), pp. 187-192.
26. See Halil Pasa [Kut], Bitmeyen Savas (Istanbul: Yaylacik Matbaasi, 1972), pp. 59-66. Cf. Fethi Tevetoglu, Omer Naci (Istanbul: MEB, 1992). This group had fought with the pro-Shah forces and only returned after the March 31 incident (April 1909).
27. See Nakash, The Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żis of Iraq; Abdul-Hadi Hairi, Shi├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żism and Constitutionalism in Iran (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1977).
28. See Schofield, The Iran-Iraq Border, IV and V.
30. See Sevket Sureyya Aydemir, Makedonya├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żdan Ortaasya├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żya Enver Pasa, III (Istanbul: Remzi Kitabevi, 1972).
31. For details, see Yusuf Hikmet Bayur, Turk Inkilap Tarihi, Cilt III, Kisim 3 (Ankara: TTK, 1983), pp. 123-76; Birinci Dunya Harbinde Turk Harbi, IIIncu Cilt: Irak-Iran Cephesi (Ankara: Genelkurmay Basimevi, 1979). Cf. Peter Hopkirk, On Secret Service East of Constantinople: The Plot to Bring Down the British Empire (London: John Murray, 1994), and W.J. Olson, Anglo-Iranian Relations During WW1 (London: Frank Cass, 1984).
32. Kazim Karabekir, Birinci Cihan Harbine Nasil Girdik (Istanbul: Emre, 1994), pp. 419-20.
34. See Halil Pasa, Bitmeyen Savas, pp. 194-6; Aydemir, Enver Pasa, pp. 208-9.
35. For details, see Ali Ihsan Sabis, Harp Hatiralarim: Birinci Dunya Harbi, III (Istanbul: Nehir, 1991), pp. 204-349.
36. Ibid., p. 333.
37. Bayur, Turk Inkilap Tarihi, p. 172, dated November 14, 1916.
38. See Kazim Karabekir, Birinci Cihan Harbini Nasil Idare Ettik: Sarikamis, Kars ve Otesi (Istanbul: Emre, 1994), pp. 328-9.
39. For Ottoman policy in Azerbaijan, see Tadeusz Swietochowski, Russia and Azerbaijan: A Borderland in Transition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995).
40. See Salahi R. Sonyel, Turkish Diplomacy, 1918-1923 (London: Sage, 1975), p. 8; Schofield, The Iran-Iraq Border, VI, pp. 381-91, 401, 409-15. For details, see Gokhan Cetinsaya, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻTurkiye-Iran Iliskileri, 1919-1925,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Ataturk Arastirma Merkezi Dergisi, Vol. 48 (Kasim 2000), pp. 769-796.
41. Zeki Sarihan, Kurtulus Savasi Gunlugu, I (Ankara: TTK, 1993), pp. 230-1.
42. Genelkurmay Belgelerinde Kurt Isyanlari 1 (Istanbul: Kaynak, 1992), pp. 25-7.
43. Ibid., p. 42.
44. Ibid., pp. 25-7.
45. For details, see Ramazani, The Foreign Policy of Iran, pp. 182ff; Cyrus Ghani, Iran and the Rise of Reza Shah: from Qajar Collapse to Pahlavi Rule (London: I.B. Tauris, 1998), pp. 307-319.
46. Hamdullah Suphi Tanriover, Dag Yolu, Birinci Kitap (Ankara: Kultur Bakanligi, 1987), p. 35.
47. Yann Richard, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻKemalizm ve Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in I. Gokalp ve F. Georgeon (eds), Kemalizm ve Islam Dunyasi (Istanbul: Arba, 1990), pp. 84-5.
48. See Lowell Bezanis, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻSoviet Muslim Emigres in the Republic of Turkey,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Central Asian Survey, Vol. 13, No. 1, (1994), pp. 117-41. Ziya Gokalp, one of the founding-fathers of Turkish nationalism, wrote the following remarks in his celebrated work, Turkculugun Esaslari:
Today, the Turks for whom cultural unification would be easy are the Oghuz Turks, that is, the Turkmens, for the Turkmens of Azerbaijan, Iran and Khwarizm, like the Turks of Turkey, belong to the Oghuz strain. Therefore, our immediate ideal for Turkism must be Oghuz, or Turkmen, unity. What would be the purpose of this unity? A political union? For the present, no! We cannot pass judgment today on what will happen in the future, but for the present our goal is only cultural unity of the Oghuz peoples.
Ziya Gokalp, The Principles of Turkism, R. Devereux (transl.) (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1968), p. 17. Also see Ismail Arar, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻAtaturk├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żun gunumuz olaylarina da isik tutan bazi konusmalari,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Belleten, Vol. 45, No. 177 (Ocak, 1981), p. 16; Touraj Atabaki, Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and Autonomy in Twentieth-century Iran (London: British Academic Press, 1993), p. 55. For details, see Gokhan Cetinsaya, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻAtaturk Donemi Turkiye-Iran Iliskileri, 1926-1938,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Avrasya Dosyasi, Vol. 5, No. 3, (Sonbahar 1999), pp. 148-75.
49. For details, see Bilal Simsir, Ingiliz Belgeleriyle Turkiye├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żde ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻKurt Sorunu├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż, 1924-1938 (Ankara: Disisleri Bakanligi Basimevi, 1975). Cf. McDowall, A Modern History of the Kurds.
50. For details, see Husrev Gerede, Siyasi Hatiratim I: Iran, 1930-1934 (Istanbul: Vakit Basimevi, 1952).
51. Ibid., p. 17.
52. Ibid., p. 20.
53. Hasan Arfa, Under Five Shahs (London: John Murray, 1964), pp. 230-1.
54. See Ismail Soysal, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż1937 Sadabad Pact,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Studies on Turkish-Arab Relations, Vol. 3, (1988), pp. 131-157; D.C. Watt, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻThe Sadabad Pact of 8 July 1937├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Uriel Dann (ed.), The Great Powers in the Middle East, 1919-1939 (New York: Holmes & Meir, 1988), pp. 333-52.
55. For details, see Gokhan Cetinsaya, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIkinci Dunya Savasi Yillarinda Turkiye-Iran Iliskileri, 1939-1945,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Strateji, Vol. 11 (1999), pp. 41-72. Cf. Selim Deringil, Turkish Foreign Policy During the Second World War, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 126-8.
56. Faik Ahmet Barutcu, Siyasal Anilar, 1939-1954 (Istanbul: Milliyet, 1977), pp. 234-9.
57. British Documents on Foreign Affairs: Reports and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Prints, Part II: Persia (University Publications of America, 1985-1997), Vol. VII, Doc.199, 22.11.1927.
58. This did not mean that the concern of the Turkish establishment over the fate of the ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻTurks in Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż also ceased to exist. For example, see Graham Fuller, The Center of the Universe: The Geopolitics of Iran (Boulder: Westview Press, 1991), p. 200. Cf. Ari Inan, Tarihe Taniklik Edenler, (Istanbul: Cagdas, 1997), pp. 394-5.
59. Soysal, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż1937 Sadabad Pact,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż p. 149. Cf. Feridun Cemal Erkin, Disislerinde 34 Yil: Washington Buyukelciligi, Vol. II, No. 1, (Ankara: TTK, 1986), pp. 122-3.
60. For details, see Gokhan Cetinsaya, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻTurk-Iran Iliskileri, 1945-1997├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Faruk Sonmezoglu (ed.), Turk Dis Politikasinin Analizi (Istanbul: Der, 1998), pp. 135-58.
61. See Behcet Kemal Yesilbursa, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻThe Baghdad Pact and Anglo-American Defence Policies in the Middle East, 1955-1959├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż (Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Manchester, 1996), pp. 227-46.
62. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Vol. XVII, p. 593.
63. See Mahmut Dikerdem, Ucuncu Dunya├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żdan (Istanbul: Cem, 1977), pp. 7-41; Feroz ve Bedia Turgay Ahmad, Turkiye├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żde Cok Partili Politikanin Aciklamali Kronolojisi, 1945-1971 (Ankara: Bilgi, 1976), p. 216; Arfa, Under Five Shahs, pp. 429-30.
64. See Ferenc A. Vali, Bridge Across the Bosphorus: The Foreign Policy of Turkey (Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1971), pp. 339-43.
65. See Cetinsaya, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻTurk-Iran Iliskileri, 1945-1997.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż
66. See Feroz Ahmad, Demokrasi Surecinde Turkiye, 1945-1980 (Istanbul: Hil, 1994), p. 515. Cf. Asadollah Alam, The Shah and I: The Confidential Diary of Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs Royal Court, 1969-1977 (London: I.B. Tauris, 1991), pp. 448, 552.
67. For relations since 1979, see Suha Bolukbasi, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻTurkey Copes With Revolutionary Iran,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1-2 (1989), pp. 94-109; Fuat Borovali, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIran and Turkey: Permanent Revolution or Islamism in One Country?├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Miron Rezun (ed.), Iran at the Crossroads: Global Relations in a Turbulent Decade (Boulder: Westview Press, 1990), pp. 81-93; Henri J. Barkey, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻIran and Turkey: Confrontation across an Ideological Divide├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Alvin Z. Rubinstein and Oles M. Smolansky (eds.), Regional Power Rivalries in the New Eurasia: Russia, Turkey and Iran (New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1995), pp. 147-67; Tschangiz H. Pahlavan, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻTurkish-Iranian Relations: An Iranian View├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Henri J. Barkey (ed.), Reluctant Neighbor: Turkey├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs Role in the Middle East (Washington D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1996), pp. 71-91; Atilla Eralp, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻFacing the Challenge: Post-Revolutionary Relations with Iran├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Ibid., pp. 93-112; John Calabrese, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻTurkey and Iran: Limits of a Stable Relationship,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 25, No. 1 (1998), pp. 75-94.
68. Kenan Evren├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żin Hatiralari, Vol. 5, (Istanbul: Milliyet, 1991), pp. 83-4. See also pp. 32 and 469. Cf. Kamuran Gurun, Firtinali Yillar: Disisleri Mustesarligi Anilari (Istanbul: Milliyet, 1995), p. 378.
Gokhan Cetinsaya is an Associate Professor at Istanbul Technical University in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.