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The Soviet military-diplomatic gambit during the reign of Kemal Ataturk
Material posted: Publication date: 08-08-2013

In the city of Istanbul, in Taksim square, where there is now rebelling Turkish revolutionaries, there is a monument dedicated to the founding of the Turkish Republic. It is known that this monument was installed in August, 1928, by the sculptor Pietro Canonica.

This group of sculptures includes figures of modern Turkey's founder, Kemal Ataturk, and other individuals that contributed to the establishment of the Republican system and the revival of Turkey after the First World War. Among other individuals dangle and shapes of our compatriots, this is the first red officer, Marshal Kliment Voroshilov, and the second Soviet people's Commissar of defense, chief military reformer Mikhail Frunze.

Standing on the monument on the left hand of the Father of the Turks, supposedly carved, almost at the personal order of Ataturk as a sign of respect for the country, the helping hand of Turkey in the years of the liberation war.

I wonder how and why on the pedestal of the main monument of Turkey was the Soviet military leaders?

One of the versions of the appearance of the Soviet Krastanov on the Turkish coast States that in 1921 Frunze visited Ankara as Ambassador of the Soviet Ukraine to establish diplomatic relations, and Voroshilov for some time he performed in Turkey, the duties of the military adviser. However, the reason for such an honor, to be forever sealed in granite on the monument nearby, and quite another for Soviet Russian state was much more difficult.

We know from history that before the war of 1914-1918 Turkey possessed in Asia and in Europe with a total area of 1 786716 sq. km with a population of 21 million people. After the end of PM war the area of Turkey has shrunk to 732000 square kilometres, and its population decreased to 13 million people.

Thus, at the end of the First World war, 1914-1918 Turkey lost to 66% of its total area and 33% of the population. After the war most of the territory of Turkey was actually divided between the victorious powers — Britain, France, Italy and Greece, the very independent existence of Turkey was abolished. The Entente troops have occupied the first place in the entire area of the Straits of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, and the leading role in this operation belonged to England.

Unlike also defeated in WWI Germany and Russia, Turkey was expecting an even more unenviable fate, its territory, the European allies were going to divide part between adjacent States, as part to incorporate in their colonial possessions, the Turks could even completely lose its statehood, and only the emergence of Kemal Ataturk prevented the execution of all these plans, this is the rare case in world history where one person was able to deploy and to decide the fate of an entire people and in the end to defend and create a new type of state.

Overall, the Bolsheviks sought to spread in the East the Communist ideology. Without Turkey, which enjoyed great authority among Muslims, they couldn't count on the spread of its political influence in the Islamic world. And orientation of the Kemalists on Soviet Russia was supported by the provision of military and financial assistance.

Thus, in the early 20-ies in the relations between Soviet Russia and Turkey were interwoven political, military, ideological and economic interests.

It was at this time the national interests of the Soviet Russia and Turkey for the second time in their history coincided, five centuries Russia and Turkey were bitter rivals.

Any country in the world Russia has not waged so many wars as with Turkey. The Russo-Turkish wars were 240 years in a row: 1676-1681, 1695-1700, 1710-1713, 1735-1739, 1768-1774, 1787-1791, 1806-1812, 1828-1829, 1853-1856, 1877-1878, 1914-1918.

The peaceful years were actually years are not full of peace, only a truce, a cold war and preparation for a new war. The fact that the interests of the two eternal enemies coincided, that in addition to Soviet Russia to help Turkey no one else will pass away, first realized by Ataturk, so that three days later (26 April 1920) after the opening of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkish), Mustafa Kemal, on behalf of the government sent an official letter to the government of Soviet Russia, requesting the establishment of diplomatic relations and on the provision of assistance to Turkey. And went through this thread.

January 5, 1922, by the Plenipotentiary of the RSFSR in Turkey was assigned to S. I. Aralov. Before departing to Ankara, wrote in his memoirs Aralov, in his farewell speech, Lenin said: "the Turks are fighting for their national liberation. Therefore, the Central Committee is sending you there as a knowledgeable military Affairs".

Apparently relations between the Soviets and Kemalists were friendly and trusting, and this is confirmed by some quite interesting details, so in March-April of 1922 at the invitation of Mustafa Kemal, S. I. Aralov, a military attaché of K. K. Zvonarev and the first Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Turkey Ibrahim Abilov visited part of the current national liberation army, where they've been in the infantry, cavalry division, visited the headquarters of the two armies, two corps, visited in the city of Konya rear of the army establishment and was present at the celebration of the anniversary of the national army. Representatives of the Russian Embassy while handing out after the meetings to the soldiers small gifts with an inscription in Turkish: "the Turkish soldier from the red Army of Soviet Russia".

According to Soviet official data, pursuant to the agreement of 1920, and in accordance with the Treaty of 16 March 1921 via Novorossiysk, Tuapse and Batumi to Turkey during 1920-22, he was put 39 thousand rifles, 327 machine guns, 54 cannons, 63 mln bullets, 147 thousand shells, etc., From the Eastern borders were transferred military equipment left behind by the Russian army in 1918, In 1921, transferred two marine fighter "Live" and "Creepy".

In Ankara the Soviet government helped with the building of two gunpowder factories, at the same time putting in Turkey equipment for the ammunition factory and the raw material for the production of ammunition. In addition, the Soviet diplomatic mission headed by adviser J. J. Uppal-Angarsk in 1920 handed over to the representatives of the TGNA 200,6 kg of gold bullion, promised by the Soviet government in the negotiations in Moscow. M. V. Frunze in Trabzon provided the Turkish authorities 100 thousand rubles in gold for the organization of a shelter for children who have lost parents at the front.3 S. I. Aralov in April 1922, donated to the Turkish army of 20 thousand liras for the purchase of marching printers and cinemas.

In addition, at the beginning of 1922, Turkey was given multiple shipments of weapons. On may 3, 1922 the Plenipotentiary of the RSFSR in Ankara S. I. Aralov was transferred to the Turkish government 3.5 million angry. rubles – the latest installment of 10 million rubles., promised at the signing of the Treaty of 1921 Rapprochement between the two countries further contributed to the diplomatic efforts of the delegations of the two countries during the Lausanne conference of 1922-23, the Soviet Union supported Turkey and defended the thesis on mandatory Turkish sovereignty over the Straits.

Moreover, earlier on March 16, 1921 in solemn ceremony in Moscow was signed a Treaty of friendship and brotherhood between the RSFSR and Turkey. According to this document, the Soviet government conceded to Turkey the districts of Kars, Ardahan and Artvin, Turkey was abandoned in favor of Georgian sovereignty over Batumi. At the same time, agreement was reached on the provision by the Soviet Russia of using Turkish money ( in the amount of 10 million angry. rubles) and military materials.

On 13 October 1921 with the participation of the RSFSR in Kars was signed the Treaty of friendship between Turkey, on the one hand, and Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia on the other.

In preparing and signing an important document, which established the inviolability of the North-Eastern borders of Turkey, played an important role Russian envoy S. P. Nazarenus (may 1921 - January 1922), a former military Commissioner of the Northern fleet.

According to many researchers, Soviet-Turkish Treaty of 1921 is reminiscent of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, when also made significant territorial concessions. Then and now apparently the role played by the faith of the Bolsheviks in "world revolution", as a result of accomplishments which they had intended to recover all the lost land back.

Analysis of the articles of the Treaty shows that the Treaty of 16 March 1921 was objectively more favorable to the Turkish side, so as fully meet the national interests of Turkey. She has not suffered no physical or territorial losses, has received large monetary support. However, from the point of view of those nearby tasks which the Bolsheviks sought to solve, it was their achievement. They established their control over the Caucasus, Batum kept in the hands of Georgia, saved Armenia from annihilation, has secured the position of Russia in the Islamic world, because without the establishment of political relations with Turkey, which enjoys enormous prestige among the Muslims, it could not count on their recognition.

Thus, Kemalist Turkey, under this Agreement, received as a gift from Bolshevist Russia the right Bank of the Akhuryan and Araks together with mount Ararat. The fact of the donation even if the Union ("brotherly and friendly", as noted in document) the state ruling over the critical area of the array is without precedent in world chronicle.

In August 1921 the government of the USSR by agreement with the government of the RSFSR was appointed Ambassador extraordinary in Turkey M. F. Frunze, who was in Turkey from December 1921 to January 1922, In the period of stay Frunze in Ankara, Turkey, in connection with the tense situation at the front, and the financial crisis in the country through the difficult days. Frunze urged that the Soviet government has sought additional funds to assist Turkey.

Frunze after a trip to Turkey, Moscow has strengthened diplomatic, military and monetary aid to the Turkish government, now I understand why Mikhail Frunze had been found in the granite near the Father of the Turks in the main square of Istanbul.

After the conclusion of the Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey gained independence, foreign troops were withdrawn from Turkish territory, and on 29 October 1923 the Grand National Assembly declared Turkey a Republic.

In a telegram to the Chairman of the CEC of the USSR M. I. Kalinin on October 31, 1923, said:

"I warmly welcome on behalf of the peoples of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic of the Union government and the brotherly Turkish people and the friendly government of Turkey on the occasion of the final proclamation of the Turkish Republic, forever put an end to the despotic monarchical regime.

Congratulations, Marshal Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha, on the occasion of your election as President of the Turkish Republic, welcoming the in-Your-face outstanding leader of the heroic struggle of the Turkish people against the invasion of foreign oppressors and of his chosen Chapter of the friendly Turkish government. I am convinced that the strong bonds of friendship between the peoples and governments of Turkey and the Soviet Union will become closer and to contribute to the prosperity of both States".


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