Dean Acheson and the Turkish-American alliance, 1945-1953
Mc Connel, Adam Bennett (2014) Dean Acheson and the Turkish-American alliance, 1945-1953. [Thesis]
The early Cold War historiography on Turkish-American relations has long been dominated by chronological narratives that explained post-WWII developments in relations between the two countries either through an ideological account, or through an attempt to identify which officials, usually on the U.S. side, pushed for and promoted closer ties between the two states. This dissertation, based on research performed in the U.S. National Archives in College Park, Maryland and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri, breaks with the traditional post-WWII historiography on Turkish-American relations by focusing on one official, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, in order to provide a more comprehensive account of how Turkish-U.S. relations developed between 1945 and 1953. Through concentration on Acheson’s life, character, career, and approach to diplomacy, this dissertation explores the decisions that Acheson took concerning U.S. relations with Turkey, and his interactions with Turkish officials, especially Turkish Ambassador to the U.S. Feridun Cemal Erkin. Additionally, the text focuses on the postwar U.S. political and social context in order to provide a more complete examination of the factors which Secretary Acheson considered while formulating policies towards Turkey that eventually resulted in Turkish accession to NATO. Ultimately, this thesis provides a new conceptual framework for post-WWII Turkish-U.S. events, and concludes that Acheson was the single most important U.S. official responsible for developments in post-WWII Turkish-American affairs. Furthermore, the U.S. Congress is identified as the single greatest impediment, on the U.S. side, to faster development in Turkish-U.S. relations after WWII.
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