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Soviet territorial claims against Turkey

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Title: Soviet territorial claims against Turkey  
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Soviet territorial claims against Turkey

Map showing the territorial claims of the Soviet Union towards Turkey in 1945–1953.[1]

Soviet territorial claims to Turkey from 1945 to 1953 consisted of several different proposals for normalizing the Soviet-[2] For practical reasons, the Soviet claims, if successful, would have strengthened the state's position around the Black Sea and would weaken British imperial influence in the Middle East.[2]

The Soviet Union had long objected to the [3] The disputed territory around Kars and Ardahan was governed by the Russian Empire from 1878 to 1921, when it was ceded to Turkey by Russia but continued to be inhabited by members of the respective ethnies who now had titular Soviet Socialist Republics. Molotov argued that while the Soviets normalized their border with Poland since territorial cessions to the country during Soviet weakness in 1921, similar cessions to Turkey were never legitimized by renegotiation since that time.[3]

There were three Soviet plans concerning the amount of territory that Turkey should cede:

The Soviet government wanted to repatriate those from the Armenian diaspora in the acquired territories, since in three years (1946–1948) after the World War II about 150,000 ethnic Armenians (Western Armenians and their descendants) from Syria, Lebanon, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, and France had migrated to Soviet Armenia.

Strategically, the United States opposed Soviet annexation of the Kars Plateau for its necessity to defend Turkey. Ideologically, certain elements in the American government saw the Soviet territorial claims as expansionist and reminiscent of Nazi irredentism over the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia. Since 1934, the State Department had concluded that its earlier support for Armenia since President Wilson (1913-1921) had expired since the loss of Armenian independence.[2] The United States' firm opposition to Soviet-backed self-determination movements in Turkey and Persia led to the crushing and re-annexation of the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad (1946–1947) and Azeri Azerbaijan People's Government (1945–1946) by Persia.[2] Turkey joined the anti-Soviet military alliance NATO in 1952. Following the death of Stalin in 1953, the Soviet government renounced its territorial claims on Turkey, as part of an effort to promote friendly relations with the Middle Eastern country and its alliance partner, the United States.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b c (Russian) Рецензия на сборник «Армения и советско-турецкие отношения»
  2. ^ a b c d  
  3. ^ a b Roberts, Geoffrey (2011). Molotov: Stalin's Cold Warrior. Potomac Books. pp. 107–108. 
  4. ^ Ro'i, Yaacov (1974). From Encroachment to Involvement: A Documentary Study of Soviet Policy in the Middle East, 1945-1973. Transaction Publisher. pp. 106–107. 
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