The Turkish Republic, Foreign Affairs
Communist propaganda, Turkish troops, Islamic groups, economic aid, northern Cyprus
Through all the governmental chaos of this era, Turkey remained faithful to its alliance with the West, providing military bases for NATO and U.S. forces facing the USSR. This alliance was subjected to considerable strain in 1974, when Turkey occupied the northern part of Cyprus in response to a Greek-engineered coup on the island. The United States subsequently suspended military and economic aid, and Turkey responded by temporarily closing all U.S. bases in the country. Turkish troops remained in northern Cyprus, and Turkey continued to support a separate Turkish Cypriot government, defying the United States and the United Nations (UN).
The Congress of the United States ultimately resumed its assistance, leading the Turks to reopen the bases, but the incident left them suspicious of the U.S. presence, a situation encouraged and amplified by the vocal leftist groups and abetted by Communist propaganda. Islamic groups also began to oppose the U.S. presence, preferring that Turkey abandon its secularist traditions in foreign affairs and draw closer to the Muslim Arab countries that were benefiting from their newfound oil wealth and the resulting political power.
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