A quest for security or identity? Turkey towards NATO membership: The construction of the Turkish-American alliance in a Cold War perspective (1945-1952)
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Turkey, after a long period of neutrality, became integrated into the Western hemisphere between 1945 and 1952, which made it one of the most significant periods in recent Turkish history. After threats of the Soviet Union in the Turkish Straits, Turkey received American aid via the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan. In 1952, after an intensive lobby and joining the Korean War, Turkey became a NATO member. It is widely debated whether this shift was based on realist motives, enhancing its security in the early Cold War, or on ideological motives, based on its desire to obtain the Western identity. In this research, the Turkish foreign policy perspective is supported by the American foreign policy perspective and developments in Turkish national politics, which gives new insights into Turkey’s motives. By examining primary sources from the United States Department of State, supplemented with articles from the Turkish journal Foreign Policy/Dış Politika and secondary literature, this study answers the question which strategies Turkey employed to become a NATO member and whether the Turkish strategies and arguments were based upon realist or ideological motives.