Anadolu Turk Cumhuriyeti/Turkish Republic of Anatolia




Istanbul (formerly known as Constantinople and Byzantium), formerly Ankara

Head of State

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1923-1938), Ismet Inonu (1938-1942), Semsettin Gunalty (1942-1944), Nuri Killigil (1944-1960), Cemal Gursel (1960-1966), Alparslan Turkes (from 1966)

Ruling Party

Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi/Republican Popular Party (1923-1944), Cumhuriyetci Koylu Millet Partisi/Republican Peasants' National Party (1944-1965), Milliyetci Hareket Partisi/Party of the Nationalist Movement (from 1965)

Head of Government

Celal Bayar (1937-1939), Refik Saydam (1939-1941), Semsettin Gunalty (1941-1942), Huseyin Husnu Emir Erkilet (1942-1958), Asim Gunduz (1958-1965), Nihal Atsiz (1965-1974), Gun Sazak (1974-1980), Kenan Evren (from 1980)


Turkey enters the war on the side of the Axis in June 1941, pre-empting an invasion by Axis forces from Greece, and facilitating the Axis occupation of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran. Turkey was also used as a springboard for the invasion of the Caucasus in the same year.

Presidetn Ismet Inonu was assassinated by Soviet agents in February 1942, in an attack which also targeted the German ambassador Franz von Papen, and was replaced by his Prime Minister Semsettin Gunalty. Gunalty had been appointed to this role the previous year, due to his perceived influence over the growing pro-Nazi Turkish-Turanist movement, due to his friendship with the Turanist academic Ziya Gokalp.

He appointed to the Premiership General Huseyin Husnu Emir Erkilet, the architect, along with Nuri Killigil, of the alliance with the Axis. By 1944, real power lay with Erkilet and Killigil. Gunalty stood down and Killigil assumed the Presidency in the so-called 'Turanian Revolution' ('Turancilik Devrimi').

It was during the 'Turanian Revolution' that Turkey most forcefully staked its claims over Turkic lands in the former Soviet Russia. This was in response to a softening of German attitudes towards the claims of other powers to territory in the East, in particular Germany's recognition of anti-Bolshevik nationalist forces within the Soviet Union. After 1944 the Republic of Turkey became known as the Turkish Republic of Anatolia, suggesting its irredentist claims on other Turkish lands, especially Crimea, Azerbaijan and Turkistan. Turkey also deepened ties with Hungary and Finland, the other Turanic States of Europe.

The region of Georgia inhabited by the Meskhetian Turks was annexed by Turkey at the end of the war. Crimea, under German occupation with a puppet government led by the Nationale Kampfbund der Krim-Turken of Mustafa Edige Kirimal, was handed to Turkey in 1962 as compensation for the Greek annexation of Cyprus and the expulsion of the Turkish population there, and the loss of Hatay Province to Syria.

After Killigil, the Presidency passed to another military man, Cemal Gursel and then to Alparslan Turkes. After the death of Erkilet, the Premiership passed to Asim Gunduz (an ally of Erkilet and Killigil), Nihal Atsiz (the father-figure of Turanism), Gun Sazak (a Turkes ally) and Kenan Evren (also a military man).