Studies on Republican Turkish Foreign Policy (1923- 1945)

This article aims firstly to evaluate primary and secondary sources, published materials, and some official periodicals on Turkish foreign policy between 1923 and 1945. Secondly, it intends to introduce the Turkish archives, namely the Turkish Military Archive, Republican Archive of the General Directorate of the State Archives, and the Archives of Turkish Foreign Ministry for researchers who want to study on the Turkish Foreign Policy for the same period. Then the problems of periodization and archive in studying the history of the Turkish Republic are examined. Most scholars usually prefer to use the names of Atatürk and İnönü in periodization until 1945. Some other scholars prefer to describe in terms of historical events. Finally, the article discusses some problems of studies on Turkish Foreign Policy and proposes some suggestions. Firstly, one of the most important problems is insufficient use of the primary sources, because most of the official archives are closed. These archives should be opened to researchers. The second problem is the ignorance of the researchers for the Ottoman Turkish. Most researchers, who have academic formation in international relations in particular, have ignored Ottoman Turkish. If they want to produce original academic studies, they should learn the necessary tools, namely Ottoman Turkish. The final problem is methodological. Hitherto, foreign policy researchers, both from the disciplines of history and international relations, had only produced works with perspectives from their own disciplines. Instead a multidisciplinary study is offered in this article.


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