Adana Conference

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Meeting of Turkish president and British prime minister, 1943.

During World War II, Turkey was faced with a dilemma; for reasons of security, it remained officially neutral for much of the war, but its sympathies lay with the Allies. In the early stages of the war, Turkey stayed out of the conflict and even signed a nonaggression pact with Germany (1941), to forestall a German attack. Turkish neutrality, however, was assailed by the USSR as opportunistic and hypocritical.

On 30 and 31 January 1943, Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill met with Turkey's President Ismet İnönü in Adana, Turkey. Churchill assured İnönü that the Allies, under the Anglo-Turkish agreement of 1939, would continue to guarantee Turkish security. In addition, Churchill agreed to supply Turkey with supplies necessary for self-defense; henceforth, Turkey was eligible for the U.S. Lend-Lease Program and received significant amounts of such aid until 1945. Although Churchill did not extract any binding commitment from İnönü, he was assured that Turkey would do all it could to aid the Allies without violating its neutrality.

see also İnÖnÜ, İsmet; lend-lease program.


Shaw, Stanford, and Shaw, Ezel Kural. History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press, 19761977.

Zachary Karabell