At the end of World War II, the Turkish government gave signals for transition to the democratic system after 22 years of single-party rule by establishing the opposition party and recognizing the freedom of the press. The new party founders collaborated with an outspoken journalist Sabiha Sertel, known for her opposition to the single party, speaker of democratic rights and freedom, and her pro-Moscow stance.
While Turkey was taking steps on the democratic path, it repositioned alongside the victors of the war, the liberal-democratic states, to not be alone in the face of the Soviet Union, which emerged as a great power. Turkey seized ultra-nationalist magazines and arrested its leading figures to ease the tension with the Soviet Union during World War II. Tension escalated again in 1945 when the Soviet Union demanded that the Montreux Convention be revised.
The new opposition party’s collaboration with leftists triggered a demonstration by Istanbul University students who raided Tan printing house on the 4th of December 1945. After destroying the newspaper and printing house, the demonstrators continued to destroy leftist bookstores on the same street as the Soviet Embassy and chanted against the Soviet Union. After this incident, new opposition party leaders immediately denied their relations with the leftist magazine.
This presentation aspires to analyze whether the government instigated the Tan Raid to realign the newly emerged opposition party to the right center rather than the left, is used to give the message to Soviet Union’s post-World War II policies and find a place between democratic powers.
This study involves a literature review as well as archival resources. Besides primary sources, secondary resources are benefitted.