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From the Ottoman- Russian War in 1877-1878 to the NATO Membership: The Straits Question and Turkey’s “Alliance” with the West
From the middle of the 19th century onwards, whose territorial integrity left to the Great Powers assurance, the Ottoman Empire remained in between the Russo-British struggle in the Near East. Britain tried to resist the Russian march towards the south by keeping the Ottoman territorial unity. After the Russo-Ottoman War of 1877-78, when the Ottomans were defeated and forced to sign the Treaty of St. Stefano, the British being disturbed by the new situation in the Balkans, initiated a congress in Berlin and modified it by the Berlin Treaty. Britain in doing this, did not consider the interests of the Ottoman Empire, but her own. In a similar condition, in 1945 when the USSR demanded a base in the Straits and revision of the Turkish northeastern borders, since it arouse old “Russian fear” in Turkey, they resorted to the US. In this period, having inherited the British Empire’s imperial mission, the Straits were also important for the US. Same as the British, the American would also not allow the Soviet Union crossing the Straits and penetrating to the Mediterranean. But Turkey did not recognize the US strategic vulnerability and by paying unnecessary prices, she got both economic and military aids from the US and bounded her to it. The prices paid for the security against the USSR to US are non-equivalent what Turkey gained from the US both military assistance and economic aid. However, how Britain did not allow the Russians to threaten the Straits in 1878 by herself, so would the US and her allies stop the USSR in the Straits in 1945 by themselves. Because, although the political conditions and states alters, geostrategic position does not change.<

The Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Russia, USSR, The Straits.

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