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Fezzes in the RiverIdentity Politics and European Diplomacy in the Middle East on the Eve of World War II$
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Sarah D. Shields

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195393316

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393316.001.0001

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The League Takes the Case

The League Takes the Case

(p.48) 2 The League Takes the Case
Fezzes in the River

Sarah D. Shields (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The November 1936 elections were followed by deadly clashes in the Sanjak. Turkey was outraged at the loss of life, demanded that the League of Nations protect the Turkish population, and claimed that the French mandatory administration had shown itself incapable of stemming the violence. The League of Nations Council sent a group of European diplomats to observe conditions in the Sanjak. In the context of the League‘s emphasis on self-determination of peoples, Turkish and Arab activists organized competing demonstrations to showcase the collective identities of local residents. Internationally, Turkey’s irredentist demand that the Sanjak be divorced from Syria implied the revision of the boundaries established after World War I, further destabilizing an international consensus already seriously compromised by the demands of Germany and Italy. To avoid alienating Turkey, France agreed to make the Sanjak a distinct entity, an agreement ratified by the League of Nations Council on January 27, 1937.

Keywords:   German revisionism, Iinternational observers, self-determination, Arab nationalism, League of Nations, French mandate

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