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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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(p.143) 5 Independence
Fezzes in the River

Sarah D. Shields (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The Sanjak became independent on November 29, 1937, amid celebrations by local Turks. France and Turkey became embroiled in renewed controversy as Ankara claimed that mandatory officials were trying to thwart the Sanjak’s independence. Paris rushed to comply with Turkey’s demands, arresting Arab activists and sending high-ranking French officers to Ankara to discuss joint military actions. Turkish diplomats in Ankara objected to the new electoral regulations for the Sanjak, insisting that each voter had the right to declare his affiliation to any of the specified groups he chose; registration by community had not been intended to serve as a census of the relative population sizes, the Turks insisted. France agreed with Turkey’s demands, increasingly certain that Turkish neutrality would be essential if the growing tension in Europe spilled into war. Allowing anyone to register in any community encouraged both Turkish and Arab activists to recruit every potential voter.

Keywords:   military, affiliation, French-Turkish Relations, independence, European tension, appeasement, voter registration

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