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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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Registrations Begin

Registrations Begin

(p.176) 6 Registrations Begin
Fezzes in the River

Sarah D. Shields (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The Turkish government remained furious at French actions in the Sanjak. As voter registration began, violence and intimidation grew dramatically. The League of Nations electoral commission staffing the registration bureaus remonstrated repeatedly with French officials about stopping the coercion, and created a special tribunal to hear cases arising from infractions of the electoral regulations. As violence increased, and as registrations of “Turks” remained below 50%, the Turkish government held France responsible. French mandatory officials sought ways to increase Turkish registrations, while the League electoral commission insisted on equal access for all voters. Rumors surfaced of a secret agreement that guaranteed the Turks a majority in the new Assembly. By May 31, 1938, as it became clear that enforcing free choice for all voters would not produce that Turkish majority, the French High Commissioner appointed a new Delegate to declare martial law and implement the secret agreement.

Keywords:   martial law, secret agreement, voter registration, violence, Electoral Commission

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