The Viewpoint of the Political Elite towards Syria from the Late Ottoman to the Early Republic: The Cases of Hüseyin Cahit Yalçın and Falih Rıfkı Atay

03/12/2019

ULUSLARARASI ILISKILER, VOLUME 16, NUMBER 64, 2019

Ozan KUYUMCUOĞLU*

ABSTRACT

Developments in Syria over the past eight years prompted the arguments claiming that Early Republican Turkey had turned her back to the Middle East. However, after a close consideration regarding the discourses of the political elite in Turkey, it becomes evident that Early Republican Turkey’s Middle East policy had been tending to rapprochement with Arab countries rather than avoidance of getting involved in regional issues. This article aims to scrutinize the viewpoints of the outstanding political elite of the Late Ottoman and Early Republican periods like Hüseyin Cahit Yalçın and Falih Rıfkı Atay toward Greater Syria (Bilad-al-Sham) in order to understand the historical and intellectual backgrounds of Early Republican Turkey’s Middle East policy.

Keywords: Falih Rıfkı Atay, Hüseyin Cahit Yalçın, Syria, Ottoman Empire, Republic of Turkey

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* Dr., Department of International Relations, İstanbul Bilgi University