The forfeiture of Cyprus was in keeping with Ataturk's outlook. In the years following the creation of the Republic of Turkey, Ataturk did not venture beyond Turkey's borders. In fact, he gave up some lands in what is now Iraq---oil-rich Mosul---in order to reach a final, postwar settlement with Britain. This absence of imperialism differentiated Ataturk from other nationalist authoritarians of the time, such as Mussolini. There was, however, the seizure of the Hatay--a wisp of land in the corner of the Mediterranean where Syria meets Turkey--in the late 1930s, an issue which remains contentious, although Ataturk always believed that this disputed terrain belonged to Anatolia. Gradually, Turkish military leaders have become increasingly aggressive toward their neighbors. The military's intervention in Cyprus in 1974 and its subsequent stationing of 35,000 troops in the Turkish sector is perhaps the most obvious example of that post-Ataturk policy. It is an interesting, if unanswerable, question whether Ataturk himself would have approved the military actions in Cyprus.
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For a brief biography of Ataturk, click here.