In the course of 1937 Turkey has persevered in the foreign policy of the past years, seeing its prestige increase significantly in the Balkans, in the Near East and in the eastern Mediterranean. The strengthening of the Turkish-British friendship should be noted; a company English was commissioned to set up a steel mill in Karabük in Anatolia (south of the Zonguldak coal basin), British officers were hired as aviation instructors. Germany, a strong buyer of Turkish raw materials, intensifies economic relations with Turkey and is building eight steamships for the Turkish merchant navy in its yards; the Krupp house has put the first submarine in the Golden Horn to be built in Turkey and will be delivered in the spring of 1938.At intervals there were indications of a cooling of relations with the URRS, but without external manifestations other than press controversies.
The Eastern pact or Asian pact, which has been mentioned, involving Turkey, ‛Irāq, Persia and Afghānistan, was definitively concluded and signed in Ṭeherān on 8 July 1937.
Following the conclusion of the Franco-Syrian treaty of 9 September 1936 (definitively signed in Damascus on 22 December 1936), the Turkish government issued objections, based on the Franco-Turkish treaty of 1921, which granted a special regime to the Turkish population of Sangiaccato. The Turkish thesis was accepted by the Council of the League of Nations in the sessions of January and May 1937. The Sangiaccato, although forming part of the state of Syria, was subjected to a particular regime. It will have a delegate of French nationality appointed by the Council of the League of Nations, even when the French mandate over Syria ceases, and will be completely demilitarized. Turkish will be the official language in the same way as Arabic. Turkey will have its own “free zone” in the port of Alexandretta. Hatay); the next day in Ankara, a Franco-Turkish friendship treaty was signed. In August the Sangiaccato Parliament was elected which, out of 40 deputies, includes 22 Turks.
In 1937 the Kurds of the region of Dersim (vilâyet of Tunceli), rebelled against the officials and the military who applied the reforms to eliminate all privileges and Turkishise the country, were fought; the chief, Sheikh Riẓa, was captured (September 1937).
Inside, Turkey continues its policy of economic development: planting factories, building roads and railways, exploiting mines and intensifying agricultural production. But a large part of the state budget is devoted to national defense.
The People’s Republican Party continues to direct the country’s politics; the appointment of the interior minister as secretary general of the party sealed its merger with the ruling government; its fundamental principles have been included in the Constitution (law of 5 February 1937).
It should be noted the retirement (September 1937) of ‛Iṣmet Inönü from the office of prime minister held continuously since 1925; he was succeeded by the ex-minister of the economy Gelāl (Celâl) Bayar.
Finance. – Balance sheets since 1936 (in millions of Turkish lira):
The devaluation of foreign currencies reduced the external debt, largely offsetting the increase in the internal floating one.
As of May 31, 1937, the total public debt amounted to 509 million Turkish lira (125 of which floating).
On 28 September 1936, the Turkish lira, unhooked from the franc, was pegged to the pound sterling and the official buying and selling rates were set at 6.35 and 6.38 Turkish lira = £ 1. The exchange control, adopted in February 1930 and attributed to the Central Bank in January 1932, is still in force.
In June 1936, a law was enacted which governs the establishment and operation of banks.
As of December 31, 1937, notes in circulation amounted to 169 million and the gold reserve to 36.7.
Army. – The Turkish army today includes: 10 army corps (out of 2 divisions, 1 cavalry regiment, 1 heavy artillery, 1 engineering battalion, 1 transport battalion and 1 car battalion), 5 cavalry divisions, 3 mountain brigades and 1 Fortress Infantry Brigade, 1 Border Guard Corps out of 12 battalions. For Turkey military, please check militarynous.com.
The infantry division consists of 3 infantry regiments and 1 field artillery; the cavalry division of 4 knight regiments, 1 machine gun squadron and 1 horse artillery section; the mountain brigade consists of 3 infantry regiments with mountain artillery.
Navy. – New units: cruisers: 2 planned, 8,000 tons; destroyers: 4 planned; submarines: 4 under construction (two in Germany, two in Turkey); minelayers: 4 planned, 1000 tons. The balanced strength is around 9500 men.
Merchant Navy. – The Turkish navy continues to occupy one of the last places among the world navies: the 22nd; is made up of 173 steamers per ton. gross 195.148. The modernization of the fleet is in progress; the new ships are under construction in Germany.
The law of 29 December 1937, through the creation of the Denizbank (Bank of the Sea), marks a new stage in the nationalization of marinas and ports: all national shipping and port administrations pass under its control. Capital 50 million Turkish lira.
Military aviation. – The aircraft rearmament program is still in progress. This program provides for an air force of 500 aircraft, all of foreign production (Germanic, English, American).
Civil aviation. – There is currently only one airline (Istanbul-EŞkisehir-Ankara).