Conclusion: Making a Bridge Functional
The odyssey of the Turkish Republic started under extremely hard conditions of the 1920s. The Turkish state was built through a war of liberation, fought on the remains of a society and country, the human and material resources of which had been decimated by a series of wars fought between 1912 and 1918. Anatolia had mostly been spared from being a battle zone in that period, except in the east, where large refugee movements had been undermining its frail economy and shallow resources before the War of Liberation. However, the War of Liberation turned almost all of Anatolia into a battle zone. The ethnic nationalist armies viciously attacked each other killing, destroying, plundering, and decimating the landscape to the best of their ability. Not only lives were lost, but also whole city blocks, towns, even cities, such as Van in the east, or Salihli in the west were wiped off the earth. When the Greek army pulled out of the western parts of Anatolia in 1922 the fertile plains of the Aegean region lay in waste. The soldiers of the Turkish cavalry that rode through the wasteland of west Anatolia to İzmir (Smyrna) almost suffocated with the terrible smell of burnt flesh of the Muslim inhabitants of the villages and towns from Afyon to the coast. The “scorched earth” policies of the defeated nationalist armies of Greece in the west and Armenia in the east almost depleted all agricultural resources of vast regions of Anatolia at the end of the War of Liberation.
KeywordsEurope Income Syria Turkey Egypt
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