The Cicero Spy Affair: German Access to British Secrets in World War II

By Richard Wires | Go to book overview

2
Turkey and the Powers

By autumn 1943 Turkey had maintained neutrality through four difficult years of World War II. Its foreign policy from the outset had combined the pursuit of long-standing national goals, expediency, and an acute awareness of its vulnerable position amid the struggles of power blocs. Although Turkey's general interests and sympathies lay with the Western democracies, the war had seen its borders and coasts menaced by Italian and German forces, which controlled its continental neighbors and most nearby islands, while Soviet strength and intentions remained deeply suspect to Turkish leaders. Now the war had entered a new phase. Allied victories in the Mediterranean produced a series of conferences in which leaders debated their operations for 1944 and often discussed Turkey. The initial events in the Cicero affair occurred in late autumn against this background of fresh planning. Subsequent developments in the case unfolded as Britain pursued a new effort to persuade Turkey to enter the conflict as an active ally. Under such circumstances Cicero's spying and the information he obtained, if effectively used, were of great potential value to Germany's government and military. To understand just how the espionage case fitted into the situational context of the war and diplomacy it is necessary to identify the outlooks and representatives of the nations concerned.

In the late 1930s the reformers who created the Turkish republic after the Ottoman Empire's collapse in World War I sought to adjust Ankara's policies to the realities of Europe's new power structure. The death of revered President Kemal Atatürk in November 1938 had elevated his longtime colleague Ismet Inönü to head of state without altering Ankara's wariness of the Soviet Union or its vacillation between the Western powers and Nazi Germany for ties and support. Thus appointment of Sükrü Saracoglu as the new foreign minister had signaled

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The Cicero Spy Affair: German Access to British Secrets in World War II
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The "Notorious" Case 1
  • 2 - Turkey and the Powers 13
  • 3 - The Volunteer Spy 29
  • 4 - Selling the Secrets 43
  • 5 - Germany's Intelligence Labyrinth 57
  • 6 - Questions and Doubts In Berlin 69
  • 7 - Operation Bernhard 85
  • 8 - Cicero's Outstanding Period 97
  • 9 - The Contest for Turkey 113
  • 10 - Searching for an Agent 129
  • 11 - Cicero's Last Achievements 143
  • 12 - An American Spy 159
  • 13 - Dénouement and Aftermath 173
  • 14 - The Affair in Retrospect 187
  • Notes 205
  • Filmography 243
  • Selected Bibliography 247
  • Index 259
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