Between 1920 and 1922, Moscow dispatched guns, grain, and gold to Ankara. The obvious paradox of collaboration between Bolshevik internationalists and the Turkish National Forces has frequently been dismissed as pragmatic union born of necessity, with necessity defined in terms of national self-interest. This article places Soviet aid to Turkey in the context of Moscow’s other anti-imperialist commitments. Soviet-Turkish partnership was the first chapter of the decolonialization in which the USSR played such a prominent role. Indeed, through Turkey the Soviet leadership worked out the transition from military support of an anticolonial movement to economic support of a postcolonial state.

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