Turkey’s Candidature to the UN Security Council Seat in 1948: Why the West’s ‘Favorite’ Candidate Lost


Following the Second World War, Turkey vigorously pursued a policy of effective participation in international institutions. As part of this policy, Turkish diplomats campaigned for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in the year 1948. This article aims to provide descriptive information about this campaign and explain why Turkey lost the election in the UN General Assembly for the seat reserved for the Near East region. In doing so, the article primarily uses historical documents from the Foreign Relations of the United States (frus) series because they provide very detailed information about backstage diplomacy, motivations of candidate countries, and opinions of the US diplomats about candidates. The article concludes that it was the US Cold War policies that influenced the outcome of the 1948 election. Although it was publicly known that the US supported Turkey in this election, a closer examination of the American diplomatic documents reveals that the US voted for Egypt in order to keep it in the Western camp.


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