Balkan Pact (1953)

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The Balkan Pact of 1953 (officially: "Agreement of Friendship and Cooperation") was a treaty signed by Greece, Turkey, and Yugoslavia on 28 February 1953. It was signed in Ankara (Turkey). The treaty was to act as a dam against Soviet expansion in the Balkan area. It provided for the eventual creation of a joint military staff for the three countries. At that time Turkey and Greece were already full-fledged members of NATO. Communist Yugoslavia, however, did not want to join NATO. The Balkan Pact was a possibility to associate Yugoslavia with NATO in an indirect manner.

The new alliance showed its weakness from the very beginning. A few days after it came into being Joseph Stalin died. As the new Soviet government started to relax its criticism towards Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav communist leadership were more willing to abandon open cooperation with the Western countries.

In the course of 1954 and 1955 Yugoslavia's overtures to the Soviet Union which resulted in a change of Yugoslav view regarding the military significance of the Balkan Pact. The visit of Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes to Yugoslavia in May 1955 (only three weeks before Nikita Khrushchev's visit to Josip Broz Tito) showed the difference between the Yugoslav and Turkish estimates of the international situation. Turkish Premier Menderes was interested in the whole field of cooperation within the Balkan Alliance. Yugoslavia was reluctant to take any steps that might appear to give added significance at that time to the military side of the Balkan Pact.

Soon after that, the Cyprus dispute between Turkey and Greece broke out and became a new danger for the Balkan Alliance.

After the Hungarian Revolution, Tito showed some interest in reviving the alliance. But, because of the Cyprus conflict, Tito's attempt to mediate between Turkey and Greece failed.

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • David R. Stone, "The Balkan Pact and American Policy, 1950-1955," East European Quarterly 28.3 (September 1994), pp. 393–407.