Loving and Hating America in Turkey and Iran: A Cold War Story of Alliance Politics and Authoritarian Modernization, 1945-1980

Kayaoglu, Barin, History - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Leffler, Melvyn, Department of History, University of Virginia

This dissertation is a study of U.S. relations with Turkey and Iran during the Cold War and the rise of anti-Americanism in the two countries. The dissertation explores why pro-American sentiments in Turkey and Iran in the 1940s and 1950s turned into vicious anti-Americanism in the 1960s and reached a crescendo by the 1970s. The study argues that, rather than individual events such as the CIA-sponsored coup d’état against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq in 1953 or the successive coups in Turkey, authoritarian modernization in the two countries and their turbulent alliances with the United States led to anti-Americanism. Although U.S. officials encouraged economic and social development in Turkey and Iran – building schools, hospitals, dams, factories, and roads – they remained mostly silent on the question of political change for the sake of stability. While authoritarianism undermined the political institutions that could have ameliorated economic and social ills in the two countries, Ankara and Tehran’s geopolitical interests began to diverge from Washington’s global and regional priorities by the 1960s. As their publics became visibly anti-American, even the normally pro-U.S. leaders in the two countries became skeptical of the United States.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
U.S. foreign policy, Turkey, Iran, anti-Americanism, authoritarianism, modernization, development
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