Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Defiant Governments of the World

Over the past decade or so, pundits discussing Turkey's international relations have often referred to Ataturk's "Western Orientation" as if was both a foreign policy and a domestic one. If it wasn't obvious from Gallipoli, Ataturk's subsequent actions made it quite clear that in fact one could be enamored with European civilization without feeling the need to be deferential to European powers in the political realm. This map illustrates something of the anti-imperialist, neutralist worldview that guided Turkey's foreign policy until the beginning of the Cold War. Western European imperial powers (as well as the United States) are all marked in their own unique colors along with the territory under their control. Meanwhile, the region stretching from Germany through the USSR to China and Japan is all colored yellow and labelled "Territory under the control of Defiant [muthadiye] Governments." South America, Ethiopia and Thailand are also marked as independent. Barely visible in the bottom right corner of the map is a small inscription explaining that it was printed in London by the firm of George Philip and sons.

 The second set of maps clearly comes from a different perspective. They appeared in the 1937 Oxford Economic Atlas. If the point isn't clear, Britain's Empire is way bigger than everyone else's combined. In the bottom left there's a map showing territories scaled according to their white populations. On the right is America alongside Alaska and the Philippines. For some reason Europeans imperialists, like Turks, insisted on seeing America as a colonial power just because it had a few colonies