Regime Change in the Aegean after the Second World War: Reconsidering Foreign Influence

Yaprak Gursoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the extant literatures in Greece and Turkey, scholars argue that the Colonels' junta of 1967 and the 1950 Turkish transition to democracy were brought about by foreign influence. This is, however, a paradox since the same Cold War international context is seen as the cause of contrary regimes in two neighboring countries that belonged to the same alliance. A comparative study of Greece and Turkey shows that external factors played a more indirect role than what many scholars maintain and altered the cost-benefit analyses of the political leaders. In Greece, American aid to the military decreased the costs of intervention. The Cold War context intensified fears that there was a leftist threat in Greece and augmented the perceived benefits and legitimacy of authoritarianism. Conversely, in Turkey, the difficulties encountered during the Second World War increased the costs of sustaining authoritarianism. The Turkish desire to be included in the Western camp during the Cold War legitimized domestic demands for democracy and increased the benefits associated with regime change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-347
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Modern Greek Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


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