740.0011 European War 1939/6126

Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle) to the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)

Mr. Murray: This conversation22 is interesting, but it raised two or three solid questions in my mind:

(1)
If no one does anything, will the Turks resist the Germans, or will they consider that they have no chance and let the Germans through? My feeling is that they will resist, but this is merely based on sentiment.
(2)
If Turkey should resist, will Russia join her, or stab her in the back via Armenia and Persia? By hypothesis this would mean suicide for Russia; but the Russians have a habit of thinking things out and coming to conclusions opposite from anyone else.
(3)
Are the Turks now in any shape to give some leadership to the Arab world—possibly operating through Baghdad and Iraq? This re-emergence of the Turkish Empire over a welter of hatred into cooperative form sounds impossible; but nothing is impossible these days.

A. A. B[erle], Jr.
  1. See memorandum supra. ↩