Ismet Inonu

Ismet Inonu

Turkish statesman.
Date of Birth: 24.09.1884
Country: Turkey

Biography of Ismet Inonu

Ismet Inonu (24.9.1884, Izmir - 25.12.1973) was a Turkish statesman. He was the son of a judge and received military education. He participated in World War I and became a general, known as Ismet Pasha. In 1920, he joined Mustafa Kemal Pasha (Ataturk) and became one of his closest associates. In 1921, during the Battle of Sakarya, Inonu defeated the Greek army. As a result, in 1921, he received the name "Inonu" when surnames were introduced in Turkey to commemorate this event.

In 1922, on behalf of the government of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Inonu signed the Mudanya Armistice and subsequently became the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He led the Turkish delegation at the Lausanne Conference from 1922-1923. From 30.10.1923-20.11.1924 and 1.11.1927-3.3.1925, he served as the Prime Minister. After the death of Ataturk on 10.11.1938, Inonu was elected as the President of the Republic of Turkey and the Chairman of the Republican People's Party (RPP).

On 19.10.1939, he signed an alliance treaty with Great Britain and France. However, after the surrender of France, Turkey began to approach Germany and signed a treaty of "Friendship and Non-Aggression" with Germany on 18.6.1941. During World War II, Inonu pursued a policy of complete neutrality, although Turkey continued to supply strategic materials to Germany. The question of Turkey joining the war on the side of the Allies was repeatedly raised at the conferences from 1942-1944. On 30-31.1.1943, Inonu met with Winston Churchill in Adana, who promised Turkey assistance in exchange for the use of its airbases, but Inonu refused.

In August 1944, Turkey severed diplomatic relations with Germany and ceased chrome supplies to Hitler. In February 1945, Turkey declared war on Germany and Japan, but the Turkish army did not engage in military actions. In 1950, after the defeat of the RPP in the elections, Inonu resigned from the presidency and party chairmanship. From 1950 to May 1960, he served as the leader of the opposition in the parliament. In 1961, in the elections held under military control, the RPP was tasked with forming the government, and Inonu became the Prime Minister again. He retired in 1965.