Italy is the last country among the European states to join the race of colonialism. The first place Italy wants to conquer when it completely establishes its political unity is Tunisia just because of the reasons such as geographical proximity and that there is an Italian colony existing in the territory. But Italy can't obtain any results from this occupation request and Tunisia is be conquered by France. Italy, increasingly getting strength in term of economy and military forces, decides to invade Ethiopia in order o take part among the great colonial states. Italy that attempts to invade Ethiopia for the first time in 1896 can not succeed. In the following process, Italy that couldn't get what it wanted in the World War 1 begins to wait the suitable ground and conditions to put their plans about invading Ethiopia into practice again. The world peace provided by the agreements signed at the end of the World War I starts to deteriorate with the military operations mainly aiming the African continent and developing towards the World War II as a result of the fact that the colonial policies that Italy follows under the leadership of Mussolini gradually evolve into fascism. Meanwhile, Ethiopia tries to defend itself by some political maneuvers such as being a member to the League of Nations and signing a adjudicator treaty with Italy. However, Italy led by Mussolini doesn't fail to watch for an opportunity in order to reach its colonial ambitions. In the Laval Pact Treaty signed in 1935, Italy's plans to invade Ethiopia are adopted by the European states as the non-formal agenda item. Subsequently, Italy's attack on Ethiopia begins in October, 1935. The fact that Italy invades Ethiopia with the operation launched in 1935 was also closely followed by Turkey like all the world countries that were in a tense wait just before the World War II and the developments about this occupation were instantaneously assessed by the Turkish media in sync with the Turkish diplomacy. In particular, the Akbaba Magazine that had a great place and labor in the development of Turkish humor literature set place to this occupation for weeks in the magazine from the cover page to the text contexts; was on the side of aggrieved Ethiopian people; and clearly criticized the inhuman attitudes of the organizations such as the League of Nations and other Western states. The concept of civilization was mainly dwelled on in the magazine and the fact that the technical superiority of the West had been a major threat to humanity was frequently emphasized. One of the main emphasis on the cover cartons of the Akbaba Magazine in this process is the power imbalance between Italy and Ethiopia. Italy that has colonial intentions over Ethiopia tries to camouflage these intentions with the propogandas that they bring civilization to Ethiopia. The fact that Italy that attacks Ethiopia with a disproportionate force promises peace and civilization for the Ethiopian people creates a paradoxical situation. This paradoxical situation provides material for the Akbaba Magazine fin terms of humor and satire. The magazine undertakes a broadcast operation against Italy and their colonial mentality by dealing with these materials in a satirical mode. The League of Nations also gets its share from the criticism of Akbaba Magazine alongside the Western civilization. The ineffective intervention attempts and the passive position of The League of Nations both before the invasion and during the invasion disappoints the world public opinion that has expectations from them in accordance with its purpose of foundation and the mission it undertakes. This invasion in one way gains a feature of political move in which the efficiency and authority of the League f Nations over the world states. Some writings and cartoons which emphasize the fact that the League of Nations doesn't fulfill its task take place in the Akbaba Magazine. The fact the Ethiopia achieves to resist for a while against the Italian attacks causes the extension of the time of the war. But after a while, the Ethiopians can not withstand the modern Italian weapons. After seven months of fighting, the Emperor Selassie is obliged to leave his country with a British ship and to refuge in the British on May 2, 1936. The Italian forces that completely capture Ethiopia after the escape of the emperor of Ethiopia bring blood and tear with them to the Ethiopian people instead of the civilization and prosperity they promised them. Many people are executed. These executions are also reflected on the cover cartoons of the Akbaba Magazine. Many important results of the Italian-Ethiopian war occur. This war causing Italian-British tension in the Mediterranean greatly affects the political status of the Europe and the political balances. Rapidly changing cyclical balances causes the convergence of Italy which is in search of a powerful state in the Europe and Germany. Thus, the first step in the alliance between Hitler-Mussolini is taken. Berlin-Rome Axis is established in 1936 and the Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy sheerly approach to each other. The cooperation which will last until the World War II emerges in this process. The Akbaba Magazine that is one of the important and longlasting publications in Turkish Humor literature closely follows this process. The magazine revealing the intentions of Italians with exact analysis long before the beginning of the invasion turns out to be right about its predictions that the world peace would be deteriorated within a short time with the beginning of the invasion and that there would be a big war. Indeed, the invasion of Ethiopia by Italy is considered to be the beginning of the process leading to the World War II. It is also understood that the broadcasting policies of the Akbaba Magazine which doesn't fail to criticize the great states that chose to be silent in the international arena against the inhuman practices the Ethiopian people are exposed shows parallelism with the strategy Turkey follows in the international policy at many points. In this context, it is possible to say that Turkish public opinion and the Republic of Turkey does not remain silent against the aggrieved nations in Ethiopia in the strict sense and in Africa and Asia in the broad sense and that they take close interest in the political events occurring in these regions. In other words, the fact that the Akbaba Magazine defends Ethiopia against the Western colonialism via satirical and humorous publications is a clear indication that the young Republic of Turkey that mainly has to deal with the interior issues does not remain insensitive against the world politics occurring outside the country.
Key Words: Colonialism, Africa, Ethiopia, Italy, Turkey, Akbaba
1. Dünya Savaşının sonunda imzalanan anlaşmalarla sağlanan dünya barışı; Musollini liderliğindeki İtalya’nın izlediği sömürgeci politikaların giderek Faşizme doğru evrilmesi neticesinde, 2. Dünya Savaşına doğru gelişen ve ağırlıklı olarak Afrika kıtasını hedef alan askerî harekâtlarla bozulmaya başlar. İtalya’nın 1935 yılında başlattığı bir harekâtla Habeşistan’ı (Etiyopya) işgal etmesi, 2. Dünya Savaşı öncesinde gergin bir bekleyiş içinde bulunan bütün dünya ülkeleri gibi, Türkiye tarafından da yakından takip edilmiş ve bu işgal hakkındaki gelişmeler Türk diplomasisi ile eş zamanlı olarak Türk matbuatı tarafından da anlık değerlendirmelere tabi tutulmuştur. Özellikle, Türk mizah edebiyatının gelişmesinde büyük bir yer ve emek sahibi olan Akbaba dergisi, haftalar boyunca kapak karikatürlerinden içerik yazılarına kadar birçok sayfasını bu işgale ayırmış, mazlum Etiyopya halkının yanında yer almış ve Milletler Cemiyeti gibi uluslar arası kuruluşlar ile diğer Batılı devletlerin gayr-ı insani tutumlarını açıkça tenkit etmiştir. Dergide medeniyet kavramı üzerinde de çok durulmuş ve Batı’nın teknik üstünlüğünün insanlığa karşı büyük bir tehdit haline geldiğine sıkça vurgu yapılmıştır. Haftalık olarak yayımlanan derginin satirik ve mizahi yayınlar yoluyla Batı sömürgeciliğine karşı Habeşistan halkını savunması, daha çok iç meselelerle uğraşmak zorunda kalan genç Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Devletinin kendisi dışında gelişen dünya siyasetine duyarsız kalmadığının da bir göstergesidir. Biz bu çalışmamızda; Akbaba dergisinin daha çok 1935 ve 1936 yıllarındaki sayılarından yola çıkarak İtalya-Habeşistan savaşının merhalelerini tarihî süreçle mukayese etmeye ve bu savaşın Türk toplumu tarafından algılanış biçimi üzerinde durmaya çalışacağız.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Sömürgecilik, Afrika, Habeşistan, İtalya,
Türkiye, Akbaba dergisi.