Shukri al-Quwatli

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Shukri al-Quwatli
شكري القوتلي
Shukri al-Quwatli.jpg
Preses o Sirie
In office
August 17, 1943 – Mairch 30, 1949
Precedit bi 'Ata' Bay al-Ayyubi
Succeeded by Husni al-Za'im (Military Rule)
In office
September 6, 1955 – Februar 22, 1958
Precedit bi Hashim al-Atassi
Succeeded by Gamal Abdel Nasser (Unitit Arab Republic)
Personal details
Born 1891
Damascus, Sirie
Deed Juin 30, 1967 (agit 76)
Beirut, Lebanon
Poleetical pairty Naitional Bloc
Releegion Islam

Shukri al-Quwatli (1891 – June 30, 1967) (Arabic: شكري القوتلي‎) wis the preses o Sirie frae 1943 tae 1949 an frae 1955 tae 1958.

Poleetical life[eedit | eedit soorce]

He wis born in Damascus intae a Turkis family, oreeginally frae Konya.

Quwatli entered Sirie politics in the 1930s as a member o the Naitional Bloc, a coalition o Arab pairties that led the opposition tae French rule. As a young man, he haed been involved in al-Fatat, an unnergrund opposition group in Ottoman Sirie, an been arrestit for his activities in 1916. In jail, acause o hairsh tortur, he feared that he wad tell the names o his comrades in al-Fatat. Tae avoid that, he slit open his wrist in a suicide attempt but wis saved at the last minute bi his friend an colleague Dr Ahmad Qadri. He wis released when Warld War I endit tae become a ceevil servant in post-Ottoman era o Keeng Faisal I. When the French Mandate wis proclaimed in Julie 1920, the French sentenced Quwatli tae daith.

He fled tae Egyp an then then Geneva an co-established the Sirie-Palestinian Congress in exile, wi a group o ither exiled naitionalists frae Sirie, Lebanon, an Palestine. He returned in 1924, an pairticipatit in the Sirie Revolt o 1925-27, although he quickly fell oot wi the Revolt's main protagonist, the Druze leader Sultan Pasha Al-Atrash acause o the latter's pro-Hashemite policies. Quwatli wis exiled ance again in 1927, anerlie tae return unner a general amnesty in 1932. An associate an protégé o Hashim al-Atassi, the republic's first preses, Quwatli gradually rose in the ranks o the Naitional Bloc.

Efter Atassi resigned the presidency in 1939 ower objections tae continued French intervention in Sirie, several years o (WWII-relatit) instability an direct French an Breetish military ruled follaed. The Naitional Bloc remained the dominant expression o Sirie naitionalism, an, when elections wur again held in 1943, the bloc helped elect Quwatli preses.

His major preoccupation wis tae conclude a treaty wi Fraunce, which haed exercised control ower Sirie for mair than twa decades. This wis accomplished wi Breetish help, an bi 1946 aw foreign troops haed evacuatit. In 1947, Quwatli enactit an amendment that remuivit a ane-term limit frae the constitution an wis reelectit in 1948.

Acause o the Israeli victory ower Arab forces in 1948, as well as dissatisfaction wi Quwatli's rule, he wis owerthrown bi a military coup in Mairch 1949. Efter a short impreesonment, he went intae exile in Egyp, waitin for an opportunity tae regain his position, while a series o coups paralyzed Sirie poleetical life. Free elections unner the auspices o the venerable Hashim al-Atassi feenally teuk place in 1955, an Quwatli, at the heid o the Naitional Pairty (the successor tae the Naitional Bloc), wis electit preses.

Bi then, his post wis lairgely ceremonial, housomeivver, an he haed little influence on Sirie's domestic politics thereefter. Towards the close o the decade, pan-Arab naitionalism haed swept Sirie, an Quwatli presidit ower the union wi Egyp, which formed the Unitit Arab Republic, heidit bi Egyptian preses Gamal Abdel Nasser. Bi 1959, he haed quarreled wi Nasser an wis forced intae exile ance again. This marked the end o his poleetical career.

When he dee'd in 1967 in Beirut, efter the Sirie authorities initially amaist refused tae allou his body burial at home, he wis interred in Damascus in a lavish state funeral, which adequately reflectit the ambitious posturin that marked the course o his life.

Legacy[eedit | eedit soorce]

Quwatli's legacy wis a mixed ane, that o genuine naitionalism an personal ambition. Creetics point oot that his tolerance for the corruption o some o his associates helped keep him in pouer. In marked contrast tae his mentor, Hashim al-Atassi, he wis perpetually seekin pouer, while Atassi acceptit it reluctantly, an wis quick tae relinquish it whenever the presidency came unner the duress o foreign intervention or domestic military rule. Quwatli haed nae such qualms. Nivertheless, he wis a successful politeecian, an is creditit wi presidin ower the athdrawal o foreign troops, which put the feenishin touches on full Sirie unthirldom.

Precedit bi
'Ata' Bay al-Ayyubi
Preses o Sirie
1943–1949
Succeedit bi
Husni az-Zaim (military rule)
Precedit bi
Hashim al-Atassi
Preses o Sirie
1955–1958
Succeedit bi
Gamal Abdel Nasser (UAR)

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