Turkey and Iran embarked on different courses of political development in the three decades following World War II. In Turkey, the authoritarian singleparty rule of the Republican People’s Party (RPP) gave way to a multiparty system in which elections were openly contested and voters eagerly participated. Although Turkish democracy had moments of crisis during this period, they were resolved in favor of a continued commitment to political pluralism and freedom of expression. In Iran, in contrast, Muhammad reza Shah, after narrowly surviving an oil nationalization crisis in the early 1950s, consolidated an authoritarian monarchy that severely restricted political activity. The shah was not without reformist ambitions, but he would tolerate no challenges to his power; the government he established thus rested on a narrow base of royal authority supported by the army and the secret police.