The Treaty of Sèvres
: Traité de Sèvres
) was a 1920 treaty signed between the Allies of World War I
and the Ottoman Empire
. The treaty ceded large parts of Ottoman territory to France, the United Kingdom, Greece, and Italy, as well as creating large occupation zones within the Ottoman Empire. It was one of a series of treaties
that the Central Powers
signed with the Allied Powers
after their defeat in World War I. Hostilities had already ended with the Armistice of Mudros
The Treaty of Sèvres marked the beginning of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire
and the dismemberment of the empire. The treaty's stipulations included the renunciation of most territory not inhabited by Turkish people
and their cession to the Allied administration.
Signed between Allied and Associated Powers and Ottoman Empire at Sèvres
- Ex-Ambassador Hadi Pasha,
- Ex-Minister of Education Rıza Tevfik Bölükbaşı,
- Second secretary of the Ottoman embassy in Bern, Reşad Halis.
The Treaty of Versailles
was signed with the German Empire
before the Treaty of Sèvres and annulled German concessions in the Ottoman sphere, including economic rights and enterprises.
Also, France, Britain, and Italy signed a Tripartite Agreement on the same date.
It confirmed Britain's oil and commercial concessions and turned the former German enterprises in the Ottoman Empire over to a tripartite corporation.
The United States, having refused in the Senate to assume a League of Nations mandate
, decided not to participate in the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire.
The US wanted a permanent peace as quickly as possible, with financial compensation for its military expenditure. However, after the Senate rejected the Armenian mandate, the only US hope was its inclusion in the treaty by the influential Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos
Original map from 1920 illustrating the Treaty of Sèvres region (not depicting the zones of influences)
The treaty imposed a number of territorial losses on Turkey and had a number of provisions that applied to the territory recognised as belonging to Turkey.
The Allies were to control the Ottoman Empire's finances, such as approving and supervising the national budget, implementing financial laws and regulations and totally controlling the Ottoman Bank
. The Ottoman Public Debt Administration
, instituted in 1881, was redesigned to include only British, French, and Italian bondholders. The Ottoman debt problem had dated back to the time of the Crimean War
(1854–1856) during which the Ottoman Empire had borrowed money from abroad, mainly from France. Also the capitulations of the Ottoman Empire
, which had been abolished in 1914 by Talaat Pasha
, were restored.
The empire was required to grant freedom of transit
to people, goods, vessels etc. passing through its territory, and goods in transit were to be free of all customs duties. Future changes to the tax system, the customs system, internal and external loans, import and export duties and concessions would need the consent of the financial commission of the Allied Powers to be implemented. To forestall the economic repenetration of Germany, Austria, Hungary or Bulgaria, the treaty demanded the empire to liquidate the property of citizens of those countries living within its territories. The public liquidation was to be organized by the Reparations Commission. Property rights of the Baghdad Railway
were to pass from German control.
The Ottoman Army
was to be restricted to 50,700 men, and the Ottoman Navy
could maintain only seven sloops
and six torpedo boats
. The Ottoman Empire was prohibited from creating an air force. The treaty included an interallied commission of control and organisation to supervise the execution of the military clauses.
The treaty required determination of those responsible for the Armenian Genocide
. Article 230 of the Treaty of Sèvres required the Ottoman Empire to "hand over to the Allied Powers the persons whose surrender may be required by the latter as being responsible for the massacres committed during the continuance of the state of war on territory which formed part of the Ottoman Empire on August 1, 1914". However, the inter-allied tribunal attempt
to prosecute war criminals as demanded by the Treaty of Sèvres was eventually suspended, and the men who orchestrated the genocide escaped prosecution and traveled relatively freely throughout Europe
and Central Asia
Foreign zones of influence
Within the territory retained by Turkey under the treaty, France received Syria and neighbouring parts of southeastern Anatolia
, including Antep
, including Adana
and large portions of east-central Anatolia all the way north to Sivas
, were declared a zone of French influence.
The expansion of Greece from 1832 to 1947 showing in yellow territories awarded to Greece by the Treaty of Sèvres but lost in 1923
The Greek government administered the occupation of Smyrna
from 21 May 1919. A protectorate
was established on 30 July 1922. The treaty transferred "the exercise of her rights of sovereignty to a local parliament" but left the region within the Ottoman Empire. The treaty had Smyrna to be administered by a local parliament, with a plebiscite overseen by the League of Nations after five years to decide if Smyrna's citizens wished to join Greece or to remain in the Ottoman Empire. The treaty accepted Greek administration of the Smyrna enclave, but the area remained under Turkish sovereignty. To protect the Christian population from attacks by the Turkish irregulars, the Greek army expanded its jurisdiction also to nearby cities creating the so called "Smyrna Zone".
Italy was formally given possession of the Dodecanese Islands
, which had been under Italian occupation since the Italo-Turkish War
of 1911–1912 despite the Treaty of Ouchy
according to which Italy should have returned the islands to the Ottoman Empire. Large portions of southern and west-central Anatolia
, including the port city of Antalya
and the historic Seljuk capital of Konya
, were declared to be an Italian zone of influence. Antalya Province had been promised by the Triple Entente to Italy in the Treaty of London
and the Italian colonial authorities wished the zone to become an Italian colony
under the name of Lycia
Zone of the Straits
1920 map of Western Turkey, showing the Zone of the Straits in the Treaty of Sèvres
A Zone of the Straits was proposed to include the Bosphorus
, the Dardanelles and the Sea of Marmara
. Navigation would be open in the Dardanelles in times of peace and war alike to all vessels of commerce and war, regardless of flag. That would effectively lead to the internationalisation of the waters, which were not to be subject to blockade, and no act of war could be committed there except to enforce decisions of the League of Nations.
Certain ports were to be declared to be of international importance. The League of Nations insisted on the complete freedom and the absolute equality in treatment at such ports, particularly regarding charges and facilities, to ensure that economic provisions in commercially-strategic places were carried out. The regions were to be called "free zones". The ports were Constantinople
from San Stefano
Eastern Thrace (up to the Chatalja line
), the islands of Imbros and Tenedos and the islands of the Sea of Marmara
were ceded to Greece. The waters surrounding the islands were declared international territory and left to the administration of the "Zone of the Straits".
There was no general agreement among Kurds on what the borders of Kurdistan should be because of the disparity between the areas of Kurdish settlement and the political and administrative boundaries of the region.
The outlines of Kurdistan as an entity had been proposed in 1919 by Şerif Pasha
, who represented the Society for the Elevation of Kurdistan
(Kürdistan Teali Cemiyeti
) at the Paris Peace Conference
. He defined the region's boundaries as follows:
The frontiers of Turkish Kurdistan, from an ethnographical point of view, begin in the north at Ziven
, on the Caucasian frontier, and continue westwards to Erzurum
and Divick (Divrik
?); in the south they follow the line from Harran
, Sinjar Mountains
, Tel Asfar, Erbil
, Akk-el-man, Sinne
; in the east, Ravandiz, Başkale
, that is to say the frontier of Persia
as far as Mount Ararat
That caused controversy among other Kurdish nationalists, as it excluded the Van Region
(possibly as a sop to Armenian
claims to that region). Emin Ali Bedir Khan
proposed an alternative map that included Van and an outlet to the sea via what is now Turkey's Hatay Province
Amid a joint declaration by Kurdish and Armenian delegations, Kurdish claims concerning Erzurum vilayet
) were dropped, but arguments for sovereignty over Ağrı and Muş remained.
Neither proposal was endorsed by the treaty of Sèvres, which outlined a truncated Kurdistan on what is now Turkish territory (leaving out the Kurds of Iran, British-controlled Iraq
and French-controlled Syria
The current Iraqi–Turkish border was agreed upon in July 1926.
Article 63 explicitly granted the full safeguard and protection to the Assyro-Chaldean
minority, but that provision was dropped in the Treaty of Lausanne.
Armenia was recognised as an established state in Section VI "Armenia", Articles 88-93. By Article 89, "Turkey and Armenia, as well as the other High Contracting Parties agree to submit to the arbitration of the President of the United States of America the question of the frontier to be fixed between Turkey and Armenia in the vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizond, Van and Bitlis, and to accept his decision thereupon, as well as any stipulations he may prescribe as to access for Armenia to the sea, and as to the demilitarisation of any portion of Turkish territory adjacent to the said frontier".
British Mandate of Iraq
The details in the treaty regarding the British Mandate of Iraq
were completed on 25 April 1920 at the San Remo Conference
. The oil concession in the region was given to the British-controlled Turkish Petroleum Company
(TPC), which had held concessionary rights to Mosul Province
. British and Iraqi negotiators held acrimonious discussions over the new oil concession. The League of Nations voted on the disposition of Mosul, and the Iraqis feared that without British support, Iraq would lose the area. In March 1925, the TPC was renamed the "Iraq Petroleum Company
" (IPC) and granted a full and complete concession for 75 years.
British Mandate for Palestine
Article 95: The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory to be selected by the said Powers. The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on 2 November 1917 by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
French Mandate for Syria and Lebanon
The French Mandate was settled at the San Remo Conference and comprised the region between the Euphrates River
and the Syrian Desert
on the east and the Mediterranean Sea
on the west, and it extended from the Nur
Mountains in the north to Egypt in the south, an area of about 60,000 sq mi (160,000 km2
) with a population of about 3,000,000, including the Lebanon
and an enlarged Syria
, both of which were later reassigned under a League of Nations Mandate
. The region was divided under the French into four governments as follows: Government of Aleppo, from the Euphrates region to the Mediterranean; Great Lebanon, extending from Tripoli to Palestine; Damascus, including Damascus, Hama, Hems and the Hauran; and the country of Mount Arisarieh. Faisal ibn Husayn
, who had been proclaimed king of Syria
by a Syrian National Congress
in Damascus in March 1920, was ejected by the French in July
the same year. The next year, he became king of Iraq.
Kingdom of Hejaz
The Kingdom of Hejaz
, on the Arabian Peninsula
, was granted international recognition and had an estimated area of 100,000 sq mi (260,000 km2
) and a population of about 750,000. The main cities were the Holy Places of Makka, with a population of 80,000, and Medina, with a population of 40,000. Under the Ottomans, it had been the vilayet of Hejaz
, but during the war, it became an independent kingdom under British influence.
On 18 October, the government of Damat Ferid Pasha
was replaced by a provisional one under Ahmed Tevfik Pasha
as Grand Vizier
, who announced an intention to convene the Senate to ratify the Treaty of Sèvres if national unity was achieved. That required seeking the co-operation of Mustafa Kemal, who expressed disdain for the treaty and started a military assault. As a result, the Turkish government issued a note to the Entente that the ratification of the treaty was impossible at the time.
Eventually, Mustafa Kemal succeeded in his War of Independence and forced most of the former wartime Allies to return to the negotiating table.
Aside from Mustafa Kemal's armed opposition to the treaty in Anatolia, Arabs in Syria were unwilling to accept French rule, the Turks around Mosul attacked the British and Arabs were up in arms against British rule in Baghdad. There was also disorder in Egypt.
Hostilities with Britain
over the neutral zone of the Straits were narrowly avoided in the Chanak Crisis
of September 1922, when the Armistice of Mudanya
was concluded on 11 October, leading the former Allies of World War I
to return to the negotiating table with the Turks in November 1922. That culminated in 1923 in the Treaty of Lausanne, which replaced the Treaty of Sèvres and restored a large territory in Anatolia and Thrace to the Turks. Under the Treaty of Lausanne, France and Italy had only areas of economic interaction, rather than zones of influence. Constantinople was not made an international city, and a demilitarised zone between Turkey and Bulgaria was established.
- ^ The order and the categorization below are as they appear in the preamble of the treaty.
- ^ Wikisource:Treaty of Sèvres/Protocol
- ^ Category:World War I treaties
- ^ Helmreich, Paul C. (1974). From Paris to Sèvres: The Partition of the Ottoman Empire at the Peace Conference of 1919–1920. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Press. p. 320. ISBN 9780814201701. OCLC 694027.
- ^ "The Treaty of Sèvres, 1920". Harold B. Library, Brigham Young University.
- ^ TS0011.pdf
- ^ See: Sykes-Picot
- ^ "Ottoman signatories of Treaty of Sèvres - NZHistory, New Zealand history online". NZHistory.net.nz. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- ^ "The Peace Treaty of Sèvres".
- ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
- ^ "Tripartite Agreement between the British Empire, France and Italy respecting Anatolia". The American Journal of International Law. 15 (2, Supplement: Official Documents): 153–159. April 1921. doi:10.2307/2212979. JSTOR 2212979.
- ^ The Times (London), 27. Idem., Jan. 30, 1928, Editorial.
- ^ "Congress Opposes Armenian Republic; General Sentiment Is Against Assuming Responsibility for New Republic". The New York Times. April 27, 1920. pp. 2, 353.
- ^ Gibbons, Herbert Adams (1921). "Venizelos". Political Science Quarterly. 36 (3): 519. doi:10.2307/2142304. JSTOR 2142304.
- ^ Power, Samantha. A Problem from Hell, p. 16–17. Basic Books, 2002.
- ^ "First World War.com - Primary Documents - Treaty of London, 26 April 1915". FirstWorldWar.com. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
- ^ Franco Antonicelli, Trent'anni di storia italiana, 1915-1945, Torino, Mondadori Editore, 1961. p. 25
- ^ Hakan Özoğlu, Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State: Evolving Identities, Competing Loyalties, and Shifting Boundaries p. 38. SUNY Press, 2004
- ^ Şerif Pasha, Memorandum on the Claims of the Kurd People, 1919
- ^ Hakan Özoğlu, ibid p. 40
- ^ M. Kalman, Batı Ermenistan ve Jenosid p. 185, Istanbul, 1994.
- ^ Arin, Kubilay Yado, Turkey and the Kurds – From War to Reconciliation? UC Berkeley Center for Right Wing Studies Working Paper Series, March 26, 2015.
- ^ Isaiah Friedman: British Miscalculations: The Rise of Muslim Nationalism, 1918–1925, Transaction Publishers, 2012, ISBN 1412847494, page 217.
- ^ Michael Mandelbaum: The Fate of Nations: The Search for National Security in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Cambridge University Press, 1988, ISBN 9780521357906, page 61 (footnote 55).
- ^ Finkel, Caroline, Osman's Dream, (Basic Books, 2005), 57; "Istanbul was only adopted as the city's official name in 1930.".
- ^ Current History, Volume 13, New York Times Co., 1921, "Dividing the Former Turkish Empire" pp. 441-444 (retrieved October 26, 2010)
- ^ Bendeck, Whitney. "Pyrrhic Victory Achieved." Lecture, Europe in the Total Age of War, Florida State University, Tallahassee, October 11, 2016.
- Darwin, John, and Beverley Nielsen. Britain, Egypt and the Middle East: Imperial policy in the aftermath of war 1918–1922 (Springer, 1981).
- Fromkin, David (1989). A Peace to End All Peace: Creating the Modern Middle East, 1914–1922. New York: H. Holt. ISBN 0-8050-0857-8.
- Helmreich, Paul C. From Paris to Sèvres: the partition of the Ottoman Empire at the Peace Conference of 1919-1920 (Ohio State UP, 1974).
- Macfie, A. L. "The British Decision Regarding the Future of Constantinople, November 1918-January 1920." Historical Journal 18.2 (1975): 391-400.
- Montgomery, A. E. "The Making of the Treaty of Sevres of 10 August 1920." Historical Journal 15#4 (1972): 775-87. online.
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