As previously mentioned, discussions on Mosul had been the longest and most heated ones during the Conference of Lausanne. Neither side wanted to compromise, but the mad grip of the British deep state on the Mosul issue, at certain points, brought the two countries back to the brink of war. Lord Curzon made maneuvers intended to bring the negotiations to a dead-end and demanded that the issue be resolved by the League of Nations. However, Turkey was not a member of the League of Nations at the time and was perfectly aware that Britain had the necessary lobby to ensure the passing of decisions to Britain’s heart’s content.
To overcome the impasse, İsmet İnönü proposed a new way. A ‘referendum‘ could be held in the region so that Kurdish people could make their decision. However, knowing for certain that the outcome would be against Britain, Lord Curzon refused the proposal. Historian Sevtap Demirel explains why Lord Curzon rejected the idea:
Lord Curzon says a referendum can never be accepted. Why? Because it is a painstaking process. You have to find donkeys, you have to find papers, load the papers onto the donkeys, send them up to the mountains, go to the Kurds there and ask them ‘do you want to stay in Turkey? Do you want to stay under British mandate in Iraq?’ ‘These Kurds’, I’m repeating the exact words in the document ‘These Kurds will eat those papers’. That’s why they say, just forget about the referendum. Do you know why they are doing that? Do you know the reasons behind that? That region sends regular intelligence to the Foreign Office and therefore to Lord Curzon. I have read hundreds of intelligence reports. They all underline one truth: If under the circumstances of the day, a referendum was held and Kurds in Mosul were asked ‘who would you wish to join?’ 99% would choose Turkey. These are in British intelligence reports. British said ‘we’ll lose Mosul, so we can never let Turks carry out a referendum here and ask the Kurds what they want’ (SOURCE)
Academician, historian and author İhsan Şerif Kaymaz explains how Curzon, in his own mind, tried to insult the Kurdish people:
Curzon argued that it wasn’t the issue of choosing to whom Mosul was going to join, and that the border was just a simple technical issue and therefore no referendum could be held there. Therefore, he said referendum was out of the question there and that population and culture wasn’t suitable for it anyway, as people were illiterate and had never seen a ballot box in their lives. He even used certain insulting, offensive words to prove his point and claimed that it could lead to conflicts and even bloodshed. Therefore he said that instead of that, the League of Nations should be resorted to (SOURCE)
These offensive claims about the Kurds show that the view of the British deep state of the Kurds wasn’t different from its horrible views today. The Kurdish people are above these statements that certainly cross a line. These remarks of Curzon reveal that Curzon knew the British deep state could have no influence over the people of the region. These illogical and tasteless remarks uttered in a bid to prevent a potential referendum almost proved that the British deep state could never win over the Kurds and Arabs of Mosul. The British deep state might have taken control of the region through deceitful politics and violence, but never was able to win over the people of the region.