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New Turkey on the way to Lausanne

New Turkey on the way to Lausanne

The defeat of the Greek army in Anatolia on August 30, 1922 by the Turkish army led to the Armistice of Mudanya on October 11, 1922. This cease-fire agreement stipulated that occupation forces leave Turkish territory and a final peace treaty be signed. Accordingly, the Allies sent a notice on October 27, 1922 to the Ankara government and invited it to the peace conference that would start in Lausanne on November 13, 1922.

Turkey fought 10 years to be able to reach the road to Lausanne. From the Balkan Wars that started in 1912 until the end of the Turkish Independence War in 1922, 5 million people lost their lives. Compared to other countries that fought in WWI, this represented the biggest casualty. The Turkish nation emerged battered, tired and impoverished from this horrible war and it lacked a state. However, despite all the setbacks, the Turkish people never gave up and made a comeback with a new state through the Treaty of Lausanne. This treaty is the sole peace treaty that is still in effect since WWI. All other treaties signed in the post-war era were revoked by WWII. In other words, Turkey is the only country that has spent the last 93 years without a war.

The Conference of Lausanne was an arduous, tense and strenuous negotiation process that saw hard bargaining. The negotiations started on November 20, 1922 but only on July 24, 1923 were the parties able to reach an agreement and sign the treaty. Furthermore, matters like Mosul, the Straits and Hatay could not be solved and were postponed to a later date. From time to time, talks hit a dead end and were halted or suspended. However, the new Turkish state was resolute on the National Pact (Misak-ı Milli) and would not budge on its stance on the Straits or the capitulations. Therefore, when the negotiations came to an end, the National Pact borders were preserved to a large extent despite minor surrender of some lands.

  A Tug of War

Britain, which proved to be the main source of difficulty for the new Turkish state during the negotiation process, due to its deceitful policies and ruses – even intercepting telegrams of the Turkish delegation – intensely employed deep state policies during the Lausanne negotiations and did its best to try and ambush the Turkish side.


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A Tug of War

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