Post-Lausanne Mosul

Post-Lausanne Mosul

Controversial issues that the Treaty couldn’t solve dominated Turkish foreign policy in the wake of the Conference of Lausanne, while the disagreement over Mosul with Britain was the most heated foreign policy issue between 1923-1926.

Upon the application of Britain, the Mosul dispute was referred to the League of Nations on August 6, 1924, which started discussing it on September 20, 1924, one year after the Treaty of Lausanne was signed. During the talks, the Turkish side repeated their offer of a referendum in Mosul, but Britain, just like before, rejected the idea with insolent excuses like ‘locals being ignorant and not understanding about border issues’.(SOURCE) (The Kurdish people in the region are above such remarks). On September 30, 1924, a decision was made to set up an investigative commission, which defined the borders on October 28, 1924 and established a status quo Turkish-Iraqi border named ‘Brussels Line’. The highlights from the report of the commission that was submitted to the League of Nations on July 16, 1925 were as follows:

1- Brussels Line should be determined as a geographical border,

2- Kurds with their population of 500,000, consisted the majority in Mosul vilayet,

3- Kurds were more populous than Turks and Arabs,

4- Mandate in Iraq that was supposed to end in 1928, be extended for another 25 years,

5- Mosul be left to Iraqi administration provided Kurds in the region are given administrational and cultural rights,

6- If the League of Nations decides that the region is shared between the two countries, the Little Zab river line be accepted as border,

  On the Way to Lausanne

7- If the League of Nations doesn’t consider it suitable that the mandate in Iraq is extended and that the region is left to Iraq with certain privileges to Kurds, then Mosul be left to Turkey,

8- Britain’s claims and demands with regards to Hakkari be rejected.

When Turkey raised objections to this report, the Council asked the Permanent Court of International Justice in Hague on September 19, 1925 to submit its opinion. This opinion was in line with the wishes of the League of Nations, and despite Turkish protests the Assembly of the League of Nations announced on December 8, 1925 that it adopted the resolution of the Court of Justice. Only a couple of days later, on December 16, 1925, it approved the report of the Investigative Commission and decided that the lands lying to the south of Brussels Line be left to Iraq


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