18.3 C
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The ephemeral Treaty of Sèvres

Must read

In memoriam Lee Teng-hui, first native President of Taiwan

Lee Teng-hui, one of Asia’s most relevant leaders of the 20th century, passed away on July 30th, aged 97.

Alsace-a very special part of France

Among the many French I have met so far only one who wouldn’t agree with me that the region Elsass (Alsace in...

The first James Bond turns 90

Sean Connery, the first actor to play fictional British secret agent James Bond 007, created in 1953 by English writer Ian Fleming...

25 years ago, demolition of Japanese cultural remain begins

On August 15th, 1995, 50 years after Japan´s unconditional surrender in World War II and the end of its 35-year rule in...

After more than fifteen months of preparations, on August 10th, 1920 the short-lived Treaty of Sèvres was signed in the Paris suburb of Sèvres between Great Britain, Italy and France as well as other smaller nations and the Ottoman Empire, a big loser of World War I soon to be almost completely dismantled.

The foundations had been laid at the Conference of San Remo in April 1920, attended by the prime ministers of Great Britain, Italy and France, the Japanese ambassador to France as well as American observers.

With Allied, including Greek troops occupying the capital Constantinople, renamed Istanbul in 1930, since the end of 1918, the Ottomans had little room for maneuver.

The total remake of the Middle East meant that Britain took control of Palestine and Iraq, while France gained Syria and Lebanon. On the Western Arabian Peninsula, the Kingdom of Hejaz received international recognition, but in 1925 was conquered by a neighboring sultanate and in 1932 became part of Saudi Arabia.

Russian Armenia was recognized as a separate sovereign state, hoping to gain some Ottoman land in the West, though ceased to exist after Soviet forces invaded in late 1920.

Greece was given most of the region of Thrace and granted rights in Smyrna in Western Anatolia, nowadays known as Izmir. Italy was able to keep the Dodecanese Islands occupied since 1912 until 1947, when they were finally ceded to Greece.

The establishment of a Kurdish state ultimately failed, also because a lack of unity among Kurds, many of whom ended up fighting against the Western powers that had envisioned it in the first place. The Dardanelles Strait was to be turned into an international waterway and certain ports near Constantinople into “free zones”.

The Ottoman Empire completely lost control of its finances, including the management of the Ottoman Bank, imports and exports, the national budget, financial regulations, requests for loans, reform of the tax system and debt repayments. Economic cooperation with Germany, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria, whose economic assets were liquidated within its territory, was forbidden.

The Ottoman army was limited to 50,000 men and the navy to thirteen boats. These military terms could be supervised. An air force had ceased to exist in 1918.

Field Marshall Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, father of modern Turkey and head of a provisional government, considered the treaty unacceptable. He reorganized the remnants of the Ottoman army, ultimately driving out all foreign forces and therefore burying the Treaty of Sèvres.

The new Turkish nationalist regime inked its replacement, the Treaty of Lausanne, on July 24th, 1923, giving up all claims to former Ottoman possessions. In return, Turkey’s current boundaries were recognized.

- Advertisement -

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article

160 years ago, the road to Peking was opened up by force

The Battle of Baliqiao between Anglo-French and Chinese forces on the morning of September 21st, 1860 was the culmination of the Second...

Sigmund Jähn, Germany’s communist cosmonaut

Sigmund Jähn, the first German in space, died at his home in Strausberg outside of Berlin on September 21st, 2019. He was...

Spanish government presents its version of civil war history

On September 15th, 2020 the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the Draft Bill of Democratic Memory that will repeal the controversial, very...

Farewell to the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission

Under the current Constitution of the Republic of China (ROC, still Taiwan’s official name), approved in Nanking in 1947, Tibet and Mongolia...

Bashar al-Assad, a well-educated autocrat

Bashar al-Assad, the second son of former Syrian ruler Hafez al-Assad (1930-2000) and his wife Anisa Makhlouf (1930-2016), who took over the...