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Treaty of Lausanne

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Treaty of Lausanne

Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Peace with Turkey Signed at Lausanne
Accord relatif à la restitution réciproque des internés civils et à l'échange des prisonniers de guerre, signé à Lausanne
Borders of Turkey set by the Treaty of Lausanne
Signed 24 July 1923
Location Lausanne, Switzerland
Effective 6 August 1924
Condition Following ratification by Turkey and any three of the British Empire, France, Italy and Japan, the treaty would come into force for those "high contracting parties" and thereafter for each additional signatory upon deposit of ratification
Depositary French Republic
Language French
Treaty of Lausanne at Wikisource

The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 24 July 1923. It officially ended the state of war that had existed between Turkey and the allied British Empire, French Republic, Kingdom of Italy, Empire of Japan, Kingdom of Greece, Kingdom of Romania, and Serb-Croat-Slovene State since the onset of World War I.[1] The original text of the treaty is in French.[1] It was the result of a second attempt at peace after the failed Treaty of Sèvres, which was signed by all previous parties but later rejected by the Turkish national movement who fought against the previous terms and significant loss of territory. The Treaty of Lausanne ended the conflict and defined the borders of the modern Turkish Republic. In the treaty, Turkey gave up all claims to the remainder of the Ottoman Empire and in return the Allies recognized Turkish sovereignty within its new borders.[1]

The treaty was ratified by Turkey on 23 August 1923,[2][3] Greece on 25 August 1923,[2] Italy on 12 March 1924,[3] Japan on 15 May 1924,[3] Great Britain on 16 July 1924.[4] The treaty came into force on 6 August 1924, when the instruments of ratification had been officially deposited in Paris, France.[1]


Borders of Turkey according to the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) which was annulled and replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) in the aftermath of the Turkish War of Independence led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

After the destruction of the Greek forces in Asia Minor and the expulsion of the Ottoman sultan by the Turkish army under the command of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the Ankara-based government of the Turkish national movement rejected the Treaty of Sèvres previously signed by the Ottoman Empire.

Negotiations were undertaken during the Lord Curzon, the British Foreign Secretary of that time, was the chief negotiator for the Allies, while Eleftherios Venizelos negotiated on behalf of Greece. The negotiations took many months. On 20 November 1922, the peace conference was opened and after strenuous debate was interrupted by Turkish protest on 4 February 1923. After reopening on 23 April, and following more protests by the Turks and tense debates, the treaty was signed on 24 July as a result of eight months of arduous negotiation. The Allied delegation included negotiators such as U.S. Admiral Mark L. Bristol, who served as the United States High Commissioner and championed Turkish efforts.[5]


The treaty was composed of 143 articles with major sections including:[6]

The treaty provided for the independence of the Republic of Turkey but also for the protection of the Cyprus (which was leased to the British Empire following the Congress of Berlin in 1878, but de jure remained an Ottoman territory until World War I) as well as Egypt and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (which were occupied by British forces with the pretext of "putting down the Urabi Revolt and restoring order" in 1882, but de jure remained Ottoman territories until World War I) to the British Empire, which had unilaterally annexed them on 5 November 1914.[1] The fate of the province of Mosul was left to be determined through the League of Nations. Turkey also renounced all claims on the Dodecanese Islands, which Italy was obliged to return to Turkey according to Article 2 of the Treaty of Ouchy in 1912[9] - also known as the First Treaty of Lausanne (1912), as it was signed at the Château d'Ouchy in Lausanne, Switzerland - following the Italo-Turkish War (1911–1912).[9]


Congress of Berlin in 1878, which allowed it to remain a de jure Turkish territory and the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II's private possession until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 (de facto until Romania unilaterally declared its sovereignty on the island in 1919 and further strengthened this claim with the Treaty of Trianon in 1920.)[10] The island was submerged during the construction of the Iron Gates hydroelectric plant in 1970, which also removed the possibility of a potential legal claim by the descendants of Abdülhamid II.

The treaty delimited the boundaries of Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey; formally ceded all Turkish claims on the Dodecanese Islands (Article 15); Cyprus (Article 20);[11] Egypt and Sudan (Article 17); Syria and Iraq (Article 3); and (along with the Treaty of Ankara) settled the boundaries of the latter two nations.[1]

The territories to the south of Syria and Iraq on the Arabian Peninsula which still remained under Turkish control when the Armistice of Mudros was signed on 30 October 1918 were not explicitly identified in the text of the treaty. However, the definition of Turkey's southern border in Article 3 also meant that Turkey officially ceded them. These territories included Yemen, Asir and parts of Hejaz like the city of Medina. They were held by Turkish forces until 23 January 1919.[12][13]

Turkey officially ceded Adakale Island in River Danube to Romania with Articles 25 and 26 of the Treaty of Lausanne; by formally recognizing the related provisions in the Treaty of Trianon of 1920.[1][10]

Turkey also renounced its privileges in Libya which were defined by Article 10 of the Treaty of Ouchy in 1912 (per Article 22 of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.)[1]


Among many agreements, there was a separate agreement with the United States: the Chester concession. The United States Senate refused to ratify the treaty, and consequently Turkey annulled the concession.[6]


The Treaty of Lausanne led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the new Republic of Turkey as the successor state of the defunct Ottoman Empire.[1] The Convention on the Turkish Straits lasted only thirteen years and was replaced with the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits in 1936. The customs limitations in the treaty were shortly reworked.

Hatay Province remained a part of the French Mandate of Syria according to the Treaty of Lausanne, but in 1938 gained its independence as the Hatay State, which later joined Turkey after a referendum in 1939. Syria does not recognize the addition of Hatay Province to Turkey and continues to show it as a part of Syria on its maps until the 2000s.

Political amnesty was applied. 150 personae non gratae of Turkey (descendants of the Ottoman dynasty) slowly acquired citizenship — the last one was in 1974.

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Treaty of Peace with Turkey signed at Lausanne,  
  2. ^ a b "League of Nations, Official Journal" 4. October 1924. p. 1292. 
  3. ^ a b c Martin Lawrence (1924). Treaties of Peace, 1919-1923 I.  
  4. ^ Hansard, House of Commons, 16 July 1924.
  5. ^ Morgenthau, Henry, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story,(Detroit: Wayne State University, 2003), 303.
  6. ^ a b Mango, Andrew (2002). Ataturk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey.  
  7. ^ The Greek minority of Turkey - Hellenic Resources Network
  8. ^ Öksüz 2004, 255
  9. ^ a b Treaty of Ouchy (1912), also known as the First Treaty of Lausanne
  10. ^ a b Adakale Island in River Danube
  11. ^ Xypolia, Ilia (2011). "Cypriot Muslims among Ottomans, Turks and British". Bogazici Journal 25 (2): 109–120. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Ottoman Web Site: "Arabia (Yemen-Hejaz) Front"
  13. ^ Osmanlı Web Sitesi: "Arabistan Cephesi"

See also

External links

  • Full text of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923)
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