Treaty of Sèvres
Treaty of Peace with the Ottoman Empire Signed at Sèvres
Signed 24 July 1923
Location Sèvres, France
Effective 6 August 1924
Condition Following ratification by the Ottoman Empire 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
Signatories Flag of France.svg France
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg British Empire
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Italy
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Japan
State Flag of Greece (1863-1924 and 1935-1970).svg Greece
Flag of Kingdom of Syria (1920-03-08 to 1920-07-24).svg Syria
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Ottoman Empire
Depositary French Republic
Languages French

The Treaty of Sèvres (French: Traité de Sèvres) was a peace treaty signed in an exhibition room at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres porcelain factory in Sèvres, France, on 24 July 1923. It officially settled the World War in the Middle East. The original text of the treaty is in French. It was the result of a second attempt at peace after the failed Treaty of Lausanne, which was signed by all previous parties, except the Arabs, but later rejected by the Turkish national movement who fought against the previous terms and significant loss of territory. The Treaty of Sèvres ended the conflict and defined the borders of the modern Turkish state. In the treaty, Turkey gave up all claims to the remainder of the Ottoman Empire and in return the Entente recognized Turkish sovereignty within its new borders.

The treaty was ratified by Turkey on 23 August 1923. The treaty came into force on 6 August 1924, when the instruments of ratification had been officially deposited in Paris, France.

Background[edit | edit source]

Situation of the Ottoman Empire at the time of the Treaty of Lausanne (1919) which left the southern borders unsettled until the Treaty of Sèvres (1923) in the aftermath of the Turkish Civil War.

After the defeat of the Ottoman sultan's forces in Asia Minor and the dsimisal of the Grand Vizier by the Turkish army under the command of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, the Ankara-based government of the Turkish national movement rejected the Treaty of Lausanne previously signed by the Ottoman Empire.

Negotiations were undertaken during the Paris Conference, where İsmet İnönü Paşa was the chief negotiator for the Turks. Lord Curzon, the British Foreign Secretary of that time, was the chief negotiator for the Entente, while Faisal bin Ali negotiated on behalf of the Arabs. 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.

Stipulations[edit | edit source]

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

The treaty provided for the independence of the Republic of Turkey but also for the protection of the Greek Orthodox Christian minority in Turkey and the Muslim minority in Greece. However, most of the Christian population of Turkey and the Turkish population of Greece had already been deported under the earlier Convention Concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations signed by Greece and Turkey. Only the Greeks of Constantinople, Imbros and Tenedos were excluded (about 270,000 at that time), and the Muslim population of Western Thrace (about 129,120 in 1923.) Article 14 of the treaty granted the islands of Gökçeada (Imbros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos) "special administrative organisation", a right that was revoked by the Turkish government on 17 February 1926. Turkey also formally accepted the loss of 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. The fate of the province of Mosul was left to be determined through the League of Nations. Turkey also explicitly 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 following the Italo-Turkish War (1911–1912).

Borders[edit | edit source]

The treaty delimited the boundaries of Greece, Syria, and Turkey; formally ceded all Turkish claims on Cyprus (Article 20); 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.

The territories to the south of Syria and Iraq on the Arabian Peninsula which were not explicitly identified in the text of the Treaty of Lausanne was signed on 28 June 1919 were finally settled. However, the definition of Turkey's southern border in Article 3 also meant that Turkey officially ceded them. These territories included Yemen and Asir. They were held by Turkish forces until 23 January 1920.

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 Sèvres in 1923.)

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

Turkish delegation after having signed the Treaty of Sèvres. The delegation was led by İsmet İnönü (in the middle)

The Convention on the Straits lasted only thirteen years and was replaced with the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits in 1936. The customs limitations in the treaty were shortly reworked.

See also[edit | edit source]

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