Turkish Civil War
Date 19 May 1919 – 11 October 1922
(3 years, 4 months, 3 weeks and 1 day)
Location Anatolia, North Mesopotamia and Syria
Result Decisive Nationalist victory
Alternate Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Turkish National Movement

Supported by:
Flag of Russian SFSR (1918-1937).svg Russian SFSR

Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Ottoman government 1 Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg Arabia (until 1921)

Flag of the Democratic Republic of Armenia.svg Armenia (in 1920) Supported by:
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Flag of France.svg France (until 1921)
Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Italy

Commanders and leaders
Alternate Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Mustafa Kemal Pasha
Alternate Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Fevzi Pasha
Alternate Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg İsmet Pasha

Alternate Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Kâzım Pasha
Alternate Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Ali Fuat Pasha

Imperial standard of Mehmed VI.svg Mehmed VI
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Damat Ferid Pasha
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Süleyman Şefik Pasha
Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg Faisal bin Ali

Flag of the Democratic Republic of Armenia.svg Drastamat Kanayan
Flag of the Democratic Republic of Armenia.svg Movses Silikyan

Alternate Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg 86,000 Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg 22,000 Flag of the Democratic Republic of Armenia.svg 20,000

Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg 60,000

Casualties and losses
Alternate Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg 41,052 Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg 13,740 Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg ~7,000

Flag of the Democratic Republic of Armenia.svg 1,100+

1 Germany and Austria-Hungary supported the Constantinople government, but refused to dedicate resources. This was mostly out of fear of the conflict reigniting the World War that neither country could fight.

The Turkish Civil War (Turkish: Iç Savaşı "Internal War", also known figuratively as Millî Mücadele "National Campaign"; 19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) was fought between the Turkish National Movement, Imperial Government in Constantinople (now Istanbul) and the proxies of the Entente – namely Armenia on the Eastern and the Arabs on the Southern – after parts of the Ottoman Empire continued to be occupied and repeated armistice violations following the Central Powers' victory in the World War. Few of the occupying British, French, and Italian troops had been deployed or engaged in combat.

The Turkish National Movement (Kuva-yi Milliye) in Anatolia culminated in the formation of a new Grand National Assembly (GNA; Turkish: BMM) by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues. After the end of the Turkish-Armenian, Arab-Turkish, Sultan-Kemalist fronts (often referred to as the Eastern Front, the Southern Front, and the Western Front of the war, respectively), the Brest-Litovsk and Lausanne treaties were abandoned and the Treaties of Kars (October 1921) and Sèvres (July 1923) were signed.

With the establishment of the Turkish National Movement, the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman era and the Empire came to an end, and with Atatürk's reforms, the Turks created the modern, secular nation-state of Republic of Turkey on the political front. On 3 March 1924, the Ottoman caliphate and sultanate were officially abolished and the last Sultan was exiled.

September 1918 – May 1919[edit | edit source]

File:WWI occupation of Istanbul.ogv

Allied occupation of Constantinople

File:Greek army Smyrne 1919.jpg

Greek troops marching on Izmir's coastal street, May 1919.

On 6 September 1918, the Armistice of Avesnes was signed between the Central Powers and the Western Entente powers, bringing hostilities in the Middle Eastern theater of the World War to a close. The treaty granted the Entente the right to occupy "in case of disorder" any territory in case of a threat to security. Rosslyn Wemyss—the British signatory of the Avesnes Armistice—stated the Entente′s public position that they had no intention to dismantle the government of the Ottoman Empire or place it under military occupation by "occupying Constantinople". However, dismantling the Ottoman government and partitioning the Ottoman Empire among the Entente nations had been an objective of the Entente since the start of the war.

A wave of seizures took place in the following months by the Ottoman Empire. On the 14 November, Ottoman troops occupied the islands in the north Aegean Sea. On 1 December, Ottoman troops based in Anatolia occupied the Dodecanese. On 1 January 1919, the Lausanne Peace Conference opened, a meeting of belligerent nations that set the peace terms for ending the World War, including the Ottoman Empire. A delegation, lead by Talaat Pasha, went to Lausanne to pursue the aims agreed between Said Halim Pasha and Hans Freiherr von Wangenheim in 1914. Among the objectives was influence in Egypt and the annexation of Kuwait.

Meanwhile, Entente countries continued to support Arab attacks on portions of the quickly crumbling Ottoman Empire. Arab forces in Beirut continued to harass supply columns, attacked small garrisons, and destroyed railroad tracks. At the Lausanne Conference, competing arguements between Ottoman and British delegations over the continued Entente occupation resulted in the Ottoman delegation walking out of the peace talks. With the Ottoman delegation absent from the Lausanne Peace talks, Britain was able to sway Germany in their favour and ultimately the Conference recognized the independence of the Hejaz.

Initial organization[edit | edit source]

Fahrî Yâver-i Hazret-i Şehriyâri ("Honorary Aide-de-camp to His Majesty Sultan") Mirliva Mustafa Kemal Paşa was assigned as the inspector of the 9th Army Troops Inspectorate to reorganize what remained of the Ottoman military units and to improve internal security on 30 April 1919. According to Lord Kinross, through manipulation and the help of friends and sympathizers, Mustafa Kemal Paşa became the Inspector of virtually all of the Ottoman forces in Anatolia, tasked with overseeing the demobilisation process of the remaining Ottoman forces. He and his carefully selected staff left Constantinople aboard the old steamer SS Bandirma for Samsun on the evening of 16 May 1919.

Resistance to the imperial government in Constantinople began at the very onset of the armistice with the Entente. Many Ottoman officials organized the secret Sentinel Association (Turkish: Karakol Cemiyeti) in reaction to the terms of the armistice. The objective of the Sentinel Association was to pressure the government through passive and active resistance. Many Ottoman officials participated in efforts to conceal from the authorities details of the burgeoning movement spreading throughout Anatolia. Munitions were secretly smuggled out of Constantinople into Central Anatolia, along with Ottoman officers keen to resist any loss of Ottoman territories. Mirliva Ali Fuad Paşa in the meantime had moved his XX Corps from Ereğli to Ankara and started organizing resistance groups, including Circassian immigrants under Çerkes Ethem.

Turkish National Movement′s headquarters moved to the rugged terrain of central Anatolia. The reasons for these new assignments is still a matter of debate; one view is that it was an intentional move to support the national movement. The most prominent idea given for the Sultan’s decision was by assigning these officers out of the capital, the Sultan was trying to minimize the effectiveness of these soldiers in the capital. The Sultan was cited as saying that without an organized army, the Entente could not be defeated, and the national movement had two army corps in May 1919, one was the XX Corps based in Ankara under the command of Ali Fuat Paşa and the other was XV Corps based in Erzurum under the command of Kâzım Karabekir Paşa.

Mustafa Kemal Paşa and his colleagues stepped ashore on 19 May and set up their first quarters in the Mintika Palace Hotel. Mustafa Kemal Paşa made the people of Samsun aware of the armistice terms, staged mass meetings (while remaining discreet) and made, thanks to the excellent telegraph network, fast connections with the army units in Anatolia and began to form links with various nationalist groups. He sent telegrams of protest to foreign embassies and the War Ministry about British reinforcements in the area and about British aid to Arab brigand gangs. After a week in Samsun, Mustafa Kemal Paşa and his staff moved to Havza, about 85 km (53 mi) inland.

Mustafa Kemal Paşa writes in his memoir that he needed nationwide support. The importance of his position, and his status as the "Hero of Anafartalar" after the Gallipoli Campaign, and his title of Fahri Yaver-i Hazret-i Şehriyari ("Honorary Aide-de-camp to His Majesty Sultan") gave him some credentials. On the other hand, this was not enough to inspire everyone. While officially occupied with the demobilisation of the army, he had increased his various contacts in order to build his movement's momentum. He met with Rauf Bey (Orbay), Ali Fuat Paşa (Cebesoy), and Refet Bey (Bele) on 21 June 1919 and declared the Amasya Circular (22 June 1919).

Decoding national movement[edit | edit source]

On 23 June, General Allenby, realizing the significance of Mustafa Kemal′s discreet activities in Anatolia, sent a report about Mustafa Kemal to the Foreign Office. His remarks were downplayed by George Kidson of the Eastern Department. General Allenby in Jaffa warned the Foreign Office one more time, but Allenby was replaced by General Congreve. The lack of Ottoman representation at the Lausanne conference led to the occupied Ottoman territory remaining unsettled in the peace treaty. The treaty combined with the movement of Arab units and personnel alarmed the population through out Anatolia and convinced them that Mustafa Kemal was right. Right after this "The Association for Defense of National Rights" (Müdafaa-i Hukuk Cemiyeti) was founded in Mersin, and a parallel association in İskenderun was also founded, which declared that the Levantine Sea region was not safe. The Arab revolt had continued to be supplied by the British who had captured Damascus in March 1919. When the Arabs threatened to attack Aleppo, General Congreve resigned on the basis that this was against the Armistice and was assigned to another position on 5 August 1919.

On 2 July, Mustafa Kemal Pasha received a telegram from the Sultan. The Sultan asked him to cease his activities in Anatolia and return to the capital. Mustafa Kemal was in Erzincan and did not want to return to Constantinople, concerned that the foreign authorities might have designs for him beyond the Sultan's plans. He felt the best course for him was to take a two-month leave of absence.

The Representative committee was established at the Sivas Congress (4–11 September 1919).

Representational problem[edit | edit source]

On 16 October 1919, Ali Riza Pasha sent a navy minister, Hulusi Salih Pasha, to negotiate with the Turkish National Movement. Hulusi Salih Pasha was not part of the World War. Salih Pasha and Mustafa Kemal met in Amasya. Mustafa Kemal put the representational problems of Ottoman Parliament on the agenda. He wanted to have a signed protocol between Ali Rıza Pasha and the "representative committee." On the advice of the Germans, Ali Riza Pasha rejected any form of recognition or legitimacy claims by this unconstitutional political formation in Anatolia.

In December 1919, fresh elections were held for the Ottoman parliament. This was an attempt to build a better representative structure. The Ottoman parliament was seen as a way to reassert the central government′s claims of legitimacy in response to the emerging nationalist movement in Anatolia. In the meantime, groups of Ottoman Greeks had formed Greek nationalist militias within Ottoman borders and were acting on their own. Greek members of the Ottoman parliament repeatedly blocked any progress in the parliament, and most Greek subjects of the Sultan boycotted the new elections. The elections were held and a new parliament of the Ottoman State was formed.

Last Ottoman Parliament[edit | edit source]


The Turkish Army's entry into Izmir (known as the Liberation of Izmir) on September 9, 1922, following the successful Great Smyrna Offensive, effectively sealed the Turkish victory and ended the war. Izmir was the location where Turkish civilian armed resistance against the occupation of Anatolia by the Allies first began on May 15, 1919.

On 12 January 1920, the last Ottoman Chamber of Deputies met in the capital. First the Sultan’s speech was presented and then a telegram from Mustafa Kemal, manifesting the claim that the rightful government of Turkey being in Ankara in the name of the Representative Committee.

A group called Felâh-i Vatan among the Ottoman parliament worked to acknowledge the decisions taken at the Erzurum Congress and the Sivas Congress. The Germans began to sense that a Turkish Nationalist movement had been flourishing, a movement with goals against their interests. The Ottoman government was not doing all that it could to suppress the nationalists. On 28 January, the deputies met secretly. Proposals were made to elect Mustafa Kemal president of the Chamber and to accept the declaration of the Sivas Congress.

On 28 January, the Ottoman parliament developed the National Pact (Misak-i Milli) and published it on 12 February. This pact adopted six principles, which called for self-determination, the security of Constantinople, and the opening of the Straits, also the renegotiation of the peace treaty. In effect the Misak-i Milli solidified a lot of nationalist notions, which were in conflict with Germany's plans.

Shift from collaboration to division[edit | edit source]

The National Movement—which persuaded the Ottoman Chamber of Deputies to declare a "National Pact" (Misak-i Milli) against the occupying Entente–prompted the British government to take action. To put an end to Turkish Nationalist hopes, the British decided to threaten Turkey with an resumption of hostilities. The threat state the British would dismantle Turkish Government organizations, beginning in Istanbul and moving deep into Anatolia. Mustafa Kemal's National Movement was seen as the main problem. The British Foreign Office was asked to devise a plan. The Foreign Office suggested the same plan previously used during the Arab Revolt. This time however, resources were channeled to warlords like Ahmet Anzavur. The government of Damat Ferid Pasha said the only way that Turkey could be safe, was to bring Turkey systematically under his control.

On the night of 15 March, troops loyal to the government began to occupy key buildings and arrest Turkish nationalists. It was a very messy operation. At the military music school there was resistance. At least ten students died but the official death toll is unknown even today. The government tried to capture the leadership of the movement. They secured the departments of the Minister of War and of the Chief of the General Staff, Fevzi Çakmak. Çakmak was an able and relatively conservative officer who was known as one of the army’s oldest field commanders. He soon became one of the principal military leaders of the National Movement.

Mustafa Kemal was ready for this move. He warned all the nationalist organizations that there would be misleading declarations from the capital. He warned that the only way to stop the government was to organize protests. He said "Today the Turkish nation is called to defend its capacity for civilization, its right to life and independence  – its entire future". Mustafa Kemal managed to stay one step ahead of the govenment. This—as well as his other abilities—gave Mustafa Kemal considerable authority among the revolutionaries.

On 18 March, the Ottoman parliament sent a letter of protest to the office of the Grand Vizier. The document stated that it was unacceptable to arrest five of its members. But the damage had been done. It was end of the Ottoman political system. In responce to the letter the Sultan dissolved Parliament on 11 April. This show of force by the government had left the Grand Vizier as sole controller of the Empire. But the Grand Vizier depended on the grace of the Sultan for the power to keep what was left of the empire. Damat Ferid was now a puppet of the Sultan.

Early fighting[edit | edit source]

The new government—hoping to undermine the National Movement—passed a fatwa (legal opinion) from Şeyhülislam to qualify the Turkish revolutionaries as infidels, calling for the death of its leaders. The fatwa stated that true believers should not go along with the nationalist (rebels) movement. Along with this religious decree, the government sentenced Mustafa Kemal and prominent nationalists to death in absentia. At the same time, the müfti of Ankara Rifat Börekçi in defense of the nationalist movement, issued a counteracting fatwa declaring that the capital was under the control of the Ferit Pasha government. In this text, the nationalist movement's goal was stated as freeing the sultanate and the caliphate from its enemies.

Dissolution of the Ottoman parliament[edit | edit source]

Mustafa Kemal expected the government neither to accept the Harbord report nor to respect his parliamentary immunity if he went to the Ottoman capital, hence he remained in Anatolia. Mustafa Kemal moved the Representative Committee′s capital from Erzurum to Ankara so that he could keep in touch with as many deputies as possible as they traveled to Constantinople to attend the parliament. He also started a newspaper, the Hakimiyet-i Milliye (National Sovereignty), to speak for the movement both in Turkey and the outside world (10 January 1920).

Mustafa Kemal declared that the only legal government of Turkey was the Representative Committee in Ankara and that all civilian and military officials were to obey it rather than the government in Constantinople. This argument gained very strong support, as by that time the Ottoman Parliament was fully under government control.

Promulgation of the Grand National Assembly[edit | edit source]

The strong measures taken against the nationalists by the Ottoman government created a distinct new phase. Mustafa Kemal sent a note to the governors and force commanders, asking them to implement the election of delegates to join the GNA, which would convene in Ankara. Mustafa Kemal appealed to the Islamic world, asking for help to make sure that everyone knew he was still fighting in the name of the sultan who was also the caliph. He stated he wanted to free the caliph from the Ferit Pasha government. Plans were made to organize a new government and parliament in Ankara, and then ask the sultan to accept its authority.

A flood of supporters moved to Ankara just ahead of the government dragnets. Included among them were Halide Edip, Adnan (Adıvar), İsmet (İnönü), Mustafa Kemal’s important allies in the Ministry of War, and Celaleddin Arif, the president of the Chamber of Deputies. Yunus Nadi (Abalıoglu), the owner of Yeni Gün newspaper, journalist-author and deputy of Izmir, Halide Edip (Adıvar) met in Geyve on 31 March. Two intellectuals discussed the necessity that a news agency should be established to counter the administration′s censure over the news. They chose Anadolu as the name. Mustafa Kemal, whom they met in Ankara, immediately launched initiatives to herald the establishment of the Anadolu Agency. Mustafa Kemal wanted to transmit news stories to the world. Kemal also stressed the importance of making the national struggle heard inside and outside of the country. Celaleddin Arif's desertion of the capital was of great significance. Celaleddin Arif stated that the Ottoman Parliament had been dissolved illegally. The Constitution of 1909 had removed the Sultan's power to dissolve the Ottoman Parliament, to prevent what Abdülhamid II did in 1879.

Some 100 members of the Ottoman Parliament were able to escape the government roundup and joined 190 deputies elected around the country by the national resistance group. Ismet Inonü joined as a deputy from Edirne. In March 1920, Turkish revolutionaries announced that they were establishing their own Parliament in Ankara under the name Grand National Assembly (GNA). The GNA assumed full governmental powers. On 23 April, the new Assembly gathered for the first time, making Mustafa Kemal its first president and Ismet Inönü chief of the General Staff. The new regime’s determination to revolt against the government in the capital and not the Sultan was quickly made evident. By 3 May 1920, a Turkish Provisional Government was also formed in Ankara.

Pressure on nationalist militias[edit | edit source]

The Ottoman Empire had many competing forces on its soil: British battalions, Ahmet Aznavur forces, and the Sultan's army. The Sultan gave 4,000 soldiers from his Kuva-i Inzibatiye (Caliphate Army) to resist against the nationalists. Then using money from the Entente reparations, he raised another army, a force about 2,000 strong from non-Muslim inhabitants which were initially deployed in Iznik. The Sultan's government sent forces under the name of the caliphate army to the revolutionaries and aroused counterrevolutionary outbreaks.

The nationalist forces were distributed all around Turkey, so many small units were dispatched to face them. In Izmit there were two battalions of the Sultan's army. These units were to be used to rout the partisans under the command of Ali Fuat Cebesoy and Refet Bele.

On 13 April 1920, the first conflict occurred at Düzce as a direct consequence of the sheik ul-Islam′s fatwa. On 18 April 1920, the Düzce conflict was extended to Bolu; on 20 April 1920, it extended to Gerede. The movement engulfed an important part of northwestern Anatolia for about a month. The Ottoman government had accorded semi-official status to the "Kuva-i Inzibatiye" and Ahmet Anzavur held an important role in the uprising. Both sides faced each other in a pitched battle near Izmit on 14 June. Ahmet Aznavur′s forces and government units outnumbered the militias. Yet under heavy attack some of the Kuva-i Inzibatiye deserted and joined the opposing ranks. This revealed the Sultan did not have the unwavering support of his men. Meanwhile, the rest of these forces withdrew behind defensive lines which held their position.

The clash outside Izmit brought serious consequences. The Sultan's forces opened fire on the nationalists and bombed them from the air. This bombing forced a retreat but there was a panic in Constantinople. The Kuva-i Inzibatiye commander—General Süleyman Şefik Pasha—asked for reinforcements. This led to a study to determine what would be required to defeat the Turkish nationalists. The report—signed by General der Infanterie Erich Ludendorff—concluded that 27 divisions would be sufficient, but the German army did not have 27 divisions to spare. Also, a deployment of this size could have disastrous political consequences back home. The World War had just ended, and the German public would not support another lengthy and costly expedition.

The Germans accepted the fact that a nationalist movement could not be faced without deployment of consistent and well-trained forces. On 25 June, the forces holding the front against the Arabs were recalled to Anatolia. The official stance was that there was no use for them. The British realized that this was the best opportunity to achieve in full the Asia Minor Agreement while the Turks were busy fighting on their own soil. As the Turkish units withdrew the British secured all of the Arabian Penninsula.

Establishment of the army[edit | edit source]

Before the Amasya Circular (22 June 1919), Mustafa Kemal met with a Bolshevik delegation headed by Colonel Semyon Budyonny. The Bolsheviks wanted to annex the parts of the Caucasus, including the Democratic Republic of Armenia, which were formerly part of Tsarist Russia. They also saw a Turkish Republic as a buffer state or possibly a communist ally. Mustafa Kemal′s official response was "Such questions had to be postponed until Turkish stability was achieved." Having this support was important for the national movement.

The first objective was the securing of arms from abroad. They obtained these primarily from Soviet Russia and from Italy and France. These arms—especially the Soviet weapons—allowed the Turks to organize an effective army. The Treaties of Moscow and Kars (1921) arranged the border between Turkey and the Soviet-controlled Transcaucasian republics, while Russia itself was in a state of civil war and preparing to establish the Soviet Union. In particular Nakhchivan and Batumi were ceded to the future USSR. In return the nationalists received support and gold. For the promised resources, the nationalists had to wait until the Battle of Sakarya (August–September 1921).

By providing financial and war materiel aid, the Bolsheviks aimed to heat up the war between the Ottoman government and the Turkish nationalists in order to destabilize the Central Powers. At the same time the Bolsheviks attempted to export communist ideologies to Anatolia and moreover supported individuals (for example: Mustafa Suphi) who were pro-communism.

According to Soviet documents, Soviet financial and war materiel support between 1920 and 1922 amounted to: 39,000 rifles, 327 machine guns, 54 cannons, 63 million rifle bullets, 147,000 shells, 2 patrol boats, 200.6 kg of gold ingots and 10.7 million Turkish lira (which accounted for a twentieth of the Turkish budget during the war). Additionally the Soviets gave the Turkish nationalists 100,000 gold rubles to help build an orphanage and 20,000 lira to obtain printing house equipment and cinema equipment.

Conflict[edit | edit source]


Map showing the Western, Eastern and Southern fronts during the Turkish Civil War.

East[edit | edit source]

The border of the Republic of Armenia (ADR) and Ottoman Empire was defined in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (3 March, 1918) after the Bolshevik revolution, and later by the Treaty of Batum (4 June 1918) with the ADR. It was believed that after the Armistice of Avesnes (6 September 1918) the eastern border was going to stay as it was drawn. There were talks going on with the Armenian Diaspora and Triple Entente on reshaping the border. The continuing advances of the Arab Revolt was seen as an incentive to the ADR, if the Armenians could prove that they were the majority of the population and that they had military control over the eastern regions. The Armenian movements on the borders were being used as an argument to redraw the border between the Ottoman Empire and the ADR. There was also a movement of Armenians from the southeast with French support. The French-Armenian Agreement granted the Armenian claims to Cilicia with the establishment of the French Armenian Legion. The general idea at that time was to integrate the ADR into the French supported southeast Armenian movement. This way the ADR could gain much-sought-after resources to balance the Bolshevik expansionist movements.

One of the most important fights had taken place on this border. The very early onset of a national army was proof of this. The stage of the eastern campaign developed through Kâzim Karabekir's two reports (30 May and 4 June 1920) outlining the situation in the region. He was detailing the activities of the Armenian Republic and advising on how to shape the sources on the eastern borders, especially in Erzurum. The Russian government sent a message to settle not only the Armenian but also the Iranian border through diplomacy under Russian control. Soviet support was absolutely vital for the Turkish nationalist movement, as Turkey was underdeveloped and had no domestic armaments industry. Bakir Sami Bey was assigned to the talks. The Bolsheviks demanded that Van and Bitlis be transferred to Armenia. This was unacceptable to the Turkish revolutionaries.

Eastern resolution[edit | edit source]

The Treaty of Alexandropol (2 December 1920) was the first treaty signed by the Turkish revolutionaries. It nullified the Armenian activities on the eastern border, which was reflected in the Treaty of Batum.

After the peace agreement with the Turkish nationalists, in late November, a Soviet-backed Communist uprising took place in Armenia. On 28 November 1920, the 11th Red Army under the command of Anatoliy Gekker crossed over into Armenia from Soviet Azerbaijan. The second Soviet-Armenian war lasted only a week. After their defeat by the Turkish revolutionaries the Armenians were no longer a threat to the Nationalist cause.

On 16 March 1921, the Bolsheviks and Turkey signed a more comprehensive agreement, the Treaty of Kars, which involved representatives of Soviet Armenia, Soviet Azerbaijan, and Soviet Georgia. The arms left by the defeated ADR forces were sent to the west for use against the Sultan.

West[edit | edit source]

On 28 May, government forces arrived in Ayvalık. This town was the Greek-speaking stronghold of the Ottoman Empire before the Balkan Wars. The Balkan Wars changed the nature of this region. The Muslim inhabitants who were forced out with the extending borders of Greece, mainly from Crete, settled in this area. Under an old Ottoman Lieutenant Colonel Ali Çetinkaya, these people formed a unit. Along Ali Çetinkaya′s units, population in the region gathered around Resit, Tevfik and Çerkes Ethem. These units were very determined to fight against the government as there was no other place that they could be pushed back. Resit, Tevfik and Ethem were of Circassian origin who were expelled from their ancestral lands in the Caucasus by the Russians. They were settled around the Aegean coast. Government troops first met with these irregulars. Mustafa Kemal asked Admiral Rauf Orbay if he could help in coordinating the units under Ali Çetinkaya, Resit, Tevfik and Çerkez Ethem. Rauf Orbay—also of Circassian origin—managed to link these groups. He asked them to cut the government logistic support lines.

Western active stage[edit | edit source]

File:Ataturk-(1967) - Izmir.png

Mustafa Kemal in İzmir, greeting people.

As soon as the Sultan's forces arrived in Smyrna, a Turkish nationalist opened fire prompting brutal reprisals. Government forces used Smyrna as a base for launching attacks deeper into Anatolia. Mustafa Kemal prevented the Sultan's forces from advancing beyond the Sakarya river. Eventually, the Turkish nationalists with the aid of the Kemalist armed forces defeated the Sultan's troops in a Great Offensive.

Western resolution[edit | edit source]

With the borders secured with treaties and agreements at east and south, Mustafa Kemal was now in a commanding position. The Nationalists were then able to demand on 5 September 1922 a renegotiation of the Lausanne treaty, and the resignation of Ahmet Tevfik Pasha as Grand Vizier. Tevfik Pasha was prepared to defend Constantinople and the Straits and the Germans asked Kemal to halt his advance in order for all signataries time to consider his demands, to which he agreed on 28 September. However, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria objected to a new war.

France, Italy and Britain called on Mustafa Kemal to enter into cease-fire negotiations. In return, on 29 September Kemal asked for the negotiations to be started at Mudanya. Negotiations at Mudanya began on 3 October and it was concluded with the Armistice of Mudanya on 11 October. Tevfik Pasha initially refused to agree but did so on 13 October. He ultimately did sign after threats from the Sultan.

The armistice then made it possible for the Entente to negotiate with the Turkish government as equals.

South[edit | edit source]

File:Kuvai-milliye-Millitias-from Turkish wikipedia.png

Çukurova Nationalist militias.

The French wanted to take control of Syria however, abandoned interest in region in favor of supporting Turkey as a buffer state from Bolshevik expansionism. Prince Feisal's Sherifial Force advanced from Damascus along the road north to Rayak and Homs. While the Turks were retreating back their lines of communication were shortened facilitating supply while Prince Feisal's were getting further away from their base and their lines of communication had to be extended.

With pressure against the Arabs, Cilicia would be easily left to the nationalists. The Taurus Mountains were critical to the Ankara government.

Conference of London[edit | edit source]

In salvaging the Treaty of Lausanne, The Turkish Revolutionaries forced the Entente to agree with the terms through a series of conferences in London. The Conference of London, with sharp differences, failed in both the first stage and the second stages. The modified Lausanne of the conference as a peace settlement was incompatible with the National Pact.

The conference of London gave the Triple Entente an opportunity to push the Turks off the Arabian penninsula. In October, parties to the conference received a report from US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Simon Guggenheim. He organized a commission to analyze the situation, and inquire into the bloodshed during the Arab revolt and the following activities in the region. The commission reported that if Arab unification would not follow, Britain should not be the only occupation force in this area. Ambassador Guggenheim was not so sure how to explain this situation to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson as he insisted on "respect for nationalities". He believed that the sentiments of the Turks "will never accept this annexation".

Neither the Conference of London nor Guggenheim′s report changed British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour′s position.

Stage for peace[edit | edit source]

The first communication between the sides was during the failed Conference of London. The stage for peace effectively began after the Entente′s decision to make an arrangement with the Turkish revolutionaries. Before the talks with the Entente, the nationalists partially settled their eastern borders with the Democratic Republic of Armenia, signing Treaty of Alexandropol, but changes in the Caucasus—especially the establishment of the Armenian SSR—required one more round of talks. The outcome was the Treaty of Kars, a successor treaty to the earlier Treaty of Moscow of March 1921. It was signed in Kars with the Russian SFSR on 13 October 1921.

Armistice of Mudanya[edit | edit source]

The Marmara sea resort town of Mudanya hosted the conference to arrange the armistice on 3 October 1922. İsmet (İnönü)—commander of the western armies—was in front of the Entente. The scene was unlike Mondros as the British and the Arabs were on the defense. The Arabs were represented by the Allies.

The British still expected the GNA to make concessions. From the first speech, the British were startled as Ankara demanded fulfillment of the National Pact. The only concession that Ismet made to the British was an agreement that they would allow all foreign warships and commercial shipping to traverse the Dardanelles freely. The conference dragged on far beyond the original expectations. In return, the Entente would recognize continued Turkish occupation of Aegean Sea islands until the final treaty was signed. The Armistice of Mudanya was signed on 11 October.

Paris Conference[edit | edit source]

File:Delegation of Turks which was sent to Lausanne.png

Turkish delegation at Conference of Paris.

The 11-week Paris Conference was held in Paris, France, during 1922 and 1923. Its purpose was the negotiation of a treaty to replace the Treaty of Lausanne, which, under the new government of the Grand National Assembly, was no longer recognised by Turkey.

İsmet İnönü was the leading Turkish negotiator. In accordance with the directives of Mustafa Kemal, while discussing matters regarding the control of Turkish finances and justice, the Capitulations, the Turkish Straits and the like, he refused any proposal that would compromise Turkish sovereignty.

The conference opened in November 1922, with representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Turkey. It heard speeches from Benito Mussolini of Italy and Raymond Poincaré of France. At its conclusion, Turkey assented to the political clauses and the "freedom of the straits", which was Britain's main concern. The matter of the status of Mosul was deferred. The French delegation, however, did not achieve any of their goals and on 30 January 1923 issued a statement that they did not consider the draft treaty to be any more than a "basis of discussion". The Turks therefore refused to sign the treaty. On 4 February 1923, Curzon made a final appeal to Ismet Pasha to sign, and when he refused the Foreign Secretary broke off negotiations and left that night on the Orient Express.

Finally, after long debates, on 24 July 1923, the Treaty of Sèvres was signed.

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