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Treaty of Sèvres

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Treaty of Sèvres
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Proposed content of the Treaty of Sèvres
ContextThe Peace Treaty between the Allied Powers and the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of the First World War
Signed10 August 1920
LocationSèvres, France
Signatories1. Allied Powers 2. Central Powers

The Treaty of Sèvres (French: Traité de Sèvres) was a 1920 treaty signed between the Allies of World War I and the Ottoman Empire. The treaty gave parts of Ottoman territory to France, the United Kingdom, Greece and Italy. It was just one of the treaties that the Central Powers signed with the Allied Powers after their defeat in World War I. The Ottoman Empire had already stopped fighting the allies after the Armistice of Mudros.

Parties[change | change source]

The Treaty of Sèvres was signed between the Ottoman Empire and the victorious powers. The victorious powers were split into Allied Powers and Principal Allied Powers. This difference was important as the Allied Powers were the more powerful parties and were made up of Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan. The Principal Allied Powers were constituted by Armenia, Belgium, Greece, Hejaz, Poland, Portugal, Romania, The Serb-Croat-Slovene State and Czecho-Slovakia. These countries were less powerful and had less to say in the making of the treaty.[1]

Contents[change | change source]

The Treaty of Sèvres comprised a series of different sanctions imposed on the Ottoman Empire after their loss in the First World War. Ranging from territorial losses in Arabia, Armenia, Kurdistan and Thrace to diplomatic and economic articles. Also included were provisions that would limit the new state to rearm itself. These provisions included limitations on the Army, Air and Navy.[2] Other military provisions forbade the Ottomans to place troops, navy ships or air forces in certain areas. These areas were often decided to be international zones, zones that were important to international trade. Furthermore the Turkish air force was under supervision of the Allied Powers. This meant they could not import any parts for aircraft without permission of the Allied Powers.[3]

Next to the territorial changes, the Ottoman Empire also faced financial restrictions because they were hold accountable for World War I. These restrictions were made by a newly appointed Financial Commission. This commission included British, French and Italian representatives and they would help by conserving and increasing the resources of the new state Turkey.[4] This included dealing with the debts of the Ottoman Empire and its Council of the Ottoman Public Debt. The Imperial Ottoman Bank got also under control of the Financial Commission and furthermore the Turkish Parliament and Minister of Finance had to let their budget approved by the Commission. This shows that the British, French and Italian had a lot of influence in the Turkish economy and its financial activities.

However shortly after the signing of the treaty, tensions and differences of opinions arose between Britain and France. The French started doubting if the treaty was in their own interest, and the British wanted to ratify the treaty quickly. These tensions meant that the treaty would not be ratified and led to 3 years of war in Anatolia.[5]

Prelude[change | change source]

After the First World War a series of treaties between the Central Powers and Entente powers were signed. The Ottoman Empire belonged to the losing Central Powers after having joined them in 1915. Each Central power signed it's own peace treaty, the one of the Ottomans was The Treaty Of Sèvres.[6] The Treaty of Sèvres was the culmination of months of peace talks after the First World War. The main Entente powers to sign the treaty were Britain, France, Italy and Greece. Britain and France had carved up parts of the Middel-East between the two of them by signing the Sykes-Picot Agreement. The peace talks themselves lasted from the signing of the Armistice of 11 November 1918 to the signing of the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920.[7]

Consequences[change | change source]

As explained the former Ottoman territories were divided after the First World War into mandated areas governed by the French, British, Italian and Greeks.[8] The French got mandates over Syria, Lebanon and parts of Southern Anatolia, the British got mandates over Palestine and Iraq, the Italian got the Dodecanese Islands and portions of southern and west-central Anatolia, and lastly Greece got the city of Smyrna and its surrounding areas. Apart from this, the Kurds also got autonomous areas within Anatolia as well as the Armenians who got independent areas.[9] Therefore the Turks only had parts of Anatolia, which led to anger among the Turkish population.[10]

This anger resulted in a nationalist movement which was not foreseen by the Allies. This nationalist movement was the formation of the resistance and attacks on the Entente were carried out. The British then attacked the Ottoman Parliament, this led to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk convening the Grand National Assembly in Ankara. This became an alternative parliament to the parliament in Istanbul . This parliament opposed the Treaty of Sèvres by refusing to acknowledge the Sultans authority and declaring all provinces in Anatolia and around Istanbul Turkish.[11] This led to the rise of Kemalism in the former Ottoman Empire and the start of a war of independence of the Turkish state. The Entente powers acknowledged that there was a need for new peace terms, which would lead to the signing of the treaty of Lausanne in 1923.[12]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Proposed content of the Treaty of Sèvres Context The Peace Treaty between the Allied Powers and the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of the First World War Signed 10 August 1920 Location Sèvres, France Signatories 1. Allied Powers 2. Central Powers". duplico.org. Derecho Internacional. Retrieved 22 May 2024.
  2. "Treaty Of Sèvres". UK Treaties Online. fcdo.gov.uk. Retrieved 13 May 2024.
  3. [The Treaty of Sèvres, 1920 (The Treaty Of Peace Between The Allied And Associated Powers And Turkey Signed At Sèvres August 10, 1920) "Treaty of Sèvres"]. dipublico.org. Derecho Internacional. Retrieved 22 May 2024. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  4. "The Treaty of Peace Between the Allied and Associated Powers and Turkey Signed at Sevres August 10, 1920".
  5. Montgommery, A.E. (Dec 1972). "The Making of the Treaty of Sevres of 10 August 1920". The Historical Journal. 15 (4). Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  6. Irish, Tomás (Dec 2022). "The Paris Peace Conference and Cultural Reparations after the First World War*". The English Historical Review. 137 (589). {{cite journal}}: |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  7. Montgommery, A.E. (Dec 1977). "The Making of the Treaty of Sevres of 10 August 1920". Journal of History. 15 (4). Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  8. Karvounarakis, Theo (2000). "End of an Empire: Great Britain, Turkey and Greece from the Treaty of Sevres to the Treaty of Lausanne". Balkan Studies. 41 (1).
  9. Anderson, Betty (2016). A History of the Modern Middle East: Rulers, Rebels, and Rogues. Stanford: Stanford University Press. pp. 201–202.
  10. Karčić, Hamza (2020). "Sèvres at 100: The Peace Treaty that Partitioned the Ottoman Empire". Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. 40 (3): 470–479. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/13602004.2020.1813988. {{cite journal}}: Check |doi= value (help); External link in |doi= (help)
  11. "End of an Empire: Great Britain, Turkey and Greece from the Treaty of Sevres to the Treaty of Lausanne". Balkan Studies (40): 1. Jan 1st 2000. Retrieved 13 May 2024. {{cite journal}}: |first1= missing |last1= (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. Shaw, Stanford J. (1977). The Turkish War for Independence, 1918–1923. Cambridge: Cambridge Univeristy Press. pp. 340–371. Retrieved 15 May 2024.