Lausanne, Treaty of


Lausanne, Treaty of
(1923)
   The Treaty of Lausanne between Turkey and the victorious Allies of World War I made no specific mention of any Kurdish rights. It replaced the stillborn Treaty of Sevres (1920) that had provided for Kurdish autonomy and even possible independence. This change occurred because of the success of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in creating the modern Republic of Turkey out of the ashes of the defeated Ottoman Empire.
   Under the Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey agreed to recognize minority rights in Turkey only for non-Muslims such as Greeks, Armenians, and Jews. Thus, the old Ottoman principle that Islam took precedence over nationality among Muslims was recognized, and the Kurds received no minority recognition. Article 39 of the Treaty of Lausanne did provide that "no restrictions shall be imposed on the free use by any Turkish national of any language in private intercourse, in commerce, religion, in the press, or in publications of any kind or at public meetings." This provision, however, did not prevent Turkey from trying to ban the Kurdish language and assimilate its ethnic Kurdish population.
   The Treaty of Lausanne was not able to settle the Mosul question over whether Turkey or Great Britain and its mandate Iraq owned what became Iraqi Kurdistan. Ismet Inonu for Turkey and Lord George Curzon for Great Britain were the two main negotiators at Lausanne.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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