Treaty of Lausanne

Treaty of Lausanne


This treaty was signed on 24th of July 1923. The Sevres peace treaty imposed by the Allies on the Ottoman Empire after World War I had virtually destroyed Turkey as a national state. The treaty was not recognized by the nationalist government under Mustafa Kemal Pasha (later known as Atatürk). After the nationalist victory over the Greeks and the overthrow of the sultan during the War of Independence, Atatürk's government was in a position to request a new peace treaty. Accordingly, the signatories of the Treaty of Sevres and delegates of the USSR (excluded from the previous treaty) met at Lausanne, Switzerland. After lengthy negotiations a peace treaty was signed in 1923.


Turkey recovered Eastern Thrace, several Aegean islands, a strip along the Syrian border, the Smyrna (modern Izmir) district, and the internationalized Zone of the Straits (Bosphorus and Dardanelles), which, however, was to remain demilitarized and remain subject to an international convention. Turkey recovered full sovereign rights over all its territory, and foreign zones of influence and capitulations were abolished. Outside the Zone of the Straits, no limitation was imposed on the Turkish military establishment. No reparations were exacted.


In return, Turkey renounced all claims on former Turkish territories outside its new boundaries and undertook to guarantee the rights of its minorities. A separate agreement between Greece and Turkey provided for the compulsory exchange of minorities.