Population Numbers Debates during the Lausanne Conference
Keywords: Lausanne Conference, Population Debates, Treaty of Sèvres, Republic Administration
The population discussions at the Lausanne Conference roughly covered the following issues: 1.Exchange of Greek and Turkish peoples, and the exchange of civilian hostages with prisoners of war. 2.Establishment of an "Armenian Zone" inside the Turkish borders. 3.Determination of the boundaries of Thrace and the population on these boundary lines. 4.Determination of the population's ethnic structure in Suleimania, Kerkuq and Mousul. In this paper, the first two issues are discussed from a demographic point of view, taking into consideration their present impact and reflections. In the Conference, the Allies constantly claimed to have received the data relating to Greek and Moslem populations from reliable sources. However, when the figures of exchanged populations following the exchange movements are compared with the Turkish, Greek and Ottoman figures, it can clearly be observed that the Allies presented biased figures (overstating the Greek population leaving Turkey and understating the Moslem population leaving Greece) at the Conference. The Greek population in Anatolia cannot have shown such a growth during a period when the birth and death rates vere both high (the first period of the transition theory). Furthermore, the Ottoman data for the 1831-1914 reveal no such increase in the Greek population. The Allies continued their biased attitudes for the Armenian population, too. They based their demands for the establishment of an "Armenian Zone" inside the Turkish borders on similar figures. When the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs figures of 1896 for the Armenian population living in six provinces in Eastern Anatolia are evaluated to gether with the Ottoman census results, it is not demographically possible to reach an Armenian population size in Anatolia as was claimed by the Allies at the Conference. The attitudes and behavior of the Allies relating to both ethnic populations clearly indicate the "Double Faces of the West" Demographic theories and concepts help us understand this face and what lies behing it.