The Armenian Question during the Lausanne Conference: The Diplomatic Manoeuvres of Allied Powers and Turkey's Counter Policies
Mustafa Sıtkı Bi̇lgi̇n
Keywords: Lausanne Conference, Armenian Question, Allied Powers, Turkey
This article deals with the discussions related to the Armenian Question took place at Lausanne Peace Conference between Turkey and the Allied Powers. It analyses the driving force behind the arguments of the Allied Powers and how Turkey responded to them. As this study shows one of the major topics on the Allied Powers' agenda was the Armenian Issue. During the Conference the Allied Powers came to an agreement that they, in any case, would support the idea of establishment of an 'Armenian home' in Turkey's territories as a result of Armenian good services to the Allies' cause during the Great War. The Allied Powers however failed to provide adequate arguments since the Armenians were only a tiny minority in Turkey and there was no chance of establishing an Armenian home in the Eastern parts of Turkey without outside assistance. Turkey also showed all the historical evidences and numerical statistical data to prove that the Armenians at no time in history had been a majority in Anatolia. Only after Turkey did press her case so strongly the Allied Powers abandoned their false idea of the establishment of a 'National home for the Armenians' in Turkey's territories. This issue hence was solved once and for all during the Lausanne Conference. This study also examines how the Turkish diplomacy was developed regarding the Armenian Question and how the Turkish performance was perceived by the foreign diplomats. This article is based on British, American and Turkish Archival materials and as well as on the secondary sources available both in Turkish and English. This work hence is the major one in this fied and it is going to fill a crucial gap on this subject.