Turco-French Struggle for Mastery in Cilicia and the Ankara Agreement of 1921
Keywords: Turco-French, Ankara, First World War, 1921
French occupation of Cilicia following the First World War was mainly strategic and economic in character. The French committed all the errors of wicked military occupation. The Turkish Nationalists, on their part, fiercely resisted the foreign occupation of the region. By May 1920 the military weakness of the French had compelled them to surrender Maraş, Urfa and Pozantı. Defeat on battleground forced the French to conclude an armistice with the Turks. This act was considered as a serious blow to the prestige of the Allies and as the first big step towards the recognition of the Turkish Nationalists as a government controlling Anatolia. Resumption of the armed operations by the Turks produced considerable alarm at Paris. The French eventually concluded that the consts of controlling Cilicia outweighed dthe benefits of this venture and decided to approach Ankara for settlement. France was impressed by Turkish victory over the Greeks in the Sakarya battle in August-September 1921. Negotiations were therefore entered into with the Turks and an agreement was signed on 20 October 1921. This agreement was the greatest Turkish diplomatic victory so far. It had very significant bearings. Ankara Agreement's terms were criticised by Britain, French colonial party and Syrian nationalists.