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war of September-December/1920, and the fall of the First Republic
resulted in the treaty of Alexandropol signed by the
representatives of Armenia and Turkey on December 2 1920, in accordance with
which Armenia was to give up all the territories granted to her by the treaty of Sevres and to cede
to Turkey about 60 per cent of her prewar territory.
However, as a result of the Soviet conquest, Armenia became
a Moscow-controlled puppet “Soviet Republic“ on the same day of December 1920,
when the treaty pf Alexandropol was signed by the
representatives of he fallen government thus putting the legitimacy of that
treaty in question. Further political and military development in the South
Caucasus resulted in the fall of Georgia, the last pro-western
country in the area and the conquest of her territory by the Soviets and the Turks
(19.03.1921). The communist decision-making centre in Moscow
was planning to unite all the Soviet republics into a new quasi-state that
would include Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia but before that the
territorial disputes were supposed to be resolved.
The Soviet-Turkish borders established as a result of the
wars of Sept./1920 – March/1921 were adjusted and
confirmed by the treaty of Kars signed by the
representatives of Turkey
and the four Soviet republics of Russian
federation, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan on October 13, 1921.
According to the provisions of the treaty of Kars, the treaties of Sevres and Alexandropol were denounced and both the Turkish and
Armenian sides agreed to forgive each other all the “military crimes and
mistakes” committed by their representatives during all the wars, conflicts and
ethnic cleansings of 1915-1920. The treaty of Kars
left Turkey with most of the
territories conquered during the Turkish-Armenian war and the Soviet-Turkish
war against Georgia.
Turkey re-gained almost all
the territories lost to the Russian Empire during Russo-Turkish war of 1978,
except northern half of Achara, with the towns of Artvin, Ardahan, Olty, Sarykamysh, Kaghyznman and Kars.
Turkey was also granted the
large part of the former Yerevan province to the
south of Araxi river with
the town of Ighdyr and
the mountain of Ararat
(the national symbol of Armenia).
The latter territory had never been a part of Turkey, except a short period
between 1724 and 1735. In turn, Turkey returned the area of Alexandropol
to Soviet Armenia and dropped all the claims to Sharur-Naxcivan-Ordubad
area under the condition that the area is not to be incorporated into Armenia
but becomes a Muslim-dominated autonomy within Azerbaijani SSR.
The above territorial losses were and still are regarded by
many Armenians as a national catastrophe, and the borders as defined by the
treaty of Kars, are far from been fair from the point of view of Armenian
nationalists many of whom still consider the treaty of Sevres as the basis for
the resolution of Turkish-Armenian conflict.
The territorial dispute between Armenia
and Azerbaijan was also
supposed to be resolved in order to keep both Soviet puppet-states under Moscow umbrella. Basing
on the promises of Soviet emissaries at the brink of sovietization,
as well as on several decrees issued by the Caucasian Bureau of the Communist
Party (trans-national organ created by Moscow
to solve basic regional problems), the communist leadership of Armenian SSR
expected to be granted most of the disputed areas, including Karabakh, Zanghezur and Sharur. However by the fall of 1921 following the orders
received from Moscow, the Caucasian Bureau
finally granted to Azerbaijan
both Karabakh and Naxcivan
while Armenia received Zanghezur separating Naxcivan
from the rest of Azerbaijan
and providing Armenian SSR with an access to Iranian border.
In summer 1923, Karabakh was
granted some limited territorial autonomy its historical territory being
reduced to 6 districts out of 10 and its borders redrawn a number of times.
Borders of Armenia
proper (Arm.SSR) were also redrawn several times
after 1922. Some major “adjustments” were made between 1923 and 1928. As a
result, Armenia had to cede
the northern half of Kazakh-Shamshadin district and a
number of smaller parts of Zanghezur. However the
same year, Armenia
received small territorial compensation by being assigned Lori district of
Georgia (former Lori canton of Borchalo district that
had been a “neutral zone” between 01.1919 and 11.1920). All the above-mentioned
territorial changes left all involved parties deeply unsatisfied and most
likely built up the basis for future conflicts and disputes