Andrew Andersen




On August 10 1920, competent representatives of 14 nations including Armenia, signed “the Treaty of Peace between Allied and Associated Powers and Turkey” in Sevres (France). The treaty officially put an end to the Ottoman Empire and in fact, abolished Turkish sovereignty.



Avetis Aharonian


Basing on its provisions, Turkey agreed to British and French protectorate over Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Syria (Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan and Palestine), recognized independence of Hejaz, Asir and Yemen, granted autonomy to Kurdistan (the province of Diyarbekir and southern part of Van province), ceded Smyrna (now Izmir) and Eastern Trace to Greece and Western Armenia (the provinces of Bitlis, Erzerum and nouthern part of Van province) to the Armenian Republic. Additionally, eastern half of Trebizond province was to be partitioned between Armenia and Georgia thus providing Armenian Republic full access to the sea. The Zone of the Straits formally remained Turkish but was to be neutralized and internationalized.


While accepted by the government of Sultan Muhammad VI in Constantinople, the treaty of Sevres was rejected by the new nationalist government formed in Ankara by Kemal Ataturk.


Kemal Ataturk

Turkish nationalists refused to transfer the assigned territories to Greece and especially to Armenia and Georgia. Ataturk even claimed that Turkey had enough forces to take over all the South Caucasus if needed.


Unlike Greece controlling not only the assigned territories but occupying area of western Anatolia, Armenian Republic seemed unable to take over the territories assigned to her by the treaty. Facing 50 000 strong Turkish army of Nizam Karabeqir Pasha at her pre-treaty borders, Armenia could boast less than 30 000 soldiers. In spite of the fact that according to their British allies, Armenian army was the best trained and the most disciplined among other armies of the South Caucasus, it was exhausted both morally, physically and financially as a result of the series of almost non-stop warfare starting with 1917.


The Turkish-Armenian relations in the aftermath of the Treaty of Sevres, were marked by the following misbalance: Armenia was willing to take over the territory legally assigned to her by the Allies but was unable to do so while the Turks unwilling to submit to the treaty, had both the possibilities and aspirations to take over all the remaining Armenia. The further development of the situation in the South Caucasus demonstrated that Armenia could not count on any serous external help while Turkey enjoyed both diplomatic and military support on behalf of the Soviet Russia and its puppet-state of Soviet Azerbaijan.


Click here to go to the Turkish-Armenian War (Sept.-dec., 1920)