Plans for Partitioning Turkey
troops--British, French, and Italian, as well as a contingent of
Greeks--occupied Istanbul and were permitted under the conditions
of the armistice to intervene in areas where they considered their
interests to be imperiled. During the war, the Allies had negotiated
a series of agreements that outlined not only the definitive dismantling
of the Ottoman Empire but also the partitioning among them of what
Turkish nationalists had come to regard as the Turkish homeland.
According to these agreements, Russia was at last to be rewarded
with possession of Istanbul and the straits, as well as eastern
Anatolia as far south as Bitlis below Lake Van. France and Italy
were conceded portions of Anatolia, and Britain had promised Izmir
to Greece--although it had also been promised to Italy--to encourage
Greek entry into the war in 1917.
The Bolshevik government had renounced tsarist
claims when it made its separate peace at Brest-Litovsk, but Britain,
France, Italy, and Greece all pressed their respective claims at
the Paris peace talks in 1919. All agreed with the provisions of
President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points calling for an independent
Armenia and an autonomous Kurdistan. How the Allies would implement
the clause providing that the Turkish-speaking nation "should
be assured of a secure sovereignty" was not clear.
terms of a peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire were presented by
the Allies in April 1920 at San Remo, Italy, and were embodied in
the Treaty of Sèvres, which was concluded the following August.
The treaty was shaped by the wartime agreements made by the Allies.
In addition, France received a mandate over Lebanon and Syria (including
what is now Hatay Province in Turkey), and Britain's mandate covered
Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine. Eastern Thrace up to a line from the
Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara as well as Izmir and its hinterland
were to be occupied by Greece, with the final disposition of the
territory to be decided in a plebiscite. The Treaty of Sèvres
was never enforced as such, as events in Turkey soon rendered it