5 OF 5  

Turkey was the only power defeated in World War I to negotiate with the Allies as an equal and to influence the provisions of the resultant treaty. Ismet Pasha was the chief Turkish negotiator at the Lausanne Conference, which opened in November 1922. The National Pact of 1919 was the basis of the Turkish negotiating position, and its provisions were incorporated in the Treaty of Lausanne, concluded in July 1923. With this treaty, the Allies recognized the present-day territory of Turkey and denied Turkey's claim to the Mosul area in the east (in present-day Iraq) and Hatay, which included the Mediterranean port of Alexandretta (Iskenderun). The boundary with the newly created state of Iraq was settled by a League of Nations initiative in 1926, and Iskenderun was ceded in 1939 by France during its rule as mandatory power for Syria.

Detailed provisions of the treaty regulated use of the straits. General supervisory powers were given to a straits commission under the League of Nations, and the straits area was to be demilitarized after completion of the Allied withdrawal. Turkey was to hold the presidency of the commission, which included the Soviet Union among its members. The capitulations and foreign administration of the Ottoman public debt, which infringed on the sovereignty of Turkey, were abolished. Turkey, however, assumed 40 percent of the Ottoman debt, the remainder being apportioned among other former Ottoman territories. Turkey was also required to maintain low tariffs on imports from signatory powers until 1929. The Treaty of Lausanne reaffirmed the equality of Muslim and non-Muslim Turkish nationals. Turkey and Greece arranged a mandatory exchange of their respective ethnic Greek and Turkish minorities, with the exception of some Greeks in Istanbul and Turks in western Thrace and the Dodecanese Islands.

On October 29, 1923, the Grand National Assembly proclaimed the Republic of Turkey. Atatürk was named its president and Ankara its capital, and the modern state of Turkey was born.

The Republic of Turkey

Ataturk, of "Father of the Turks." As president of Turkey from 1922 to 1928, Ataturk introduced a series of legislative reforms that adopted European legal systems and civil codes and thus overthrew both the Shari'ah and the kanun . He legislated against the Arabic script and converted Turkish writing to the European Roman script. He legislated against the Arabic call to prayer and eliminated the caliphate and all the mystical Sufi orders of Islam. It is not an exaggeration to say that Ataturk is one of the most significant political figures in Islam, for he was the first to theorize and put into practice the secularization of the Islamic state and society. Nothing like it had ever happened in the whole of Islamic history, and, despite the radicality of Ataturks reforms, the Turkish republic has remained an independent and secular Islamic state. Efforts to emulate this secularization, however, have by and large been unsuccessful in other Islamic states.

5 OF 5