The Frontier Between Armenia And Turkey As Decided by President Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow_Wilson-H&E1
President Woodrow Wilson

President Woodrow Wilson

From The Armenian Review
Volume 19, No 2
Summer, 1966

The Frontier Between Armenia And Turkey As Decided by President Woodrow Wilson
NOVEMBER 22, 1920
TEXT OF A GOVERNMENTAL DOCUMENT

Introductory Note
On April 26, 1920, the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers, in conference at San Remo, addressed to the President of the United States of America an invitation to act as arbitrator in the question of the boundary between Turkey and Armenia, to be fixed within the four vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizond, Van and Bitlis.

On May the 17th, 1920, President Wilson accepted the invitation of the Supreme Council.

On August 10, 1920, a Treaty of Peace was signed at Seores by Plenipotentiary Representatives of the British Empire, France, Italy and Japan, and of A1•menia, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Roumania and CzechoSlovakia, of the one patt; and of Turkey, of the other part, which Treaty contained, among other provisions, the following:

ARTICLE 89: Turkey and Armenia, as well as the other High Contracting Potvers, agree to submit to the arbitration of the President of the United States of America the question of the frontiers to be fixed between Turkey and Armenia in the Vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizoncl, Van and Bitlis, and to accept his decision thereupon, as well as any stipulations he may prescribe as to access for Armenia to the sea, and as to the demilitarization of any portion of Turkish territory adjacent to the said frontier.

On October 18, 1920, the Secretariat General of the Peace Conference, acting under the instructions of the Allied Powers, transmitted to President Wilson an authenticated copy of the above mentioned Treaty.

On November 22, 1920, President Wilson affixed his seal to his dedsion delineating the boundaries between Turkey and Armenia.

This decision with a covering letter to the President of the Supreme Council was communicated under date of November 24, 1920, through the American Ambassador in Paris to the Secretariat General of the Peace Council.

President Wilson’ s letter and decision as follows:

President Wilson’s Letter

To the President of the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers
Mr. President:

By action of the Supreme Council taken on April 26th of this year an invitation was tendered to me to arbitrate the question of the boundaries between Turkey and the new state of Armenia. Representatives of the powers signatory on August 10th of this year to the Treaty of Sevres have acquiesced in conferring this honor upon me and have signified their intention of accepting the frontiers which are to be determined by my decision, as well as any stipulation which I may prescribe as to access for Armenia to the sea and any arrangement for the demilitarization of Turkish territory lying along the frontier thus established. According to the terms of the arbitral reference set forth in part III, Section 6, Article 89, of the Treaty of Sevres, the scope of the arbitral competence assigned to me clearly limited to the determination of the frontiers of Turkey and Armenia in the Vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizond, Van and Bitlis. With full consciousness of the responsibility placed upon me by your request, I have approached this difficult task with eagerness to serve the best interests of the Armenian people as well as the remaining inhabitants, of whatever race or religious belief they may be, in this stricken country, attempting to exercise also the strictest possible justice toward the populations, whether Turkish, Kurdish, Greek or Armenian, living in the adjacent areas.

In approaching this problem it was obvious that the existing ethnic and religious distribution of the population in the four vilayets could not, as in other parts of the world, be regarded as the guiding element of the decision. The ethnic consideration, in the case of a population originally so complexly intermingled, is further beclouded by the terrible results of the massacres and deportations of the Armenians and Greeks, and by the dreadful losses also suffered by the Muslim inhabitants through refugee movements and the scourge of typhus and other diseases. The limitation of the arbitral assignment to the four vilayets named in Article 89 of the Treaty made it seem a duty and an obligation that as large an area within these vilayets be granted to the Armenian state as could be done, while meeting the basic requirements of an adequate natural frontier and of geographic and economic unity for the new state. It was essential to keep in mind that the new state of Armenia, including as it will a large section of the former Armenian provinces of Trans-Caucasian Russia, will at the outset have a population about equally divided between Moslem and Christian elements and of diverse racial and tribal relationship. The citizenship of the Armenian Republic will, by the tests of language and religion, be composed of Turks, Kurds, Greeks, Kizilbashis, Lazes and others, as well as Armenians. The conflicting territorial desires of Armenians, Turks, Kurds and Greeks along the boundaries assigned to my arbitral decision could not always be harmonized. In such cases it was my belief that consideration of healthy economic life for the future state of Armenia should be decisive. Where, however, the requirement of a correct geographic boundary permitted all mountain and valley districts along the border which were predominantly Kurdish or Turkish have been left to Turkey rather than assigned to Armenia, unless trade relations with definite market towns threw them necessarily into the Armenian state. Wherever information upon tribal relations and seasonal migrations was obtainable, the attempt was made to respect the integrity of tribal groupings and nomad pastoral movements.

From the Persian border southwest of the town of Kotur the boundary line of Armenia is determined by a rugged natural barrier of great height, extending south of Lake Van and lying southwest of the Armenian cities of Bitlis and Mush. This boundary line leaves as a part of the Turkish •state the entire Sandjak of Hakkiari, or about one-half of the Vilayet of Van, and almost the entire Sandjak of Sairt. The sound physiographic reason which seemed to justify this decision was further strengthened by the ethnographic consideration that Hakkiari and Sairt are predominantly Kurdish in population and economic relations. It did not seem to the best interest of the Armenian state to include in it the upper valley of the Great Zab River, largely Kurdish and Nestorian Christian in population and an essential element of the great Tigris river irrigation system of Turkish Kurdistan and Mesopotamia. The control of these headwaters should be kept, •wherever possible, within the domain of the two interested states, Turkey and Mesopotamia. For these reasons the Armenian claim upon the upper valley of the Great Zab could not be satisfied.

The boundary upon the west from Bitlis and Mush northward to the vicinity of Erzingan lies well within Bitlis and Erzerum vilayets. It follows a natural geographic barrier, which furnishes Armenia with perfect security and leaves to the Turkish state an area which is strongly Kurdish. Armenian villages and village nuclei in this section, such as Kighi and Temran, necessarily remain Turkish because of the strong commercial and church ties which connect them with Kharput rather (than?)•with any Armenian market and religious centers which lie within Bitlis or Erzerum vilyets. This decision seemed an unavoidable consequence of the inclusion of the city and district of Kharput in the Turkish state as determined by Article 27 II (4) and Article 89 of the Treaty of Sevres.

From the northern border of the Dersim the nature and the direction of the frontier decision was primarily dependent upon the vital question of supplying an adequate access to the sea for the state of Armenia. Upon the correct solution of this problem depends, in my judgment, the future economic well-being of the entire population, Turkish, Kurdish, Greek, Armenian, or Yezidi, in those portions of the vilayets of Erzerum, Bitlis and Van which lie within the state of Armenia. I was not unmindful of the desire of the Pontic Greeks, submitted to me in a memorandum similar, no doubt, in argument and content to that presented to the Supreme Council last March at its London Conference, that the unity of the coastal area of the Black sea inhabited by them be preserved and that arrangement be made for an autonomous administration for the region stretching from Riza to a point west of Sinope. The arbitral jurisdiction assigned to me by Article 89 of the Treaty of Sevres does not include the possibility of decision or recommendation by me upon the question of their desire for independence, or failing that, for autonomy. Nor does it include the right to deal with the littoral of the independent Sandjak of Djanik or of the Vilayet of Kastamuni into which extends the region of the unity and autonomy desired by the Pontic Greeks.

Three possible courses lay open to me: to so delimit the boundary that the whole of Trebizond Vilayet would lie within Turkey, to grant it in its entirety to Armenia, or to grant a part of it to Armenia and leave the remainder to Turkey. The majority of the population of Trebizond Vilayet is incontestably Muslim and the Armenian element, according to all pre-war estimates, was undeniably inferior numerically to the Greek portion of the Christian minority. Against a decision so clearly indicated on ethnographic grounds weighed heavily the future of Armenia, I could only regard the question in the light of the needs of a new political entity, Armenia, with mingled Muslim and Christian populations, rather than as a question of the future of the Armenians alone. It has been and is now increasingly my conviction that the arrangements providing for Armenia’s access to the sea must be such as to offer every possibility for the development of this state as one capable of reassuming and maintaining that useful role in the commerce of the world which its geographic position, athwart a great historic trade route, assigned to it in the past. The civilization and the happiness of its mingled population will largely depend upon the building of railways and the increased accessibility of the hinterland of the three vilayets to European trade and cultural influences.

Eastward from the port of Trebizond along the coast of Lazistan no adequate harbor facilities are to be found and the rugged character of the Pontic range separating Lazistan Sandjak from the Vilayet of Erzerum is such as to isolate the hinterland from the coast so far as practicable railway construction is concerned. The existing caravan route from Persia across the plains o.f Bayazid and Erzerum, which passes through the towns of Baiburt and Gumush-khana and debouches upon the Black Sea at Trebizond, has behind it a long record of persistent usefulness.

These were the considerations which have forced me to revert to my original conviction that the town and harbor of Trebizond must become an integral part of Armenia. Because of the still greater adaptability of the route of the Karshut valley, ending at the town of Tireboli, for successful railway construction and operation I have deemed also essential to include this valley in Armenia, with enough territory lying west of it to insure its adequate protection. I am not unaware that the leaders of the Armenian delegations have expressed their willingness to renounce claim upon that portion of Trebizond Vilayet lying west of Surmena Commendable as is their desire to avoid the assumption of authority over a territory so predominantly Moslem, I can confident that, in acquiescing in their eagerness to do justice to the Turks and Greeks in Trebizond I should be doing an irreparable injury to the future of the land of Armenia and its entire population, of which they will be a part.

It was upon such a basis, Mr. President, that the boundaries were so drawn as to follow mountain ridges west of the city of Erzingan to the Ponic range and thence to the Black Sea, in such a way as to include in Armenia the indentation called Zephyr Bey. The decision to leave to Turkey the harbor towns and hinterland of Kerasun and Ordu in Trebizond Sandjak was dictated by the fact that the population of this region is strongly Moslem and Turkish and that these towns are the outlets for the easternmost sections of the Turkish vilayet of Sivas. The pads of Erzerum and Trebizond Vilayets which by reason of this delimitation, remain Turkish rather than bocome Armenian comprise approximately 12,120 square kilometers.

The Official Department of State map, embossed with the Presidential Seal, showing the Western boundaries of the Wilsonian Territorian Decision

The Official Department of State map, embossed with the Presidential Seal, showing the Western boundaries of the Wilsonian Territorian Decision

In the matter of demilitarization of Turkish territory adjacent to the Armenian border as it has been broadly described above, it seemed both impracticable and unnecessary to establish a demilitarized zone which would require elaborate prescriptions and complex agencies for their execution. Fortunately, Article 177 of the Treaty of Sevres prescribes the disa1ming of all existing forts throughout Turkey. Articles 159 and 196-200 provide in addition agencies entirely adequate to meet all the dangers of disorder which may arise along the borders, the former by the requirement that a portion of the officers of the gendarmerie shall be supplied by the various Allied or neutral Powers, the latter by the establishment of a Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control and Organization. In these circumstances the only additional prescriptions which seemed necessary and advisable were that the Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control and Organization should, in conformity with the powers bestowed upon it by Article 200 of the Treaty, select the superior officers of the gendarmerie to be stationed in the vilayets of Turkey lying contiguous to the frontiers of Armenia solely from those officers who will be detailed by the Allied or neutral Powers in accordance with Article 159 of the Treaty; and that these officers, under the supervision of the Military Inter-Allied Commission of Organization and Control, should be especially charged with the duty of preventing military preparations directed against the Armenian frontier.

It is my confident expectation that the Armenian refugees and their leaders, in the period of their return into the territory thus assigned to them, will be refraining from any and all forms of reprisals give to the world an example of that high moral courage which must always be the foundation of national strength. The world expects of them that thy give every encouragement and help within their power those Turkish refugees who may desire to return to their former homes in the districts of Trebizond, Erzerum, Van and Bitlis remembering that these peoples, too have suffered greatly. It is my further expectation that they will offer such considerate treatment to the Laz and the Greek inhabitants of the coastal region of the Black Sea, surpassing in the liberality of their administrative arrangements, of necessary, even the ample provisions for non-Armenian racial and religious groups embodied in the Minorities Treaty signed by them upon August 10th of this year, that these peoples will gladly and willingly work in completest harmony with the Armenians in laying firmly the foundation of the new Republic of Armenia.

I have the honor to submit herewith the text of my decision.
Accept (etc.)
WOODROW WILSON
Washington, November 22, 1920.

Decision of President Wilson
Respecting the Frontier Between Turkey and Armenia, Access for Armenia to the Sea, and the Demilitarization of Turkish Territory Adjacent to the Armenian Frontier.

WOODROW WILSON, President of the United States,

To Whom it shall concern,

Greeting:
Whereas, on April 26, 1920, the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers, in conference at San Remo, addressed to the President of the United States of America, an invitation to act as arbitrator in the question of the boundary between Turkey and Armenia, to be fixed within the four Vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizond, Van, and Bitlis;

And whereas, on May 17, 1920, my acceptance of this invitation was telegraphed to the American Ambassador in Paris, to be conveyed to the Powers represented on the Supreme Council;

And whereas, on August 10, 1920, a Treaty of Peace was signed at Sevres by Plenipotentiary Representatives of the British Empire, France, Italy and Japan, and of Armenia, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Roumania, and Czecho-Slovakia, of the one part; and of Turkey, of the other part, which Treaty contained, among other provisions, the following:

“ARTICLE 89. Turkey and Armenia as well as the other High Contracting Parties agree to submit to the arbitration of the President of the United States of America the question of the frontier to be fixed between Turkey and Armenia in the Vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizoncl, Van and Bitlis, and to accept his decision thereupon, as well as any stipulations he may prescribe to access for Armenia to the sea, and as to the demilitarization of any portion of Turkish territory adjacent to the said frontier”;

And whereas, on October 18, 1920, the Secretariat General of the Peace Conference, acting under the instructions of the Allied Powers, transmitted to me, through the Embassy of the United States of America in Paris, an authenticated copy of the above mentioned Treaty, drawing attention to the said Article 89;

Now, therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, upon whom has thus been conferred the authority of arbitrator, having examined the question in the light of the most trustworthy information available, and with a mind to the highest interests of justice, do hereby declare the following decision:

I. he frontier between Turkey and Armenia in the Vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizond, Van, and Bitlis, shall be fixed as follows:

1. The initial point* shall be chosen on the ground at the junction of the Turkish-Persian frontier with the eastern termination of the administrative boundary between the Sandjaks of Van and Hakkiari, of the Vilayet of Van, as this administrative boundary appears upon the Bashkala sheet of the Turkish map, scale 1:200,000, editions published in the Turkish financial years 1330 and 1331 (1914-15). From this initial point the boundary shall extend southwestward to the western peak of Merkezer Dagh, situated about 6 kilometers westward from point 3350 (10,990 feet), about 2 kilometers southeastward from the village of Yokary Ahvalan, and approximately 76 kilometers southeastward from the city of Van.

the sandjak boundary specified above, then the administrative boundary beween the Kazas of Manuret-ul-Hamid and Elback, then the same sandjak boundary specified above, all modified, where necessary, to follow the main water-parting between the Zap Su (Great Zab River) and the Khoshab Su, and dividing equably the summits of the passes Krdes Gedik and Chokh Gedik;

then northwestward about 28 kilometers to Klesiry Dagh,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings between the Khoshab Su and the streams flowing into the Shatak Su, and traversing the pass south of the village of Yokary Ahvalan, and passing through Shkolans Dagh ( 3100 meters or 10,170 feet) and the Belereshuk pass.

thence southwestward to the junction of unnamed stream with the Shatak Su at a point about 10 kilometers southward from the village of Shatak,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, and passing through Koh Kiran Daghlar, Sari Dagh ( 3150 meters or 10,335 feet), Kevmetala Tepe ( 3,500 meters or 11,480 feet, point 3,540 ( 11,615 feet), in such a way as to leave to Armenia the village of Eyreti, and to Turkey the village of Araz, and to cross the Shatak Su at least 2 kilometers southward from the village of Dir Mouem KilIsa;

thence westward to the point where the Bitlis-Van Vila yet boundary reaches the Moks Su from the west, situated about 18 kilometers southward from the village of Moks.

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, leaving to Armenia the villages of Kachet, Sinpass, and Ozim, passing through Kanisor Tepe (3,245 meters or 10,654 feet), an unnamed peak about 3 kilometers southward from Arnus Dagh (3,550 meters or 11,654 feet), crossing an unnamed stream about 2 kilometers southward from the village of Sinpass, passing through point 3,000 (9,840 feet), following the boundary between the Vilayets of Van and Bitlis for about 3 kilometers southwestward from this point and continuing southwestward on the same ridge to an unnamed peak about 2 kilometers eastward from Moks Su, and then descending to this stream;

thence northward to an unnamed peak on the boundary between the Vilayets of Van and Bitlis about 3 kilometers westward from the pass at Mata Gedik, the administrative boundary between the Vilayets of Van and Bitlis, modified south of Vankin Dag~ ( 3,200 meters or 10,500 feet) to follow the main water-parting;

thence westward to the peak Meidan Chenidiani, situated on the boundary between the Sandjaks of Bitlis and Sairt about 29 kilometers southeastward from the city of Bitlis,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, passing through Veherhan Dagh (3,110 meters or 10,200 feet), crossing the Kesan Dere about 2 kilometers southward from the village of Khoros, leaving to Turkey the villages of Sernbaj and Nevaleyn as well as the bridge or ford on the trail between them, and leaving to Armenia the village of Chopans and the trail leading to it fro1n the northeast;

thence westward to the Guzel Dere Su at a point about 23 kilometers southward from the city of Bitlis and about 2 kilometers southward from N uri Ser peak (2,150 1neters or 7,050 feet),

the administrative boundary between the Sandjaks of Bitlis and Sairt, and then, a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, and passing through points 2,750 and 2,700 of Kur Dagh (9,020 and 8,860 feet respectively), Biluki Dagh (2,230 meters or 7,315 feet), and Sihaser Tepe ( 2,250 meters or 7,380 feet);

thence westward to the junction of the Eitlis Su and the unnamed strea1n near the village of Deshtumi, about 30 kilometers southwestward from the city of Bitlis,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, leaving to Turkey the villages of Lered and Daruni, and to Armenia the village of Enbu and all the portions of the trail leading northeastward to the Bitlis Su from Mergelu peak (1,850 meters or 6,070 feet), and passing through Mergelu Tepe and Shikh Tabur ridge;

thence westward to the Zuk ( Gharzan) Su at the point about 11 kilometers northeastward from the village of Hazo and approximately 1 kilometer upstream from the village of Zily,

a line to be £xed on the ground, following the main water-partings, leaving to Armenia the village of Deshtumi, passing through the eastern peak of Kalmen Dagh ( 2.710 meters or 8,890 feet) and continuing in such a manner as to leave to Ar::. nenia the upland dolina, or basin of interior drainage, to traverse the pass about 3 kilometers westward from the village of Avesipy, passing through Shelash Dagh (1,944 meters or 6,380 feet);

thence westward to the Sassun Dere at a point about 4 kilometers southwestward from the village of Kabil Jeviz and approximately 47 kilometers southward from the city of Mush,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings through Cheyardash peak (2,001 meters or 6,565 feet), Keupeka peak (1,931 n1eters or 6,335 feet), an unnamed peak on the Sassun Dagh about 4 kilometers southwestward from Mala to Dagh ( 2,967 meters or 9,735 feet), point 2,229 (7,310 feet), and leaving to Turkey the village of Gundenu;

thence northwestward to the Talury Dere at a point about 2 kilon1eters upstream from the village of Kasser and approximately 37 kilometers northeastward from the village of Seylevan (Farkin),

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the n1ain water-partings and passing through an unnamed peak about 2 kilometers eastward from the village of Seyluk, and through point 2,073 (6,800 feet), leaving to Armenia the village of Heyshtirem;

thence northwestward to the western tributary of the Talury Dere at a point about 2 kilometers eastward from the village of Helin and approximately 42 kilometers southwestward from the city of Mush,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the n1ain water-partings, and passing through point 2,251 (7,385 feet); thence northwestward to the junction of the Kulp Boghazy (Kulp Su) and Askar Dere, approximately 42 kilometers southwestward fron1 city of Mush,

a line to be fixed on the grounds, following the main water-partings leaving to Turkey the village of Helin and to Armenia the village of Kehirvanik;

thence northwestward to a point on the administrative boundary between the Sandjaks of Gendj and Mush northeast of Mir Ismail Dagh, and situated about 5 kilometers westward from the village of Pelekoz, and approximately 19 kilometers southward from the village of Ardushin.

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, and passing through the Komiss Dagh;

thence northwestward to the Frat Nehri (Murad Su, or Euphrates) at a point to be determined on the ground about 1 kilometer upstream from the village of Dorne and approximately 56 kilometers westward from the city of Mush,

the administrative boundary between the Sandjaks of Gendj and Mush northward for about 2 kilometers, then a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings westward to an unnamed peak approximately 6 kilometers east of Chutela (Akche Kara) Dagh (2,940 meters or 9,645 feet), then northward passing through Hadije Tepe on Arshik Dagh, leaving to Turkey the village of Kulay and to Armenia the village of Kluhuran;

thence northwestward to the Gunik Su at a point about midway between two trails crossing this river about half way between the villages of Elmaly and Chenajki, and approximately 26 kilometers northeastward from the village of Cholik ( Chevelik),

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, passing through an unnamed peak about 2 kilometers westward from the village of Shanghar, along Solkhan Dagh, and through point 2,200 (7,220 feet), leaving to Turkey the villages of Shanghar and Chenajky, and to Armenia the villages of Kumistan, Lichinak, and Elmaly;

thence northwestward to the boundary between the Vilayets of Erzerun1 and Bitlis at an unnamed peak near where a straight line between the villages of Erchek and Agha Keui would intersect said vilayet boundary,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, passing through point 2,050 (6, 725 feet); thence northward to an unnamed peak on said vilayet boundary about 8 kilometers northwestward from Katalik Tepe on the Choris Dagh,

the administrative boundary between the vilayets of Erzerum and Bitlis;

thence westward to the Buyuk Su Su (Kighi Su) at a point about 2 kilon1eters upstream from the junction of the Ghabzu Dere with it, and approximately 11 kilometers northwestward from the village of Kighi,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings of the Sheitan Daghlar, passing through points 2,610 ( 8565 feet), Sheitan Dagh (2,906 meters or 9,535 feet), Hakstun Dagh, and leaving to Armenia the village of Dinek and the ford or bridge southwest of this village;

thence westward to the Dar Boghaz (Kuttu Dere) at a point about 3 kilometers southward from the village of Chardaklar (Palumor),

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, leaving to Armenia the villages of Shorakh and Ferhadin, passing through Ghabarti Dagh (2,550 n1eters or 8,365 feet), Sian Dagh (2,750 meters or 9,020 feet), the 2,150 meter pass on the Palumor-Kighi trail near near Mustapha Bey Konaghy, Fezira Tepe (2,530 meters or 8,300 feet), point 2,244 ( 7,360 feet), and point 2,035 (6,675 feet);

thence westward to the point common to the boundaries of the Sandjaks of Erzingan and Erzerum and the Vilayet of Mamuret-ul-Aziz, situated at a sharp angle in the vilayet boundary, approximately 24 kilome.ters westward from the villa ae of Palumor and 32 kilometers southeastward from the city of Erzingan,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, and passing through an unnmned peak about 2 kilometers southwestward from the Paumor- Erzingan pass, then turning southwestward along said Sandjak boundary for nearly 13 kilometers, passing through Karaja Kaleh (3,100 meters or 10,170 feet);

thence westward to an unnamed peak on the boundary between the Vilayets of Erzerum and Manuret-ul-Aziz about 3 kilometers northeastward from the pass on the trail across the Monzur Silsilesi between Kemakh on the Euphrates and Pelur in the Dersirn, the peak being approximately 40 kilometers southwestward from the city of Erzing~,

the administrative boundary between the vilayets of Erzerum and Manuret-ulAziz, modified,** in case of a majority of the voting members of the Boudndary Commission deem it wise, to follow the main water-parting along the ridge between an unnamed peak about 2 kilometers southwest of Merjan Daghlar ( 3,449 meters or 11,315 feet) and Katar Tepe ( 3,300 meters or 10,825 feet);

thence northward to the Frat Nehri ( Kara Su, or Euphrates) at a point to be determined on the ground about 6 kilometers eastward from the village of Kemakh and approximately 35 kilometers southwestward from the city of Erzingan,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, leaving to Turkey the trail from Pelur in the Dersim to Kemakh on the Euphrates, and to Armenia the village of Koja Arbler;

thence, northward to the boundary between the vilayets of Erzerum and Trebizond at a point to be determined about 1 kilometer west of peak 2,930 (2,630 or 8,625 feet) and about 4 kilometers southward from the village of Metkur, or approximately 39 kilometers northwestward from the city of Erzingan,

A line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, leaving to Turkey the villages of Chalghy Y ady, Toms, and Ala1nlik , and to Armenia the village of Erkghan and the road and col south of the village of Metkut, passing through Utch Kardash Tepe, Kelek Kiran (Tekke Tash, 2,800 meters or 9,185 feet), Kehnam Dagh (or Kara Dagh, 3,030 meters or 9,940 feet), dividing equably between Armenia and Turkey the summit of the pass about 2 kilon1eters westward fr01n the village of Zazker and, similarly, the summit of the pass of Kral Kham Boghazy near the village of Chardakli, passing through point 2760 in Kara Dagh (9,055 feet), point 2, 7 40 (8,990 feet), and a point to be determined on the ground, situated near the Iky Sivry stream less than 2 kilon1eters westward from the Chimen Dagh pass, and located in such a manner as to leave to Turkey the junction of the two roads leading westward to the villages of Kuchi Keui and Kara Yayrak, and to Armenia the junction of two other roads leading to the villages of Metkut and Kirmana; the Boundary Commission shall detennine in the £eld the most equable disposition of the highway between points 2,760 and 2,740;

thence northwestward to the Kelkit Chai (Kelkit Irmak) at the point where the boundary between the Vilayets of Trebizond and Sivas reaches it from the south,

the administrative boundary between the Vilayets of Trebizond and Erzerum, and then the administrative boundary between the Vilayets of Trebizond and Sivas;

thence northward to an unnamed peak on the boundary between the Vilayets of Trebizond and Sivas about 4 kilometers southwestward from Borgha Paya ( 2,995 meters or 9,825 feet) the latter being situated approximately 38 kilometers southwestward from the city of Gumush-Khana,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following ~he main water-partings, leaving to Armenia the villages of Halkit, Sinanli, Kiliktin, and Kirtanos; and to Turkey the villages of Kar Kishla, Sadik, Kara Kia, and Ara, crossing the pass between the western tributaries of the Shiran Chai and the eastern headwaters of the Barsak Dere (Kara Chai) about 43 kilometers eastward from the city of Karahissar Sharki (Shebin Karahissar);

thence northeastward, northward, and westward to an unnamed peak on the boundary between the Vilayets of Trebizond and Sivas situated about 7 kilometers northwestward from Yerchi Tepe (2,690 meters or 8,825 feet) and approximately 47 kilometers south southeastward from the city of Kerasun,

the administrative boundary between the Vilayets of Trebizond and Sivas;

thence northward, from the point last mentioned, on the crest of the Pontic Range, to the Black Sea, at a point to be determined on the seacoast about 1 kilometer westward from the village of Keshab, and approximately 9 kilometers eastward from the city of Kerasun,

a line to be fixed on the ground, following the main water-partings, leaving to Turkey the fields, pastures, forests, and villages within the drainage basin of the Komit Dere (Ak Su) and its tributaries; and to Armenia the fields, pastures, forest, and villages within the drainage basins of the Yaghaj Dere (Espiya Dere) and the Venazit Dere (Keshab Dere) and their tributaries, and drawn in such a manner as to utilize the boundary between the Kazas of Tripoli (Tireboli) and Kerasun in the 7 kilometers just south of Kara Tepe (1,696 meters or 5,565 feet), and to provide the most convenient relationships between the new frontier and the trails along the ridges, as these relationships may be determined by the Boundary Commission in the field after consultation with the local inhabitants.

2. In case of any discrepancies between the text of this Decision and the maps on the scales of 1:1,000,000 and 1:200,000 annexed, the text will be final.

The limits of the four vilayets specified in Article 89 of the Treaty of Sevres are taken as of October 29, 1914.

The frontier, as described above, is drawn in red on an authenticated map on the scale of 1:1,000,000 which is annexed to the present Frontier Decision. The geographical names here mentioned appear upon the maps accompanying this text.

The chief authorities used for the names of Geographical features, and of elevations of mountains, and the location of vilayet, sandjak, and kaza boundaries, are the Turkish General Staff map, scale 1:200,000, and, in part, the British map, scale 1:1,000,000.

The maps on the scale of 1:200,000 are recommended to the Boundary Commission, provided in Article 91, for their use in tracing on the spot the portion of the frontiers of Armenia established by this Decision.

II. The frontier described above, by assigning the harbor of Trebizond and the valley of Karshut Su to Armenia, precludes the necessity of further provision for access for Armenia to the sea.

III. In addition to the general provisions for the limitation of armaments, embodied in the Military, Naval and Air Clauses, Part V of the Treaty of Sevres, the demilitarization of Turkish territory adjacent to the frontier of Armenia as above established shall be effected as follows:

The Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control and Organization provided for in Articles 196-200 of the Treaty of Sevres shall appoint the superior officers of the gendarmerie stationed in those vilayets of Turkey lying contiguous to the frontiers of the state of Armenia exclusively from the officers to be supplied by the various Allied or neutral Powers according to Article 159 of the said Treaty.

These officers shall, in addition to t heir other . duties, be especially charged with the task of observing and reporting to the Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control and Organization upon any tendencies within these Turkish vilayets toward military aggression against the Armenian frontier, such as building strategic railways and highways, the establishment of depots of military supplies, the creation of military colonies, and the use of propaganda dangerous to the peace and quiet of the adjacent Armenian territory. The Military Inter-Allied Commission of Control and Organization shall thereupon take such action as is necessary to prevent the concentrations and other aggressive activities enumerated above.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done in duplicate at the city of Washington on the twenty-second day of November, one thousand nine hundred and twenty, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and forty-fifth.

By the President:
WOODROW WILSON
Bainbridge Colby
Secretary of State

NOTES:

*It is my understanding that this initial point will lie upon the former Turkish-Persian frontiet • referred to in the Article 27 II ( 4) of the Treaty of Sevres; but 40 miles of the said frontier, within which ~he initial point of the Armenian frontier is included, were left undemarcated by the Turko-Persian Frontier Commission in 1914. The initial point contemplated lies about 1 kilometer southward from the village of Kara Hissa and approximately 25 kilometers southtwestward from the village of Kotur, and may be fixed on the ground as near this location as the Boundary Commission shall determine, provided it lies at the junction of the V an-Hakkiari Sandjak boundary with the frontier of Persia.

** At the locality named, the vilayet boundary (according to Khozat-Kersim sheet of the Turkish General Staff map, scale 1:200,000) descends the northern slope of the Monzur-Silsilesi for about 7 kilometers. The junction of the boundary between the Kazas of Erzingan and Kemakh in Erzingan Sandjak of Erzerum Vilayet with the boundary of Dersim Sandjak of Manuret-ul-Aziz Vilayet lies within 14 kilometers .of the Euphrates River. This leaves to Turkey a military bridgehead north of an 11,000 foot mountain range and only 20 kilometers south of the city of Erzingan. I am not- empowered to change the administrative boundary at this point, and these 40 square kilometers of territory lie outside the four vilayets specified in Article 89 of the Treaty of Sevres.

However, I venture to call the attention of the Boundary Commission to the desirability of consulting the local inhabitants with a view to possible modification of the vilayet boundary at this point.
The Official Department of State map, embossed with the Presidential Seal, showing the Western boundaries of the Wilsonian Territorian Decision
THE OFFICIAL DEPARTMENT OF STATE MAP, EMBOSSED with THE PRESIDENTIAL SEAL, SHOWING THE WESTERN BOUNDARIES OF THE WILSONIAN TERRITORIAL DECISION

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One Comment;

  1. GB said:

    This is one of the most political decision by US president Barack Obama, who decided not to recognize Armenian Genocide officially, due to return of occupied Western Armenia’s lands back to Armenia!

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