At 90, Sevres Treaty is Most Relevant Today

Signing of the Turkish Treaty with the Allies

On August 10, 1920, the Treaty of Sevres was signed between the Ottoman Empire and the Allied Powers after World War I. A significant provision of the document was the inclusion of the Wilsonian Mandate for Armenia, which envisioned a Republic of Armenia that included much of its historic territory.

The relevance of this internationally binding document became even more apparent during last year’s sloppy efforts by Armenia and Turkey to enter into a normalization process without regard for history. The reader is all too familiar with the outcome of the so-called protocols process, but the danger of reverting back to that failed approach still remains as neither party is willing to nullify the documents, which served as the basis for normalization.

Much of the discussion of the protocols debacle centered on Turkey’s preconditions for a quick resolution to the Karabakh conflict, in favor of Azerbaijan and the formation of a commission that would discuss the Armenian Genocide. But a more disturbing point of contention in the protocols documents was the absence of an acknowledgement of the Sevres Treaty, which, for all intents and purposes, laid a concise groundwork for that region of the world and provided comprehensive legal mandates for parties involved.

Due to political realities, the pursuit of the Armenian Cause has evolved into the vocal advocacy for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. In recent years that movement has achieved momentum due in great part to the perseverance and commitment of Armenians throughout the world who have pressured their respective governments for recognition.

However, the Armenian Cause is multi-faceted in nature and encompasses an equally critical component, which includes restitution and reparations for the crime of Genocide. The Sevres Treaty ensures not only provides a basis for the pursuit of the above elements, but also clearly draws a map, which makes Armenians’ territorial claims legally binding and valid in the eyes of the international community.

Many times inadvertently we fall into the position of justifying our demands, where historically no justification is needed since the facts speak for themselves. The Armenian Genocide is an indisputable fact, as is the need for reparations for that crime. World leaders at the time were more cognizant of that than those who followed them since history has shown that complicity in denial has proven to be more expedient politically and economically.

As we mark the 90th anniversary of this landmark document, all efforts should be directed to how effectively the Sevres Treaty can be implemented today from an international legal perspective and how each of the signatories can be pressured into accepting the mandates outlined within that document.

Futile arguments might ensue from naysayers who claim that subsequent efforts and treatises have shaped today’s reality and reversed the provision of the Sevres Treaty. It is time for national political forces to revitalize the relevance of the treaty. At the same time, the Armenian government must include the appropriate provisions of the Sevres Treaty within the context of any future talks with Turkey.

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37 Comments

  1. Wilsonian Armenia Forever said:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Bravo for this article.

    Wilsonian Armenia is the only way Armenians will ever get their dignity back. Otherwise Armenia will always remain mediocre.

    Lausanne is not relevant because Armenia during that time was not a free and independent nation acting on it’s own behalf. Sevres is the only legally binding document in regards to territory because it established a free and independent Armenia. Too bad our lame politicians are not wise to see this or do anything about it.

  2. Gevorg Der-Galestanian said:

    Dear Ara,
    Thank You For Publishing The Article About The Peace Treaty Of Sevres August 10, 1920
    I Am US Citizen From California Moved To Yerevan-Armenia, And Did Not Hear The News Or Watch TV Or Any Fire Work,
    I Didn’t Have Chance To Check The Yesterday’s News(AUG.10) Yet;
    I Checked Two Web Sites Which I Created For Petition To Be Signed And Support;

    http://humanrights.change.org/petitions/view/implement_the_peace_treaty_of_sevres_august_10_1920_and_usa_president_woodrow_wilsons_decision

    http://www.petitiononline.com/Peace101/

    I Am Sorry To Inform You That They Are Any Attention To These Sites You Could Check It Your Self;
    There Is More Signature From Non Armenians Than Armenians;(Since 26 Of May 2010)

    My Request From You Is To Link These Web Sites;
    I Have Face Book Page Too And Trying Every Thing
    May Be You Could Help Me This Not Personal Matter
    May Be You Publish More Articles More Often
    WE MUST DEMAND AND STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHTS,
    IF WE DON’T MAKE ANY EFFORTS AND KEEP SILENCE
    They Are Not Going To Call Us That You Have RIGHTS
    COME AND GET IT!
    They Have Tried To Bury This Document For 90 Years,
    I Don’t Understand Where Are The Political Parties And What Their Position Is
    This Doesn’t Belong To Any Certain Party They Have To Be UNITED On This One,
    Why They Keep Silence ANCA, ANC And The Rest Where Are Them?!
    Are They Playing Behind Close Door Dirty Politics?!
    Keeping Their Members In Dark?
    I Had Chance To Ask Some Of Political Parties About SEVRES Peace Treaty
    They Had No Knowledge Or They Were Confused By Lausanne Treaty
    That Is Sad That Political Parties Don’t Educate There Members;
    What Do you Expect From Non Members;
    I Do Not Belong To Any Political Party

    Sincerely Yours,
    Gevorg Der-Galestanian
    gdergalestanian@gmail.com

  3. Arto T. said:

    There are many people like Papian who talk about the Treaty of Sevres and Wilsonian Armenia. Although I wish it were true, the reality is we gave up this right with the Treaty of Batum and finally with the Treaty of Alexandropol when unfortunately we were defeated by Karabekir’s 3rd Army and agreed to his terms when his army was only 7 km outside of Yerevan. The tenth item in the Treaty of Alexandropol stated that Armenia renounce the Treaty of Sèvres. Let’s not BS ourselves and give people false hopes.

  4. Jirair M. said:

    A timely article. Need to add a key point.
    The protocols, not only do not acknowledge the Treaty of Sevres, but if signed, they would be the first International legal document signed between independent Armenia and the Republic of Turkey which would nullify the Sevres Treaty’s provisions. All other “realities” were the result of the Genocide and other later treaties were “agreed” with no legal representation of a sovereign and independent Armenian government representing the Armenian state. The reference in the protocols which state that Armenia recognises the current borders between Turkey and Armenia would give Turkey a “de juré” right to finally bury the Sevres Treaty and more importantly, President Wilson’s Arbitration on the borders between Armenia and Turkey, which is, even today, internationally binding legal document. Note an “arbitration” does not need to be ratified.

  5. Abbe said:

    VERY VERY GOOD ARTICLE !!
    THIS IS THE WAY TO GO !!
    The Sevres Treaty and The Armenians Gencocide.
    Nothing else is accepteble !!!!!!

  6. Robert said:

    Finally, someone with an education and the understanding of applying it. Arto, my hats off to you and your understanding of reality! Since the editorial board usually censors and the deletes many of my posts, at least your post can explain to all of the others why they are grasping at straws. Their dreams will never hold up in a court of international law! At least you can see this. Bravo! Whomever is filling their minds with false hopes is certainly doing no service to the rest. They will only become shattered when they realize what the truth holds for them in this regard.

    • W.A.F. said:

      Keep dreaming Mr Turk. Arto has no clue what he is talking about, and neither do you. The blind leading the blind.

    • Arto T. said:

      Robert let’s find out if you in turn grasp reality. What type of a person are you? One that denies the Armenian Genocide even with all the irrefutable facts presented before him or one that realizes that a people were unjustly wiped out and kicked off their lands through barbaric means?

      • W.A.F. said:

        Oops sorry Arto did not mean to say that to you I thought you were with Robert. Anyway I made a reply to you which did not get published so I will try again. From what I have read the Batum treaty never got ratified by the Armenian government and was still in the works. And the other ones like Alexandropol was made when Armenia was not a free and independent country under the Soviet regime. Therefore I believe Sevres is the only legal treaty with respect to a free and independent Armenia which holds water. We as Armenians must never settle for less, otherwise the crime of genocide would prove a success for the Turks.

        • Arto T. said:

          You are partly right. The Treaty of Batum was signed by Avetis Aharonyan, at the time Chairmen Alexander Khatisyan, at the time Foreign Minister. So it is a binding agreement signed by a Democratic Armenian government. The Treaty of Alexandropol signed by the Armenian government was to be ratified by the Armenian parliament within a month. This did not take place due to the Russian Bolshevik occupation of Armenia. In 1921 the treaty was replaced with the Treaty of Kars. Please let’s get over it and move on to more fruitful discussions. Harping on a dead treaty is counter-productive.

          • manooshag said:

            Hye, speaking of the legality of the Sevres Treaty… I read recently that the Turks have a policy of agreeing to agree to agreements…in effect saying ‘yes…thus would receive these agreements – but would not sign any agreements. Instead, Turks store these in their ‘holding folder’… unsigned – over years and years. Evidently, they have realized that the Servres Treaty is the internationally recognized Turkey/Armenia agreement that was signed by both nations… a binding agreement for the Turks which they, of course, still deny – as is a Turkeys’ mode of operations when it comes to dealing with any and all nations… ongoing, Still a Turkey’s stance with Armenians. Turks still in their past – the Ottoman mentality – thinking they are able to treat Armenians as ‘subjects for Turks to abuse’, One would think that the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation shall have been – instead – the Armenian Genocide of the Turkish nation – for the revolting manner in which Turks still address and revile Armenians… as if it is the Armenians who are due and owing reparations to the Turks… when the reality is that the world knows Turkish nation is guilty of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians – and guilty from Ottomans into all their subsequent Turkish leaderships (1890s – 2010) whose reparations are due to the nation they slaughtered, tortured and stole – built upon the Armenians wealth for the Turks of today… stolen… not via wars – but Genocides of unarmed innocents… as the Turks continue the Turkish Genocide of Kurds- today. Genocides…M.O. of Turkey.
            Manooshag

            Manooshag

  7. ermeni said:

    there have been many treaties between turkey and soviet armenia. after the sevres treaty, there was the treaty of alexandrapol and the treaty of kars. armenia gave up much of its territory in these treaties. we can’t pick and choose which treaties we want to follow. the latest treaty signed was kars, which gets rid of the sevres treaty. in hindsight, it doesn’t make sense to have signed that one. it’s too late to bring up sevres, because when you do, the turks will bring up alexandrapol and kars.

    • W.A.F. said:

      Nonsense. All treaties signed by “Soviet Armenia” are invalid. And there is no other treaty that Armenians have conclusively signed other than the Sevres treaty which btw Turkey has also signed. Sevres treaty is very real, legal and valid. The others are not.

  8. Stephen Bekian said:

    THE SEVRE TREATY IS THE ONLY TREATY THAT ARMENIA SHOULD STICK TO, ANY OTHER TREATIES ARE MADE BY THE BOLSHEVICS AND THE TURKS SHOULD NOT BE ACCEPTABLE
    IF OUR GOVERNMENT WANTS TO MAKE PIECE WITH THE TURKS THE SEVRE TREATY SHOULD BE ACNOLEDGED BY THE PARTIES NOTHING ELSE , OTHER WISE WE WILL LOSE THE LOT
    …..AND I THANK THE PERSON WHO WROTE THIS ARTICLE……………………..

    • Arto T. said:

      Yes, the Treaty of Kars was signed by Bolshevik Armenia and there could be a case for negation. But the bigger problem is The Treaty of Batum and the Treaty of Alexandropol which were signed after Sevres and before Kars by the free Democratic Republic of Armenia. This was the shortlived Dashnak-led Armenian government from 1918-1920. The truth is they capitulated to the Turks and had to give up most of our lands because the Turkish Army was only 7 km from Yerevan and would have destroyed Armenia for good. Read your history books. General Antranik was so mad at the Dashnaks for capitulating, he resigned in disgust. If they hadn’t signed Batum and Alexandropol, there might have been a possibility for a Wilsonian Armenia. Otherwise forget it.

      • W.A.F. said:

        Arto, I don’t see Batum and Alexandropol as a problem. The treaty of Batum is not valid because it was before Sevres when Turkey was involved in WW1 and lost with it’s allies thus Sevres established the peace treaty. And Alexandropol was never signed off it was still in the works when the Russians took over. Check all the dates. I did and the good news is Sevres is the only one that makes sense both historically and legally.

  9. Jay said:

    Long before Sevres Treaty, Treaty of Kars or Treaty of Batum,the lands where the Turks live on used to be called OURS, as in OUR Amenian LANDS. Let’s dump all those illegal treaties and write a new one called ‘ Get the hell out of OUR Armenian Lands’ treaty and show the uninvited guess the road to Central Asia where they belong.

    • sebouh from australia said:

      God bless Armenians like you …shame that most are pocket lining self interested scum

    • Nejdet said:

      Your in America, why don’t you leave out of their land? Hell, why don’t the American’s leave out of the Native American’s land. HELL, why don’t the jews leave? Or the Australians, or the Pakistanis, or Indians, or all humans, who migrated. Remarkably only 5% of the Turkish population shows central Asian genealogy.

      • Arn.SWEDEN. said:

        Remarkably only 5% of the Turkish population shows central Asian genealogy.

        IS THAT SO – ???.

        THEN THE REST OF THE POPULATION IS SUPRESSED AND NOT TURKISH,
        BUT TURKISHZISED OTHER ETNOCITYS SUCH AS –

        ARMENIAN-KURDISH-GEORGIAN-KELTIC-TRACIANS-GREECIANS !!!.

        IT IS THE SAME TURKISH PROCENTAGE REGARDING HUNGARY AND BULGARIA.

        Arn.Sweden.

  10. Jay said:

    Robert wrote,” Finally, someone with education and the understanding of applying it,Arto, my hats of to you.”

    Applying WHAT ,Sir? more BS. If most commentators disagree with your or Arto’s response does it mean they are illitrate? Don’t flatter yourself so much,Cause If they made a hat the size of your brain,you would be wearing a Peanut Shell. And what is a Turk doing with a name like Robert?

  11. Nejdet said:

    The Treaty of Serves was annulled. You can’t go back and just change something, especially 90 years later, nonetheless pick and choose what treaty to follow. I’m pretty sure the Armenian government in Armenia recognizes the difficulty of maneuvering through the Treaty signed 90 years ago. This doesn’t deny the Armenian Genocide though. Eventually in the future the Turkish government will pay reparations and such, but don’t expect land back. Armenia already exists.

    • W.A.F. said:

      Nonsense. If that was the case why is Turkey so worried about “recognizing current borders” in their protocols? Remember, “Armenia already exists”, so what are your Turks worried about?

      IF and I say IF the treaty of Sevres was annulled, then Armenia was never part of the new treaties that came after it. That would mean that a new treaty must be made this time with a free Armenia in the process, and this includes the country of Armenia, as well as ALL OF THE DIASPORA.

      Either way, it will be the same, Armenians will never give up any of their claims to their historic lands whether you Turks illegally occupy it or not.

      The way I see it, the more you are occupiers, the more Turkey will have to account for reparations when the time is right.

    • Jay said:

      Armenia exists,Yes but only 20 percent of it. The remaining 80 percent is stolen by you NOMADS. Either it will be returned or LIBERATED sooner or later. Sikeh…sikeh.

  12. manooshag said:

    Hye, yerp vor eshoo kooloogh-eh robert guh kr-eh mee bades-ghan-ek… esh-oo-tzak-ehr-ehn eh.
    (via the dialect of the Dikrangerdsees). Manooshag

  13. Jay said:

    Nejdet wrote,” You’re in America,Why don’t you leave Native American lands?”

    That’s because you Turk nomads have stolenare our NATIVE ARMENIAN ancestral lands as a result of persecution and genocide. Why don’t you and 40 millions of you nomads get the HELL OUT of our NATIVE ARMENIAN LANDS so US,the DIASPORAN ARMENIANS could return.

    And IF 5% of Turks have Central Asian geneology,Therefore,95% of you are UYGHUR TURKS which is located North-East of China.

    • Jay said:

      Hey Akhmet

      We have our Nagorno-Karabakh back, Next on the agenda?

      Nakicevan and Western Armenia.

      So, don’t pity us. We are Nation of strong DETERMINATION. Have a Nice Day and Senin Ananin Geoteh Ermeni Hiyar Sokhim. : ).

  14. Arn.SWEDEN. said:

    DO NOT DELUDE YOURSELVES !!!.

    THE TURKS WILL ONLY GIVE IN TO FORCE,
    AS THE TREATY OF SEVRES SHOWS,
    AND THEREFORE ONLY IMPLEMENTED BY FORCE,
    AS FUTURE WILL SHOW !!!.

    Arn.Sweden.

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