|Thursday, 18 April 2019|
The Turkish Nationalist Pact
Frequent allusions, in dispatches from the Near East and from Lausanne, to the "Turkish Nationalist Pact," have not made clear to the American public the portentousness of Nationalist Turkey's "Declaration of Independence," adopted by the Angora Assembly in January, 1920. This is the document which the Turks declare is the irreducible minimum of their claims at Lausanne:
"The Members of the Ottoman Chamber of Deputies recognize and affirm that the independence of the State and the future of the Nation can be assured by complete respect for the following principles, which represent the maximum of sacrifice which can be undertaken in order to achieve a just and lasting peace, and that the continued existence of a stable Ottoman Sultanate and society is impossible outside of the said principles:
"First Article.-Inasmuch as it is necessary that the destinies of the portions of the Turkish Empire which are populated exclusively by an Arab majority, and which on the conclusion of the armistice of the 30th of October, 1918, were in the occupation of enemy forces, should be determined in accordance with the votes which shall be freely given by the inhabitants, whole of those parts whether within or outside the said armistice-line, which are inhabited by an Ottoman Moslem majority, united in religion, m race and in aim, imbued with sentiments of mutual respect for each other and of sacrifice, and wholly respectful of each other's racial rights and surrounding conditions, form a whole which does not admit of division for any reason in truth or in ordinance.
"Second Article.-We accept that, in the case of the three Sanjaks which united themselves by a .general vote to the mother country when they first were free, recourse should again be had, if necessary to a free popular vote.
"Third Article.-The determination of the juridical status of Western Thrace also, which has been made dependent on the Turkish peace, must be effected in accordance with the votes which shall be given by the inhabitants in complete freedom.
"Fourth Article.-The security of the city of Constantinople which is the seat of the Caliphate of Islam, the capital of the Sultanate, and the headquarters of the Ottoman Government, and of the Sea of Marmora must be protected from every danger. Provided this principle is maintained, whatever decision may be arrived at jointly by us and all other Governments concerned, regarding the opening of the Bosphorus to the commerce and traffic of the world, is valid.
"Fifth Article.-The rights of minorities as defined in the treaties concluded between the Entente Powers and their enemies and certain of their associates shall be confirmed and assured by us-in reliance on the belief that the Moslem minorities in neighboring countries also will have the benefit of the same rights
"Sixth Article.-It is a fundamental condition of our life and continued existence that we, like every country should enjoy complete independence an liberty in the matter of assuring the means of our development, in order that our national and economic development should be rendered possible and that it should be possible to conduct affairs in the form of a more up-to-date regular administration.
"For this reason we are opposed to restrictions inimical to our development in political, judicial, financial, and other matters.
"The conditions of settlement of our proved debts shall likewise not be contrary to these principles.
"January 28, 1920."
NOTE-This document is not a part of the King Crane Report, but is presented to bring up-to-date the information contained in this supplement.
This document has been copied with permission from the World War I Archive (specifically: Treaties).