Concept

Lausanne Conference of 1922–1923

Summary
The Conference of Lausanne was a conference held in Lausanne, Switzerland, during 1922 and 1923. Its purpose was the negotiation of a treaty to replace the Treaty of Sèvres, which, under the new government of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was no longer recognized by Turkey. The conference opened in November 1922, with representatives from Great Britain, France, Italy and Turkey. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey selected İsmet İnönü, Rıza Nur and Chief Rabbi Chaim Nahum as their representatives. Lord Curzon, the British Foreign Secretary, was the co-ordinator of the conference, which he dominated. France and Italy had assumed that the Chanak Crisis had caused British prestige with Turkey to be irrevocably damaged, but they were shocked to discover that Turkish respect for Britain was undiminished. British troops had held their positions at Chanak, but the French had been ordered to withdraw. The conference lasted for eleven weeks. It heard speeches from Benito Mussolini of Italy and Raymond Poincaré of France. The proceedings of the conference were notable for the stubborn diplomacy of İsmet Pasha. Already partially deaf, he would simply turn off his hearing aid when Curzon launched into lengthy speeches denouncing the Turkish position. Once Curzon was finished, İsmet Pasha would restate his original demands and be oblivious to Curzon's denunciations. At the conclusion, Turkey assented to the political clauses and the "freedom of the straits", Britain's main concern. The matter of the status of Mosul was deferred since Curzon refused to be budged from the British position that the area was part of Iraq. The French delegation, however, did not achieve any of its goals. On 30 January 1923, it issued a statement that it did not consider the draft treaty to be any more than a basis of discussion. The Turks, therefore, refused to sign the treaty. On 4 February 1923, Curzon made a final appeal to İsmet Pasha to sign, and when he refused, Curzon broke off negotiations and left that night on the Orient Express.
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