Armenian officials’ complimentary remarks on the Treaty of Sevres on Aug. 10, marking the 100th anniversary of the international agreement that gave the Armenian people the right to form their own state after World War I, have angered the Turkish foreign ministry.
“Honourable Turkish Nation sent the Sèvres to the ash heap of history through its heroic War of Liberation, followed by the Peace Treaty of Lausanne of 24 July 1923,” the ministry said in a statement issued on Monday.
“Today, after 100 years, the dare of an administration that is unable to feed even its own population, to bring forward the Sèvres document which the Turkish Nation tore up, is preposterous,” it added.
Following World War I, the Ottoman Empire and the Allied Forces signed the Treaty of Sèvres, which eventually led to the disintegration of Ottoman territories and the formation of new states.
Between 1919 and 1923, Turkish forces led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk recaptured Anatolian territories through the War of Independence and signed a new treaty with the world powers in the Swiss city of Lausanne.
With the emergence of the Turkish Republic, the Treaty of Sèvres was annulled with the new reality.
According to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, however, “the treaty continues to be the subject of scientific research and analysis. Therefore, it is very important for our scientists’ impartial analysis of this document, signed a century ago, and the events that preceded it, to be available to both our people and the wider international community.”
“The Treaty of Sèvres is a historical fact. It remains so to this day,” he said in a message addressing a scientific conference on the treaty in Armenia, according to Public Radio of Armenia.
The treaty forced the Ottoman Empire to recognize Armenia as a free and independent state.
In an interview with Syria’s Al-Azmenah daily, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian said the treaty was never denounced.
“I would rather say that the Treaty of Sèvres was not fully ratified, which means it remains unperfected, and it is true that when it comes to Armenia its decisions were not implemented because the international political situation had changed but, at the same time, it was never denounced, either,” he said, according to the Asbarez news website.
In 1915 the Ottoman Empire forced the Armenians living in its territory to leave the country, causing a tragedy that is referred as the Armenian Genocide by many historians.
Ankara rejects the accusations of genocide.