In memory of “Lausanne”: Demands to recognize the Turkish “genocide” of the Kurds

Photo: Kurdish rejection of the Treaty of Lausanne. Source:


At the Centre Stage:

On the 98th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne, the Kurds launched an electronic campaign in several languages to recall Turkey’s crimes against the Kurds, which they described as “genocide”. They find an international response similar to what happened from the issuance of decisions by some countries regarding what is described as the “Armenian genocide” at the hands of Turkey, too, and the “annihilation of the Yazidis” at the hands of the terrorist organization ISIS.


Photo: Turkish delegation led by Ismet Inonu, who was the country’s foreign minister in 1923, signed the Treaty of Lausanne alongside his counterparts in Lausanne in Switzerland on July 24, 1923. Source:



Decoding in details:

The modern Turkish Republic was established and based on the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which was concluded with the victorious allies in World War I. The United Kingdom (Britain), Ireland, France, Russia, and Italy, Britain set several unfair and painful conditions against the Ottoman Empire, as the caliphate was abolished, and the Caliphate was denied. The Caliph and his family are outside Turkey, confiscating all his money, declaring the state’s secularism, preventing Turkey from drilling for oil and considering the Bosporus Strait linking the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Marmara, and then to the Mediterranean as an international corridor that Turkey is not entitled to collect fees from ships passing through.

Moreover, by 2023, the term of the treaty, which has passed a hundred years, will expire, and from here understand Erdogan’s statements, as Turkey will enter a new era, and will begin to explore for oil, and dig a new channel linking the Black Sea and Marmara in preparation for the start of collecting fees from passing ships.

Hence, it is possible to understand some aspects of the current dispute between Turkey and the West.

The campaign warns of the “neo-Ottomanism” adopted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It exemplified by his expansionist plans to annex parts of Syria, Iraq and Libya to Turkey, under the claim that they are “Ottoman lands” stolen from Turkey in the Treaty of Lausanne signed July 24, 1923 between the victorious countries in World War I (Britain, France, Japan, Italy, Greece, Romania, Serbo-Croatian-Slovenian state) and Turkey defeated in the war.

Under the agreement, Turkey’s hand was lifted from the countries and cities it occupies, or in which it has nominal privileges, such as Egypt, Cyprus, Libya and Yemen. While the dispute over Mosul’s subordination to Iraq or Turkey was postponed to the arbitration of the League of Nations, which dropped Turkey’s claims about it. In addition, the northern Syrian provinces were annexed to Turkey, and formed Modern Turkey with its borders in Anatolia and Eastern Thrace, headed by Kemal Ataturk.


  • Why the Kurds reject Lausanne?

The paradox is that despite the differences between the Kurds and Turkey, the two sides agree to reject the Treaty of Lausanne. Although Ankara rejects it on the pretext that it “robbed” lands belonging to the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds reject it on the grounds that it overthrew their dream of establishing the state of Kurdistan. As they hoped, the European allies would help them establish their country in the exchange of helping them in the war against Turkey.

The Kurdistan Democratic Society Conference – Europe, a Kurdish organization, launched on social media and cyberspace the hashtag #WeRejectTreatyOf, or “We reject the Treaty of Lausanne”, and demands that Ottoman and Erdogan Turkey be held accountable for crimes and violations against components and minorities in the region, especially the genocide against the Kurds and Armenians.

Kurdish journalist and campaign member Delshir Avista told Sky News Arabia that the campaign “comes at an important time, as on Saturday 24 July 2021 marks the 98th anniversary of the disastrous Lausanne Agreement, which was held in 1923. He added Kurdistan was divided into four parts, and the Kurdish people, therefore, have a homeland like all other peoples, and the largest people in terms of population in the world has become without a homeland and without an identity, and the identity of those four regimes was imposed on them, as well as depriving them of all their rights. Because of this division, they suffered various scourges of murder, displacement and abuse and persecution.

He also points to what the Kurds in Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran say that the demarcation of the borders in the Treaty of Lausanne made them divided among these countries.

According to Delshir, “We have thousands of documents and proofs that condemn Turkey… and all our efforts are in the context of holding it accountable for its crimes against the Kurds, Armenians, Syrians, Assyrians, Alawites and other races and sects, the most recent of which are its crimes in the city of Afrin, Sar Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) and Giri Spi (Tel Abyad)in Syria”.

In addition, 137 institutions, labour, and human rights organisations sent a memorandum to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, the President of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the Swiss Foreign Minister Kenazio Cassis, and the heads of relevant international organizations, to remind the international community of the Ottoman massacres.

The organizations mentioned in a statement:

“The Turan advocates of union and progress preserved the legacy of their Ottoman ancestors based on the skulls of the indigenous peoples in Anatolia, the Levant, North Africa and the Balkans, and the right of all those who rejected their conquests and their culture, as happened in the Armenian genocide in the years 1918-1914, and the systematic campaigns of extermination Forced displacement, demographic change and cultural distortion with the aim of erasing national identity against Greeks, Alevis and Kurds, especially in the Mahmoud al-Hafid uprising in 1919, the Kojkari uprising in 1921, the Sheikh Saeed uprising in 1925, the Akre uprising in 1930 and the Dersim uprising in 1936”.

The organizations also drew attention to Erdogan’s new scheme to annex lands in northern Syria and northern Iraq, which means for the Kurds to annex lands they see within their “lands”: what ends their hopes of establishing what they call Greater Kurdistan.


  • Erdogan and expansion:


In his turn, Erdogan renewed, on the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne, talk of his expansionist plans, celebrating Turkey’s occupation of large areas in northern Syria and Cyprus, its interventions in Iraq, and its military presence in Libya and Cyprus.


In addition, he says in a message published by the Turkish Anadolu Agency on Saturday 24 July 2021:

“The decisive successes that we have achieved in various arenas, starting with Syria and Libya, passing through the eastern Mediterranean and ending with the fight against terrorism, are the clearest indication of our will to protect the rights and interests of our country”.





Observers believe that Turkey is paving the way to withdraw from the Lausanne Agreement, by expanding and occupying the lands that were previously liberated from the Turkish occupation in the agreement. As they see that Turkey relying on provoking ethnic and religious conflicts among the population, the focus of which is feeding loyalty to Turkey under a religious umbrella. Ethnic strife within some populations descended from Ottoman ancestors settled this country during the distant Ottoman occupation, as they do in Syria, Libya, and Iraq.



The Lausanne Project, (1923): “The Treaty of Lausanne”. Retrieved from:

Nile News, (July 25, 2021): ):“In memory of “Lausanne”… Demands to recognize the Turkish “genocide” of the Kurds”. Retrieved from:

Sky News Arabia, (July 25, 2021):“In memory of “Lausanne”… Demands to recognize the Turkish “genocide” of the Kurds”. Retrieved from: