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Perceptions of the Lausanne Treaty in the Greek public sphere

Perceptions du traité de Lausanne dans la sphère publique grecque
Αντιλήψεις για τη Συνθήκη της Λωζάνης στην ελληνική δημόσια σφαίρα
Iakovos D. Michailidis
p. 87-103

Résumés

Résumé : cet article porte sur la réception du traité de Lausanne en Grèce de 1923 à nos jours. Il soutient que le traité a été désavantageux pour la Grèce, en raison de sa défaite dans la guerre gréco-turque de 1919 à 1922. Pendant l’entre-deux-guerres, il a été critiqué en Grèce de plusieurs points de vue, principalement au regard de l’échange obligatoire des populations grecques et turques ; cependant la majorité des Grecs l’ont accepté comme la seule option possible. Depuis les années 1930, progressivement le traité de Lausanne est devenu un pilier fondamental de la politique extérieure grecque. Aujourd’hui, la Grèce soutient avec force l’application de ce traité, en accusant souvent la Turquie de le violer.

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Texte intégral

Farewell to Arms

1The end of the First World War, for most European countries, was the starting point of a return to peace and an effort to heal the deep wounds that the war had caused. However, for Greece and the Ottoman Empire, the Paris Peace Conference (1919) did not seal the return to a state of normality. On the contrary, from 1919 to 1922, the two countries fought each other with great intensity. The Asia Minor Campaign ultimately proved catastrophic for Greece, as it suffered a devastating defeat on the battlefields in September 1922. The Asia Minor Catastrophe marked the end of the Greek Great Idea (Megali Idea), as Greece definitively lost the territories of Asia Minor, Pontus, and Eastern Thrace that it had been claiming. In contrast, the triumph of the Turks opened the way for the establishment of the modern Turkish nation-state in 1923.

2However, the loss of territory was not the harshest result of the military defeat for Greece. Hundreds of thousands of Greeks, soldiers and civilians, had lost their lives on the battlefields of the conflict, while thousands of others were missing. Moreover, more than 800,000 Greeks abandoned Asia Minor under dramatic conditions, during the period from the burning of Smyrna in September 1922 to the end of that year. The displacement of thousands of Greeks was a parameter of the Asia Minor Catastrophe that was to mark history and the relationship between the two countries.

3In November 1922, the Conference began in Lausanne, Switzerland, which was intended to settle the many outstanding issues between Greece and Turkey, as well as to revise the Treaty of Sèvres (August 1920), which had dealt with various issues between the victors of the First World War and the defeated Ottoman Empire, which, however, had practically remained unenforced. Although only a little over two years had passed, the conditions had changed radically. The Turks arrived in Lausanne as victors, the Greeks had suffered their greatest military defeat in their history, while the former allies of the Entente found themselves in a difficult position, particularly the British, who had supported the Greeks during the Asia Minor Campaign. Against this backdrop and despite difficult negotiations that frequently posed a risk of interrupting the conference, the “Convention Concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations” was signed on January 30, 1923, between Greece and Turkey, which provided for the compulsory exchange of Greek Orthodox people in Turkey and Muslim people in Greece, with religion as the criterion, with the exception of Muslims in Western Thrace and Greeks in Constantinople and the islands of Imbros and Tenedos. The population exchange agreement ultimately led to the exchange of approxi­mately two million people, Greeks Orthodox and Muslims. However, while the Muslim exchangers, a total of 350,000 individuals, departed after the signing of the relevant agreement, the overwhelming majority of Greek Orthodox, about one million people, had escaped under dramatic conditions to Greece until the end of 1922, while only 190,000 benefited fully from the terms of the exchange.

  • 1 Syrigos, 2014, p. 50.

4A few months later, on July 24, 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne was signed, which resolved all the outstanding issues not only in the Asia Minor region but also more generally in the Near East. In addition to the actual peace treaty, the Treaty of Lausanne included seventeen agreements, protocols, and declarations.1

A treaty as a “remedy”

  • 2 This was stated by Venizelos regarding the Treaty of Lausanne, see Papadakis, 2017, p. 864.

We will accept this peace as we taste castor oil.2

5The Greek delegation at the Lausanne Conference was clearly in a difficult position. The country had suffered a painful military defeat, as a result of which hundreds of thousands of refugees had flooded into mainland Greece and the islands. The refugees were in a tragic situation, having lost not only many loved ones but also their possessions. It was undoubtedly a humanitarian tragedy. The defeat in the Greco-Turkish War inevitably caused political changes. The collapse of the Greek government and the defection of elite military units led to the seizure of power by a Revolutionary Committee. Soon, the military led a trial of those responsible for the Asia Minor Disaster. In addition, they asked former Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, the man who had created Greater Greece in previous years and was in self-imposed exile abroad, to take the lead of the Greek negotiating team in Lausanne. Venizelos accepted the invitation and immediately went to the Swiss city.

  • 3 Papadakis, 2017, p. 861.
  • 4 Mourelos, 1985, p. 389-413.

6The first major trial for the Greeks was the signing of the “Convention Concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations” on January 30, 1923. As already noted, by the end of 1922, the overwhelming majority of Greeks had left Asia Minor, in contrast to the Muslims of Greece who remained almost all in their homes. However, the legal ratification of the exchange definitively and violently cut off any hope of Greek refugees returning to their homeland. Eleftherios Venizelos was obviously faced with a difficult decision. Despite the emotional weight of such a choice, he accepted the exchange of populations as a painful but necessary development. He considered the signing of the treaty a “true redemption” and told his associates that “I have no right to be influenced either by emotional reasons or by public opinion.”3 Moreover, the idea of population exchange, especially if it was voluntary, was not unknown or unpopular to him, as it had been discussed between Greeks and Turks in 1914, although those negotiations had not led to any result.4 Venizelos knew that Greece’s acceptance of the compulsory population exchange would trigger protests against him. Nevertheless, he proceeded with the signing of the convention, as his political realism -although often crude and unpopular- was a defining characteristic of his behavior in politics.

  • 5 Εμπρός [Empros], “Ο Ελληνισμός διαμαρτύρεται δια την διαπραττόμενην ανθρω­πεμπορίαν” [Hellenism pro (...)
  • 6 Εμπρός [Empros], 9 January 1923.
  • 7 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Πρόσφυγες, όλοι σήμερον εις τον Λ. Πυργόν, να φωνάξετε τον πόνο σας” [Refug (...)
  • 8 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Ο χθεσινός αυθόρμητος συναγερμός των προσφύγων ογκώδες συλλαλητήριον κατά τ (...)
  • 9 Εμπρός [Empros], 8 January 1923.
  • 10 Giota, 2005, p. 23.
  • 11 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Όχι Ανταλλαγήν” [No exchange].

7Soon it became evident that Venizelos had correctly anticipated the reaction of the Greek society. Back in Greece, the news of the signing of the compulsory population exchange was not received positively by everyone. In Athens and Thessaloniki, the anger of the refugee population overflowed, as it became clear that the Convention buried their hopes of returning to Asia Minor. Protests were organized, and dozens of telegrams from refugee associations reached Lausanne accusing Venizelos of selling out their rights. On Sunday, January 8, 1923, a rally was organized in Omonoia Square in Athens by the “Redemption Committee”, calling on the entire Athenian people to protest against the “Terrible crime of population exchange”. “Above history is the justice of God”, declared the Organizing Committee in its related message.5 According to newspaper reports, about 30,000 citizens gathered to protest against the population exchange. “The exchange is contrary to global ethics and conscience, as well as to the sacred rights of man”, the resolution issued read.6 On the same day, January 8th, 1923, a similar protest rally was organized in the White Tower Square in Thessaloniki, a city where most refugees had gathered. Bells in many churches rang mournfully, while the local newspaper Macedonia called on refugees to attend the rally en masse to express their grief.7 Speaking to the gathered crowd, Leonidas Iasonidis, a prominent political figure of the refugee community and later a Member of Parliament and close collaborator of Eleftherios Venizelos, spoke out vehemently against the exchange of populations, accusing the Lausanne Conference of having “shackled an entire population and thrown them to the wolves of Mustafa Kemal to be torn apart.”8 “The humble calculation of interest prevailed over everything. And the immoral human trafficking sealed the work of dishonor and destruction with which the jackal of Ankara completed its policy against civilization and humanity,” noted the leading Athenian newspaper in a front-page article.9 At the same time, there were many who characterized the signing of the Convention on the Exchange as “an unprecedented offense to humanity and civilization.”10 Several newspapers were on the same wavelength, expressing the refugees’ demands. It is characteristic that on February 1, 1923, the newspaper Macedonia circulated its front page with the title “No Exchange”. The newspaper argued that the news of the exchange filled the souls of all Greeks with pain and deep sadness. It even compared the uprooting of refugees to a “Calvary”.11

  • 12 Zaikos, 2009, p. 37.

8Special mention deserves to go out to two distinguished Greeks, close associates of Eleftherios Venizelos, Stilianos Sefiriadis, a professor at the University of Athens, and Kyriakos Tenekidis, his diplomatic adviser, who opposed the signing of the Convention on the Exchange of Populations, characterizing it as “a sad regression of international law” and “the most abhorrent of all conventions ever signed at a global level.”12

  • 13 Stefanou, 1983, p. 286.

9In the face of the refugees’ reactions, Venizelos was obliged to respond. In a response letter, he argued that the Convention contained positive provisions, such as the exemption of the Greeks of Constantinople from the exchange, as well as the preservation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in its historic seat. Moreover, wanting to declare that he was aware of the reactions that such a move would cause, he noted, “I know that the refugee community will curse me for what I am doing. However, I have a clear conscience that I am working for their interests.” It is also interesting that the Greek politician did not rule out the possibility of some refugees returning to their homeland in the future. However, he added that this required a revision of the Turks’ views, which was impossible at the time.13

10It should be noted, however, that the reactions in Greece were not only related to the compulsory exchange. They were also related to the general discontent prevailing in the country, a result of news coming from the Swiss city that the Turkish delegation sometimes obstructed and sometimes made unreasonable claims against Greek interests. Several in the Greek capital, especially military personnel, even wanted to resume military conflicts with the Turks in an attempt to avenge the recent military defeat.

  • 14 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Ο Βενιζέλος δια την ειρήνην, τι φρονεί δια τας ελευθέρας εκλογάς” [Venizelo (...)
  • 15 Papadakis, 2017, p. 868.

11The second moment that tested the resilience of the Greek delegation in Lausanne and Greece in general was the signing of the general Treaty of Lausanne on July 24, 1923. Eleftherios Venizelos took on the burden of informing the public once again. On the day of the signing of the Treaty, the experienced Greek politician stated in his remarks that the signing of the Treaty was certainly not a Greek triumph. However, it was an honest peace that gave Greece the opportunity to reorganize itself.14 It was obvious that the Greek politician believed that although the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne were unfavorable, Greece did not have the ability to dispute them, but could only move forward. According to Venizelos, Greeks had to accept that the Great Idea had been definitively buried and that from then on, they had to work for stability in the region. His statements immediately after the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne reflected this sentiment. “How can I hide from you the deep melancholy with which I signed the Treaty of Lausanne, which definitively abolishes the Treaty of Sèvres” the Greek politician told journalists.15

  • 16 Η Εστία [I Estia], 24 July 1923.
  • 17 Gioltzoglou, 2011, p. 287.
  • 18 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Επιχειρείται νέα επίθεσις κατά του Παγκάλου” [New attack on Pangalos].

12However, most of the reactions of the Greek political world ranged in the same context as Venizelos’ statements. In fact, the Mayor of Athens sent a congratulatory telegram to Venizelos.16 It was an unpleasant but honest and largely inevitable peace, which was the almost universal message of the Greek politicians and military. Of course, there were also those who reacted like the impulsive General Theodore Pangalos, who desired a new military confrontation with Turkey, even characterizing the Treaty of Lausanne as the “Peace of Antalcidas”17 and “shameful.”18

  • 19 Εμπρός [Empros], “Η ειρήνη υπεγράφη χθές εις την Λωζάννης” [Peace signed yesterday at Lausanne].
  • 20 Η Εστία [I Estia], “Οι δύο αγώνες” [The two struggles], “Δεν την πανηγυρίζομεν...αλλά η Συνθήκη την (...)
  • 21 Έθνος [Ethnos], “Η Ειρήνη” [The Peace].
  • 22 Πατρίς [Patris], 1 February1923.
  • 23 Πατρίς [Patris], 25 July 1923.
  • 24 Εσπερινή [Esperini], 25 July 1923.
  • 25 Η Εστία [I Estia], 24 July 1923.
  • 26 Νέα Αλήθεια [Nea Alitheia], 26 July 1923.
  • 27 Νέα Αλήθεια [Nea Alitheia], 27 July 1923.

13As expected, the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne received extensive coverage in the Greek newspapers. Almost all Greek journalists adopted Venizelos’ approach on this issue. Thus, the newspaper Empros characterized the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne as a “historic milestone” which would allow Greece to envision a better future. “We should no longer mourn in the ruins”, concluded the author, “nor should we continue the national division which is responsible for our suffering.”19 The newspaper Estia stated again on its front page, “We are not celebrating, but this treaty is the best that a defeated nation could have signed,” it continued.20 In the same vein was the editorial of the pro-Venizelist newspaper Ethnos, which argued that the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne gave Greece the opportunity to rebuild and regenerate itself within a regime of peace.21 “We were judged as losers, but we were judged fairly,” declared the newspaper Patris in a front-page article.22 The next day of the signing of the Treaty, the same newspaper argued that “during the signing ceremony of the treaty, the mournful character of a funeral prevailed. The funeral of the great Greek dreams.”23 “Desired peace” is what another newspaper called the Treaty of Lausanne, which would lead to the era of reconstruction and re-creation.24 Another newspaper referred to it as a “peace of defeat,” mainly for the Allies and not so much for Greece.25 The newspaper Nea Alitheia of Thessaloniki also moved in the same vein. It also argued that Greece had no reason to celebrate, but it was given the opportunity to resurrect itself and get back on its feet in the coming years.26 In fact, a doxology for peace was held at the Aghia Sophia temple in Thessaloniki.27

  • 28 Ελεύθερος Λόγος [Elefteros Logos], “Η θέσις των Ελλήνων και Αρμενίων” [The place of Greeks and Arme (...)
  • 29 Ελεύθερος Λόγος [Elefteros Logos], “Ειρήνη” [Peace] and “Συνθήκη της 1ης Νοεμβρίου” [The Treaty of (...)
  • 30 Ελεύθερος Τύπος [Elefteros Typos], 25 July 1923. 

14However, articles reflecting a wider concern about the Treaty of Lausanne were not absent. An indicative example is the journalist of the newspaper Eleftheros Logos, which called on Greek citizens to reflect on what had led Greece from the triumph in Sèvres to defeat at Lausanne in just three years.28 “We bought peace at a very high cost,” the newspaper observed in a front-page article, while at the same time accusing the anti-Venizelist parties of being responsible for this unfavorable outcome.29 “The blood, the toil, the sacrifices of a race were scorned in the most criminal way by the old-fashioned political parties,” noted another Athens newspaper.30

Dispute and acceptance

  • 31 For the fundamental pillars of Greek foreign policy, see Chatzivasileiou, 2020, p. 58‑78.
  • 32 Proceedings of the Sessions of the Fourth Constitutional Assembly of the Greeks, Meeting of June 25 (...)

15The signing of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 and the attempt of the productive integration of approximately 1.5 million refugees inaugurated a new era for Greece at all levels. During the interwar period, Greece definitively abandoned its policy of territorial expansion based on the Great Idea and focused on its economic and social development. As for its diplomatic relations, throughout the interwar period, Athens worked intensively to maintain the territorial status quo in the Balkans and the Near East.31 Based on this principle, the Treaty of Lausanne became one of the cornerstones of Greek foreign policy, as it was rightfully judged that, despite the unfavorable environment in which it was signed -for Greece-, it was essentially the starting point of a national rebirth. In the 1920s and 1930s, both the vast majority of the Greek political world and the newspapers of the time moved within this context. “The exchange of populations will be for a long time the A and the Z of the policy of the Greek state,” prophesied MP Angelos Konstantilieris.32

  • 33 Εμπρός [Empros], “Τα πορίσματα της Διασκεψέως” [The Conference proceedings].
  • 34 Εμπρός [Empros], “Μετά την Γενεύην” [Agter Geneva].

16In early 1924, commenting on the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne and its impact on the Middle East, the newspaper Empros argued that “at first glance, the Treaty of Lausanne, as it was finally ratified, represents a settlement that is tolerable for both sides.”33 In June 1927, the newspaper Empros wrote “the exchange of populations provided for by the Treaty of Lausanne was, based on humanitarian criteria, inhumane. However, it ensured the national homogeneity of Greece and reinforced it with a new population, capable of working and exploiting its untapped natural wealth, as well as densifying the population of its provinces. Thus, it gave the country great hopes of happiness.”34

  • 35 Official Proceedings of the Sessions of the Parliament [Επίσημα Πρακτικά των Συνεδριάσεων της Βουλή (...)

17After the mid-1920s, Greece attempted to improve its relationship with Turkey, leaving behind old hostilities and animosity. Eleftherios Venizelos was once again the pioneer of the Greek-Turkish rapprochement, particularly after 1928. Even Venizelos’ political opponent, Konstantinos Tsaldaris, agreed with this policy. It is indicative that during the session of the Parliament on Sunday, December 31, 1933, Tsaldaris, who was Prime Minister at the time, referred to the country’s foreign policy, noting that it enjoyed the consent of the entire political world. The foreign policy, he pointed out, aimed at developing friendly relations with all states, particularly the Balkan ones. Indeed, Tsaldaris considered the Pact of Cordial Understanding of September 14, 1933, which had been signed with Turkey, as a cornerstone of the policy of the Greek government.35

  • 36 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Ριζική η μεταστροφή του τουρκικού τύπου, θερμαί εκδηλώσεις λαού, τύπου και (...)

18The praise of the Treaty of Lausanne reached its peak during the period of Greek-Turkish rapprochement, in the late 1920s. On November 1, 1930, the newspaper Macedonia, on the occasion of the official visit of Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos to Ankara, wrote that the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne had put a definitive end to the hostility between the two peoples and that the improvement of relations between the two countries was a result of that signature.36

  • 37 Proceedings of the Sessions of the Fourth Constitutional Assembly of the Greeks, Meeting of June 28 (...)
  • 38 Ριζοσπάστης [Rizospastis], “Η συζήτηση περί του προσφυγικού” [The refugee debate].

19However, during the interwar period, the compulsory exchange of populations continued to face criticisms from various sides. In fact, in the discussion on the refugee issue held in the Greek Parliament in the summer of 1924, the refugee Member of Parliament Pavlos Kourtidis argued that the convention on exchange was nothing more than a “truce” that had been imposed under the pressure of events and that “refugees would never forget their particular homeland.”37 Even more critical was refugee Member of Parliament Ioannis Pasalidis, who called the Exchange Convention a “sale and purchase of populations.”38

  • 39 Εμπρός [Empros], “Το σβύσιμον ενός ονείρου με την σκαπάνην του καταστροφέως” [The extinguishing of (...)

20Apart from the issue of the exchange of populations which was heavily criticized from the very beginning, other issues gradually emerged that were targeted by those who criticized the Treaty of Lausanne. During the 1920s and 1930s, the issue of compensation for Greek refugees as well as the safeguarding of the position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as well as the Greek minority in Constantinople, were the main points around which public dialogue was conducted in Greece. Intense criticism was exercised in the Greek Parliament, the Senate, and the newspapers regarding these issues. Thus, with the occasion of the consolidation of the assets of Greek and Turkish refugees, the newspaper Empros described as a “blunder” the fact that Greece had not anticipated the difference in the value of the properties between Greece and Turkey.39

  • 40 Journal of Parliament Debates, “Meeting of February 16, 1927”, p. 713.
  • 41 Official Proceedings of the Senate, Session 1929-1930 [Επίσημα Πρακτικά της Γερουσίας, Σύνοδος 1929 (...)
  • 42 Official Proceedings of the Senate, Session 1929-1930 [Επίσημα Πρακτικά της Γερουσίας, Σύνοδος 1929 (...)

21The debate about the positive and negative aspects of the Treaty of Lausanne was reflected in the sessions of the Greek Parliament during the interwar period. Every time various procedural issues related to the implementation of the Treaty of Lausanne were discussed, various MPs found the opportunity to express their views. Thus, MP Filippos Dragoumis characterized the ratification of the agree­-ments stemming from the Treaty of Lausanne as necessary for settling the out­comes of the Greek state’s policy in Asia Minor, as well as for peaceful cooperation and understanding with Turkey.40 Senator Charisios Vamvakas, on the other hand, argued that although the Treaty mainly benefited Turkey, it would open the way for the improvement of bilateral relations. The Christian minority in Turkey and the Muslim minority in Greece would be guarantees for the stable expansion of Greek-Turkish relations, while the Ecumenical Patriarchate would serve as a link of peace between the Balkans and Turkey, Vamvakas concluded.41 The refugee Senator Konstantinos Yavasoglou, referring to the work of the Greek delegation in Lausanne, reported that it achieved victory, as by signing the agreement on the exchange of populations, it saved about 200,000 Greeks who were wandering in Asia Minor, while at the same time managed to remove many thousands of Muslims from Macedonia. However, Yavasoglou accused the entire Greek political world, which cultivated hope among the refugees for full compensation. Finally, he stated that the agreement established the situation of the compatriots in Constantinople and opened the way for their economic relief.42

  • 43 Gioltzoglou, 2011, p. 251-252.

22The only exception in the argumentation about the Treaty of Lausanne were the MPs of the Greek Communist Party, who opposed it, characterizing it as a result of the imperialist policy of the Great Powers. Thus, Serafeim Maximos argued that the allies and protectors of Greece acted according to their own interests and not the interests of Greece or Turkey. Greece, he continued, was in a semi-colonial state and the Refugee Rehabilitation Committee was an instrument of economic control.43

A Treaty-Totem

  • 44 See, for example, Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 21 April 1964, front page titled “Εντονώτατη διαμαρτυρία τ (...)
  • 45 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 6 August 1978; Εμπρός [Empros], 25 July 1964, “The Turks in Greece are doing (...)
  • 46 Εμπρός [Empros], “Αι συνθήκαι” [The treaties].

23From the first decades of the Cold War until today, Greece, in terms of its foreign policy, maintains the doctrine of preserving the territorial status quo. Indeed, particularly regarding its foreign policy in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean, Athens has highlighted two treaties as the basis of its argu­mentation: the Treaty of Bucharest, which ended the Balkan Wars in 1913, and the Treaty of Lausanne, which was signed in 1923. Respect for the Treaty of Lausanne has evolved into a non-negotiable signpost, especially for Greece’s relations with Turkey. Whenever Greek-Turkish relations are strained, Athens reminds Turkey of the clauses in the Treaty of Lausanne and demands their respect. According to Athens’ view, Ankara systematically violates the Treaty of Lausanne. Initially, the respect for the rights of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the rights of the Greek minority there were at the forefront of the Greek argumentation.44 Indeed, in view of the dramatic numerical reduction of the Greek population of Constantinople compared to the Muslim minority of Western Thrace, there were some voices in Greece that were dissatisfied, wondering whether Greece should do something similar, namely, to implement a policy of discrimination against Muslims of Western Thrace with the aim of their elimination.45 At the same time, other publications, in an attempt to interpret the Turkish behavior, spoke of Turkey’s desire to revise the Treaty of Lausanne.46

24In the following years, especially from the mid-1950s onwards, the Greek argument for Turkey’s violation of the Lausanne Treaty also included the issue of Cyprus. Greeks believed that according to the provisions of the Lausanne Treaty, Turkey had renounced all its rights to Cyprus. However, according to Greek views, reality proved to be different, with the climax being the Turkish invasion and occupation of a large part of Cyprus in the summer of 1974.

25The accusations, from Athens’ side, regarding Ankara’s intention to revise the Treaty of Lausanne, continue until today. They have even been enriched with new arguments, following Turkey’s attempt to expand its continental shelf in the Aegean Sea, as well as after the events in Imia in 1996 and Ankara’s attempt to create “gray zones” in the same area.

  • 47 On its part, Turkey argues that the militarization of some islands in the Eastern Aegean and the Do (...)
  • 48 Syrigos, 2014, p. 68.
  • 49 It is notable that the speech of the Greek Prime Minister took place at the opening of a major exhi (...)

26In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that the Treaty of Lausanne remains the most significant constant in Greek-Turkish relations until today. This is a very interesting observation, as in most cases, international texts of a century ago are more within the realm of historians, having minimal impact on contemporary societies. Although most of the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne, particularly with regards to the protection of minority rights, have been replaced by newer texts, the two countries continue to invoke it with remarkable consistency. They do not hesitate, even today, to hurl accusations at each other for violating it.47 Most likely this is due, as it has been observed, to the fact that the Treaty of Lausanne regulates the issues of the borders and minorities between Greece and Turkey.48 It is indicative, for example, that the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis in a public speech in September 2022, exactly one hundred years after the Asia Minor Catastrophe, accused Turkey of seeking to revise the Treaty of Lausanne, while emphasizing that the Treaty of Lausanne will continue to be valid for centuries.49 One century later, the Treaty of Lausanne continues to be at the center of discussion between Greece and Turkey.

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Bibliographie

Books

Gioltzoglou Ch. Stavros Γιωλτζογλου Χ. Σταύρος, 2011, Οι ελληνοτουρκικές σχέσεις (1922-1930). Από την αντιπαλότητα στην συνδιαλλαγή [Greek-Turkish Relations (1922-1930). From Hostility to Reconciliation], Α. Σταμούλης [A. Stamoulis], Θεσσαλονίκη [Thessaloniki], 518 p.

Giota K. Maria Γιωτα Κ. Μαρία, 2005, Η πολιτική ένταξη των προσφύγων του 1922 στην Ελλάδα του Μεσοπολέμου (1922-1940) [The Political Integration of the Refugees of 1922 into Interwar Greece (1922-1940)], Διδακτορική διατριβή [Ph.D thesis], Θεσσαλονίκη [Thessaloniki].

Papadakis Emm. Nikolaos Παπαδακησ Εμμ. Νικόλαος, 2017, Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος. Ο άνθρωπος, ο ηγέτης. Βιογραφία [Elefterios Venizelos. The Man, The Leader. Biography], 2 vol., Εθνικό Ίδρυμα Ερευνών και Μελετών “Ελευθέριου Βενιζέλου” [Fondation nationale de recherches et d’études “Eleftherios Venizélos”], Αθήνα [Athens], 1160 p.

Stefanou Stefanos Στεφανου Στέφανος (ed.), 1983, Τα κείμενα του Ελευθερίου Βενιζέλου [The Texts of Elefterios Venizelos], 3 vol, Αθήνα [Athens], 2934 p.

Syrigos M. Angelos Συριγοσ Μ. Άγγελος, 2014, Ελληνοτουρκικές σχέσεις [Greek-Turkish Relations], Πατάκης [Patakis], Αθήνα [Athens], 896 p.

Papers and contributions to Books

Chatzivasileiou Evanthis Χατζηβασιλειου Ευάνθης, 2020, “Περιφερειακές πιέσεις και ασφάλεια: Η ελληνική πολιτική στα Βαλκάνια, 1912-1991” [Regional Pressures and Security: Greek Policy in the Balkans, 1912-1991], in Voulgaris Giannis Βούλγαρης Γιάννης, Kostis Kostas Κωστής Κώστας & Rizas Sotiris Ριζάς Σωτήρης (ed.), Ο μεγάλος μετασχηματισμός: Κράτος και πολιτική στην Ελλάδα του 20ού αιώνα [The Great Transformation: State and Politics in 20th Century Greece], Πατάκης [Patakis], Αθήνα [Athens], p. 58-78.

Mourelos G. Yannis Μουρελοσ Γ. Ιωάννης, 1985, “The 1914 persecutions and the first attempt at an exchange of minorities between Greece and Turkey”, Balkan Studies, 26/2, p. 389-413.

Zaikos Nikos Ζαικος Νίκος, 2009, “Το προσφυγικό ζήτημα στην Ελλάδα. Η διεθνής δικαιϊκή προοπτική” [The Refugee Issue in Greece. The International Legal Perspective], in Koliopoulos S. Ioannis Κολιοπουλος Σ. Ιωάννης & Michailidis D. Iakovos Μιχαηλιδης Δ. Ιάκωβος (ed.), Οι πρόσφυγες στη Μακεδονία. Από την τραγωδία στην εποποιΐα [Refugees in Macedonia. From Tragedy to Epic], Αθήνα [Athens], p. 21-47.

Official reports

Proceedings of the Sessions of the Fourth Constitutional Assembly of the Greeks, “Meeting of June 25th, 1924”, [Πρακτικά των Συνεδριάσεων της Δ’ εν Αθήναις Συντακτικής των Ελλήνων Συνελεύσεως, “Συνεδρίαση 25ης Ιουνίου 1924”], vol. 2, Athens, 1924.

Proceedings of the Sessions of the Fourth Constitutional Assembly of the Greeks, “Meeting of June 28th, 1924”, [Πρακτικά των Συνεδριάσεων της Δ’ εν Αθήναις Συντακτικής των Ελλήνων Συνελεύσεως, “Συνεδρίαση 28ης Ιουνίου 1924”], vol. 2, Athens, 1924.

Journal of Parliament Debates, “Meeting of February 16, 1927”, [Εφημερίς Συζητήσεων της Βουλής, “Συνεδρίαση 16ης Φεβρουαρίου 1927”], Athens, 1928.

Official Proceedings of the Senate, Session 1929-1930 [Επίσημα Πρακτικά της Γερουσίας, Σύνοδος 1929-1930], vol. 2. Athens 1930.

Official Proceedings of the Sessions of the Parliament [Επίσημα Πρακτικά των Συνεδριάσεων της Βουλής], vol. 2, Athens, 1935.

Newspapers

Έθνος [Ethnos]

Έθνος [Ethnos], 24 July 1923, “Η Ειρήνη” [The Peace].

Ελεύθερος Λόγος [Elefteros Logos]

Ελεύθερος Λόγος [Elefteros Logos], 24 July 1923, “Η θέσις των Ελλήνων και Αρμενίων” [The place of Greeks and Armenians].

Ελεύθερος Λόγος [Elefteros Logos], 25 July 1923, “Ειρήνη” [Peace].

Ελεύθερος Τύπος [Elefteros Typos]

Ελεύθερος Τύπος [Elefteros Typos], 25 July 1923, “Προ των νέων συνθηκών” [Confronted to the new circonstances].

Εμπρός [Empros]

Εμπρός [Empros], 8 January 1923, “Ο Ελληνισμός διαμαρτύρεται δια την διαπραττόμενην ανθρωπεμπορίαν” [Hellenism protests against the trafficking of human beings].

Εμπρός [Empros], 25 July 1923, “Η ειρήνη υπεγράφη χθές εις την Λωζάννην” [Peace signed yesterday at Lausanne], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=108&dc=25&db=7&da=1923 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Εμπρός [Empros], 14 January 1924, “Τα πορίσματα της Διασκέψεως” [The Conference proceedings], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=108&dc=14&db=1&da=1924 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Εμπρός [Empros], 16 June 1927, “Μετά την Γενεύην” [After Geneva], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=108&dc=16&db=6&da=1927 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Εμπρός [Empros], 17 September 1928, “Το σβύσιμον ενός ονείρου με την σκαπάνην του καταστροφέως” [The extinguishing of a dream with the scoop of the destroyer], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=108&dc=17&db=9&da=1928 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Εμπρός [Empros], 25 July 1964, “Ενώ οι Τούρκοι της Ελλάδος καλοπερνούν, ημέρες φρίκης για τους Έλληνες της Βασιλίδος” [The Turks in Greece are doing well, while the Greeks in Constantinople are living through horrific days], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=108&dc=25&db=7&da=1964 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Εμπρός [Empros], 6 March 1965, “Αι συνθήκαι” [The treaties], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=108&dc=17&db=9&da=1928 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Εσπερινή [Esperini]

Εσπερινή [Esperini], 25 July 1923, “Ανασύνταξις και εργασία” [Reconstruction and Labour].

Εστία [Estia]

Η Εστία [I Estia], 24 July 1923, “Μετά την Ειρήνη” [After Peace].

Εστία [Estia], 25 July 1923, “Οι δύο αγώνες” [The two struggles].

Μακεδονία [Macedonia]

Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 8 January 1923, “Πρόσφυγες, όλοι σήμερον εις τον Λ. Πυργόν, να φωνάξετε τον πόνο σας” [Refugees, all of you today at the White Tower, cry out your pain], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=124&dc=8&db=1&da=1923 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 9 January 1923, “Ο χθεσινός αυθόρμητος συναγερμός των προσφύγων ογκώδες συλλαλητήριον κατά της αποφασισθείσης ανταλλαγής” [Yesterday’s spontaneous alarm of the refugees spontaneous rally against the decided exchange], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=124&dc=9&db=1&da=1923 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 1 Februray 1923, “Όχι Ανταλλαγήν” [No exchange], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=124&dc=1&db=2&da=1923 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 26 July 1923, “Ο Βενιζέλος δια την ειρήνην, τι φρονεί δια τας ελευθέρας εκλογάς” [Venizelos about peace, what he thinks about free elections], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=124&dc=26&db=7&da=1923 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 26 July 1923, “Yesterday’s spontaneous alarm of the refugees spontaneous rally against the decided exchange”, URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=124&dc=9&db=1&da=1923 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 3 July 1924, “Επιχειρείται νέα επίθεσις κατά του Παγκάλου” [New attack on Pangalos] , URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=124&dc=3&db=7&da=1924 (accessed 1/11/2023)

Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 1 November 1930, “Ριζική η μεταστροφή του τουρκικού τύπου, θερμαί εκδηλώσεις λαού, τύπου και πολιτικών” [Radical change in the Turkish press, warm expressions of people, press and politicians], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=124&dc=1&db=11&da=1930 (accessed 1/11/2023).

Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 19 September 1958, “Η Ελλάς καταγγέλλει παραβίασιν της συνθήκης της Λωζάννης υπό της Αγγλίας και της Τουρκίας” [Greece denounces violation of the Treaty of Lausanne by England and Turkey].

Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 20 April 1965, “Η Τουρκία απειλεί εκδίωξιν του Πατριαρχείου” [Turkey threatens expulsion of the Patriarchate].

Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 26 April 1978, “Το θέμα των μειονοτήτων στην Πόλημ, Ίμβρο, Τενεδό και Δυτική Θράκη” [The issue of minorities in Istanbul, Tenedo and Western Thrace].

Νέα Αλήθεια [Nea Alitheia]

Νέα Αλήθεια [Nea Alitheia], 24 July 1923, “Μετά την Ειρήνη” [After Peace].

Νέα Αλήθεια [Nea Alitheia], 26 July 1923, “Η Ειρήνη” [The Peace].

Πατρίς [Patris]

Πατρίς [Patris], 1 February 1923, “Το δικαίωμα της Ελλάδος” [The right of Greece].

Πατρίς [Patris], 25 July 1923, “Το ελληνικό ιδεώδες δεν απέθανεν” [The Greek ideal is not dead].

Ριζοσπάστης [Rizospastis]

Ριζοσπάστης [Rizospastis], 29 June 1924, “Η συζήτηση περί του προσφυγικού” [The refugee debate], URL: http://efimeris.nlg.gr/ns/pdfwin.asp?c=65&dc=29&db=6&da=1924 p.3. (accessed 1/11/2023)

Websites

Σκάι, URL: https://www.skai.gr/news/politics/erntogan-i-ellada-den-efarmozei-ti-synthiki-tis-lozanis-eksoplizei-ta-nisia (accessed, 22 April 2023).

Η Καθημερινή, URL: https://www.kathimerini.gr/politics/foreign-policy/562043884/mitsotakis-i-toyrkia-na-antilifthei-oti-i-synthiki-tis-lozannis-tha-ischyei-gia-aiones/ (accessed, 22 April 2023).

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Notes

1 Syrigos, 2014, p. 50.

2 This was stated by Venizelos regarding the Treaty of Lausanne, see Papadakis, 2017, p. 864.

3 Papadakis, 2017, p. 861.

4 Mourelos, 1985, p. 389-413.

5 Εμπρός [Empros], “Ο Ελληνισμός διαμαρτύρεται δια την διαπραττόμενην ανθρω­πεμπορίαν” [Hellenism protests against the trafficking of human beings].

6 Εμπρός [Empros], 9 January 1923.

7 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Πρόσφυγες, όλοι σήμερον εις τον Λ. Πυργόν, να φωνάξετε τον πόνο σας” [Refugees, all of you today at the White Tower, cry out your pain].

8 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Ο χθεσινός αυθόρμητος συναγερμός των προσφύγων ογκώδες συλλαλητήριον κατά της αποφασισθείσης ανταλλαγής” [Yesterday's spontaneous alarm of the refugees spontaneous rally against the decided exchange].

9 Εμπρός [Empros], 8 January 1923.

10 Giota, 2005, p. 23.

11 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Όχι Ανταλλαγήν” [No exchange].

12 Zaikos, 2009, p. 37.

13 Stefanou, 1983, p. 286.

14 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Ο Βενιζέλος δια την ειρήνην, τι φρονεί δια τας ελευθέρας εκλογάς” [Venizelos about peace, what he thinks about free elections].

15 Papadakis, 2017, p. 868.

16 Η Εστία [I Estia], 24 July 1923.

17 Gioltzoglou, 2011, p. 287.

18 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Επιχειρείται νέα επίθεσις κατά του Παγκάλου” [New attack on Pangalos].

19 Εμπρός [Empros], “Η ειρήνη υπεγράφη χθές εις την Λωζάννης” [Peace signed yesterday at Lausanne].

20 Η Εστία [I Estia], “Οι δύο αγώνες” [The two struggles], “Δεν την πανηγυρίζομεν...αλλά η Συνθήκη την οποία ο νικητής των Σεβρών υπέγραψε χθες με βαθύτατην μελαγχολίαν, είνε ασφαλώς η καλλιτέρα Συνθήκη που θα ηδύνατο να επιτύχη ένα Κράτος ηττημένον.”

21 Έθνος [Ethnos], “Η Ειρήνη” [The Peace].

22 Πατρίς [Patris], 1 February1923.

23 Πατρίς [Patris], 25 July 1923.

24 Εσπερινή [Esperini], 25 July 1923.

25 Η Εστία [I Estia], 24 July 1923.

26 Νέα Αλήθεια [Nea Alitheia], 26 July 1923.

27 Νέα Αλήθεια [Nea Alitheia], 27 July 1923.

28 Ελεύθερος Λόγος [Elefteros Logos], “Η θέσις των Ελλήνων και Αρμενίων” [The place of Greeks and Armenians].

29 Ελεύθερος Λόγος [Elefteros Logos], “Ειρήνη” [Peace] and “Συνθήκη της 1ης Νοεμβρίου” [The Treaty of 1st November].

30 Ελεύθερος Τύπος [Elefteros Typos], 25 July 1923. 

31 For the fundamental pillars of Greek foreign policy, see Chatzivasileiou, 2020, p. 58‑78.

32 Proceedings of the Sessions of the Fourth Constitutional Assembly of the Greeks, Meeting of June 25th, 1924 [Πρακτικά των Συνεδριάσεων της Δ’ εν Αθήναις Συντακτικής των Ελλήνων Συνελεύσεως, Συνεδρίαση 25ης Ιουνίου, 1924], 1924, p. 394.

33 Εμπρός [Empros], “Τα πορίσματα της Διασκεψέως” [The Conference proceedings].

34 Εμπρός [Empros], “Μετά την Γενεύην” [Agter Geneva].

35 Official Proceedings of the Sessions of the Parliament [Επίσημα Πρακτικά των Συνεδριάσεων της Βουλής], 1935, p. 1604.

36 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Ριζική η μεταστροφή του τουρκικού τύπου, θερμαί εκδηλώσεις λαού, τύπου και πολιτικών”.

37 Proceedings of the Sessions of the Fourth Constitutional Assembly of the Greeks, Meeting of June 28th, 1924 [Πρακτικά των Συνεδριάσεων της Δ’ εν Αθήναις Συντακτικής των Ελλήνων Συνελεύσεως, Συνεδρίαση 28ης Ιουνίου, 1924], 1924, p. 441.

38 Ριζοσπάστης [Rizospastis], “Η συζήτηση περί του προσφυγικού” [The refugee debate].

39 Εμπρός [Empros], “Το σβύσιμον ενός ονείρου με την σκαπάνην του καταστροφέως” [The extinguishing of a dream with the scoop of the destroyer].

40 Journal of Parliament Debates, “Meeting of February 16, 1927”, p. 713.

41 Official Proceedings of the Senate, Session 1929-1930 [Επίσημα Πρακτικά της Γερουσίας, Σύνοδος 1929-1930], 1930, p. 957-960.

42 Official Proceedings of the Senate, Session 1929-1930 [Επίσημα Πρακτικά της Γερουσίας, Σύνοδος 1929-1930], 1930, p. 961-962.

43 Gioltzoglou, 2011, p. 251-252.

44 See, for example, Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 21 April 1964, front page titled “Εντονώτατη διαμαρτυρία της Ελλάδος κατά την καταφωρόν υπό της Τουρκίας παραβίασιν της συνθήκης της Λωζάνης” [Intense protest of Greece for the blatant violation of the Treaty of Lausanne by Turkey regarding the rights of our Patriarchate]. See also Μακεδονία [Macedonia], “Η Ελλάς καταγγέλλει παραβίασιν της συνθήκης της Λωζάννης υπό της Αγγλίας και της Τουρκίας” [Greece denounces violation of the Treaty of Lausanne by England and Turkey]; “Η Τουρκία απειλεί εκδίωξιν του Πατριαρχείου” [Turkey threatens expulsion of the Patriarchate]; “Το θέμα των μειονοτήτων στην Πόλη, Ίμβρο, Τένεδο και Δυτική Θράκη”.

45 Μακεδονία [Macedonia], 6 August 1978; Εμπρός [Empros], 25 July 1964, “The Turks in Greece are doing well, while the Greeks in Constantinople are living through horrific days” [The issue of minorities in Istanbul, Tenedo and Western Thrace].

46 Εμπρός [Empros], “Αι συνθήκαι” [The treaties].

47 On its part, Turkey argues that the militarization of some islands in the Eastern Aegean and the Dodecanese constitutes a violation of the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne by Greece. See Skai, URL: https://www.skai.gr/news/politics/erntogan-i-ellada-den-efarmozei-ti-synthiki-tis-lozanis-eksoplizei-ta-nisia (accessed, 22 April 2023).

48 Syrigos, 2014, p. 68.

49 It is notable that the speech of the Greek Prime Minister took place at the opening of a major exhibition on the Hellenism of Asia Minor and the refugee exchange. See kathimerini, URL: https://www.kathimerini.gr/politics/foreign-policy/562043884/mitsotakis-i-toyrkia-na-antilifthei-oti-i-synthiki-tis-lozannis-tha-ischyei-gia-aiones/ (accessed, 22 April 2023).

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Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Iakovos D. Michailidis, « Perceptions of the Lausanne Treaty in the Greek public sphere »Cahiers balkaniques, 50 | -1, 87-103.

Référence électronique

Iakovos D. Michailidis, « Perceptions of the Lausanne Treaty in the Greek public sphere »Cahiers balkaniques [En ligne], 50 | 2024, mis en ligne le 26 avril 2024, consulté le 20 juillet 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/19978 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/11rxs

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Auteur

Iakovos D. Michailidis

Université Aristote, Thessalonique

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Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

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