Lausanne Never Anulled the Treaty of Sevres in Terms of Borders
RoA National Academy Historian Says Sevres Still Valid
When asked by Hetq if the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne did not in fact annul and supersede the 1920 Treaty of Sevres, Ashot Melkonyan, Director of the History Institute at the RoA National Academy of Sciences said that such a view was a misrepresentation of the facts.
“Nowhere in the Treaty of Lausanne is it mentioned that the Allied Powers are rejected Sevres. The West just simply recognized the new Kemalist Turkey as a sovereign state. International rights experts must assist us in bringing clarity to these two events. Thus, the recognition of territorial integrity and the recognition of specific borders are two different things,” he stated.
For instance, Russia and Japan have recognized the territorial integrity of the other but Japan does not accept the Kurile Islands and Southern Sakhalin as Russian territory. Syria has not recognized the Sanjak of Alexandretta as Turkish territory, but the two nations officially recognize the territorial integrity of the other.
Mr. Melkonyan went on to say that Lausanne did indeed grant official recognition to Turkey but that there was no official definition of the new state’s borders.
He said that in the same way today Armenia recognizes Azerbaijan as a sovereign state but the issue remains the outline of the borders of the nation.
“None of us oppose the opening of the border with Turkey and the establishment of diplomatic relations, but the issue at hand is the recognition of the border itself,” said Mr. Melkonyan.
“I have a problem, as an historian, when they say that the sides recognize the existing border; in other words the de-facto and not de-jure border. No wonder Turkey was pressing for the ratification of the Protocols. It just so happened that the pressure of little brother Azerbaijan on big brother Turkey was significant. There is the oil factor as well.”