The 1923 Lausanne Treaty and the New Imperial Order

edited by Jonathan Conlin and Ozan Ozavci (Gingko, 2023)

The last of the post-World War One peace settlements, Lausanne was very different from Versailles. Like its German and Austro-Hungarian allies the defeated Ottoman Empire had initially been presented with a dictated peace in 1920. In just two years, however, the Kemalist insurgency turned defeat into victory, enabling Turkey to claim its place as the first sovereign state in the Middle East. Meanwhile the Greeks, Armenians, Arabs, Egyptians, Kurds and other communities who had also populated the Ottoman Empire sought their own forms of sovereignty, jostled between the Soviet Union and the resurgence of empire in the guise of League of Nations mandates. Already disillusioned with the Versailles toolkit, recourse was had to a new peace-making initiative: a forced population exchange, affecting 1.5m people.

They All Made Peace is the first English-language publication to consider the Treaty and its legacy a century on. A stellar group of historians present a contrapuntal, multi-perspective analysis of 1923. Chapters consider British, Turkish and Soviet designs in the post-Ottoman world, situate the population exchanges relative to earlier and subsequent peacemaking efforts, and discuss the economic factors behind the reallocation of Ottoman debt as well as the management of refugee flows. Further chapters examine the“absent presences”, Kurdish, Arab, Iranian, Armenian, and other communities refused formal accreditation at Lausanne, but nonetheless forced to live with the consequences, which are still emerging, one hundred years on. 


Part 1: From One Imperial Order to Another

  • Minority Rights and International Law at Lausanne – Aimee Genell
  • Britain’s Plans for a New Eastern Mediterranean Empire – Erik Goldstein
  • The Soviet Union and the post-WWI International Order – Samuel Hirst & Etienne Peyrat
  • From the Clash of Civilizations to Nationalism Theory? – Cemil Aydın

Part 2: Absent Presences

  • Re-Mix? Armenian Autonomy and the Limits of Post-Genocide “Co-Existence” – Lerna Ekmekçioglu
  • Iranian Attempts to Participate at Lausanne – Leila Koochakzadeh
  • Arab Exclusion at Lausanne: A Critical Historical Juncture? – Elizabeth F. Thompson

Part 3: Making Concessions

  • Oil over Armenians: The “Lausanne Shift” in US Relations with the Middle East – Andrew Patrick
  • The Mosul Question: Lausanne and After – Sarah Shields
  • The Division of the Ottoman Debt – Mustafa Aksakal & Patrick Schilling

Part 4: Moving the People

  • International Law and the Greek-Bulgarian and Greek-Turkish Population Exchange – Leonard V. Smith
  • A Capitalist Peace? Money, Labor, and Refugee Resettlement – Laura Robson
  • Thanassis Aghnides, Ayrilios Spatharis and the Population Exchange – Haakon Ikonomou & Dimitris Kamouzis

Part 5: Framing Lausanne

  • Framing Pasts and Futures at Lausanne – Hans-Lukas Kieser
  • Lausanne in Turkish Official and Popular Historiography – Gökhan Çetinsaya
  • Diplomacy, Entertainment, Souvenir? Guignol à Lausanne and Caricature – Julia Secklehner

In addition to foregrounding these inter-sectoral diplomatic dynamics at Lausanne, we offer a ‘contrapuntal’ reading of the episode, exposing the ‘absent presences’, the unheard as much as the heard, their manifold interests, expectations, frustrations and resentments.

From the Introduction by the editors