Conference of Lausanne
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The Conference of Lausanne was a conference held in Lausanne, Switzerland during 1922 and 1923. Its purpose was the negotiation of a treaty to replace the Treaty of Sèvres, which, under the new government of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was no longer recognised by Turkey.
The conference opened in November 1922, with representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Turkey. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey selected İsmet İnönü, Dr Rıza Nur and Chief Rabbi Nahum as their representatives. Lord Curzon, the British Foreign Secretary, was the co-ordinator of the conference and dominated it. France and Italy had assumed that, following the Chanak Crisis, British prestige with Turkey would be irrevocably damaged; they were shocked to discover that Turkish respect for Britain was undiminished, since British troops had held their positions at Chanak while the French had been ordered to withdraw.
The conference lasted for eleven weeks. It heard speeches from Benito Mussolini of Italy and Raymond Poincaré of France. The proceedings of the conference were notable for the stubborn diplomacy of İnönü. Already partially deaf, İnönü would simply turn off his hearing aid when Curzon launched into lengthy speeches denouncing the Turkish position. Once Curzon was finished, İnönü would restate his original demands, oblivious to Curzon's denunciations. At the conclusion, Turkey assented to the political clauses and the "freedom of the straits", which was Britain's main concern. The matter of the status of Mosul was deferred, since Curzon refused to be budged on the British position that the area was part of Iraq. The French delegation, however, did not achieve any of their goals and on 30 January 1923 issued a statement that they did not consider the draft treaty to be any more than a "basis of discussion". The Turks therefore refused to sign the treaty. On 4 February 1923, Curzon made a final appeal to Ismet Pasha to sign, and when he refused the Foreign Secretary broke off negotiations and left that night on the Orient Express.
The Treaty of Lausanne was finally signed on 24 July 1923.
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