Conference of London (1920)
|Paris Peace Conference|
In the Conference of London, (12–24 February 1920), following World War I, leaders of Britain, France, and Italy met to discuss the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire and the negotiation of agreements that would become the Treaty of Sèvres. Under the leadership of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of France Alexandre Millerand, and Prime Minister of Italy Francesco Saverio Nitti, the allied powers reached agreements that would form the basis of their arguments at the San Remo conference.
Military administration of Constantinople
After the armistice of Mudros, the allies' military administration was established in Constantinople on 13 November 1918, but at that time they did not dismantle the Ottoman government or the Ottoman Sultan. The control of the Ottoman Empire was the main point of discussions during the conference. Most of the discussions were based on how to restrict the power of the Ottoman Sultan (see Ottoman Caliphate) and how to keep him in Constantinople, literally and politically, including the size of the Sultan's army and the sharing of the Dardanelles straits.
A balance was sought to allow the Sultan to control the security of the Caliphate, but not to enable him to change the course of the peace settlements. The members were constantly informed about the Khilafat Movement which tried to protect the position of caliphate.
However, the new Ottoman parliament deputies elected after the armistice met on 28 January 1920 and published their decisions of independence (Misak-ı Milli (National Oath)) on 12 February 1920. The Khilafat Movement try to influence the British government and protect the caliphate of the Ottoman empire and although mainly a Muslim religious movement, the Khilafat struggle became a part of the wider Indian independence movement. Conference of London decided to take actions, at least on Turkish national movement, and decided to shift from "de facto" occupation of the Constantinople to "de jure" occupation of Constantinople.
Treaty of Sèvres
“In the Treaty of Sèvres, drawn up by the London Conference, finalized by the San Remo conference, and signed by the Ottoman government at the French town of Sèvres on August 10, 1920, the Mandatory for Palestine was tasked with ‘putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people’"
- Finkel, Caroline, Osman's Dream, (Basic Books, 2005), 57; "Istanbul was only adopted as the city's official name in 1930..".
- p.257-258, Empires of the Sand, The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East 1789-1923. Efraim Karsh & Inari Karsh. Harvard University Press. 1999.