Cutting the gordian knot

Klapsis, Antonis (2011-01-01)


The Lausanne Convention for the Exchange of Greek-Turkish Populations represents a hlming point in the modern history not only of Greece and Turkey, but also of Southeast Europe and the Near East as a whole. This compulsory exchange, which was primarily based on the criterion of religion rather than language or ethinicity, brought a dramatic and unprecedented change to the anthropogeography of the region. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homelands, whereas even more were denied the right to return to their birthplaces from where they were expelled in the most violent, inhuman, and abrupt way. This essay, based primarily on research in Greek archives (both state and private), examines the reasons that led to the conclusion of the Lausanne Convention, its most important provisions, and the prohlems in Greek-Turkish relations as a result of its implementation. In this context, special attention will also be paid to Greek-Turkish negotiations on bilateral disputes leading up to the Convention of Ankara (10June 1930), which definitively solved the problems connected with the implementation of the Lausanne Convention.

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