Title: The Kurdish Dilemma in Turkey
Author: Katie Cowen
Publisher: Washington Kurdish Institute
Release date:January 2023.
Kurds were forced to join the Turkish state as a result of the Treaty of Lausanne, which was negotiated at the Lausanne Conference during 1922-3 in Lausanne, Switzerland, and signed on 24 July 1923. The purpose of the treaty was to settle disputes between the Ottoman Empire and other parties including the Allied French Republic, the British Empire, the Kingdom of Italy, the Empire of Japan, the Kingdom of Greece, and the Kingdom of Romania after the onset of World War I. The Treaty of Lausanne was ratified by Turkey on 23 August 1923, and all the other signatories by 16 July 1924. On the 6th of August 1924, the instruments of ratification were deposited in Paris.
Post-ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne, the ratification of Turkey’s 1924 constitution stripped Kurdish populations of their political autonomy. The 1924 constitution didn’t allow the Kurdish language to be used in public places, andeven the words “Kurd” and “Kurdistan” were forbidden. In 1924 there was also a mandate which forbade Kurdish schools, organizations, and publications from serving their people. Around this time, there was also a law that allowed the expropriation of Kurdish landowners, whose land was given to Turkish-speaking people. These privations and receding autonomy was coupled with deadly massacres of the Kurdish people.