- Project Runeberg -  Armenia and the Near East /
24

(1928) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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by the authorities on the spot, so that the owners might
obtain full compensation in abandoned property of the same
value in the country they went to. A detailed inventory was
further to be made of all the property abandoned by the
Greeks who had already left Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace,
in order that the refugees might receive proper compensation.

Kemal Pasha wired back that he agreed to the proposal
in principle, but that the details must be discussed with the
Government at Angora. It quickly transpired in the course
of the negotiations with the representative of this Government
that the Turks laid it down as a primary condition that on the
one hand Western Thrace should be excepted from the
agreement, and that on the other hand Constantinople should
be included in it. The intention was obvious: though the
Greeks would doubtless keep Western Thrace when peace
was concluded, the Turks nevertheless wished the Turkish
population to stay there—for some day the country might
become Turkish again. At the same time, they wished to
take the opportunity of getting rid of the whole of the large
Greek population of Constantinople for the benefit of the
Turks. I saw at once that the latter condition would certainly
be unacceptable, not least to the Great Powers. To remove
the whole of the industrious Greek population of Constantinople
would mean paralysing the trade of this important
centre; the banks, for instance, were largely in Greek hands
or had Greek employees. It would be incompatible with the
great economic interests the West European Powers had in
Turkey. Indeed, at a conference of the High Commissioners
of the Powers, convened immediately afterwards at Constantinople,
complete agreement reigned on this point.

Finding that I could make no impression upon the Turkish
negotiator who represented the Angora Government in
Constantinople, I proceeded at once, in November 1922, to
lay the proposals outlined above before the peace conference
at Lausanne, emphasizing the necessity of adopting them and
bringing them into operation immediately, without waiting
for the final treaty of peace. In my view this agreement,
enforced by prompt action, would enable us in the first place
to demand the surrender of the Greek men in the “labour

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