‘Peace process’ not a challenge to Lausanne
ISTANBUL - HürriyetTurkey’s ongoing peace process to resolve the decades-long Kurdish issue would not challenge the Lausanne Treaty, Zafer Toprak, history professor at Boğaziçi University has said.
“Turkey will protect its nation state identity at some point. This includes the country’s borders too. However it is important to realize that Turkey must enable internationally acknowledged norms of human rights, individual freedoms for [Turkey’s citizens]. If Turkey gains ground on this issue I do not sense a threat factor about national borders,” Toprak, who is the founder and president of the Atatürk Institute of the Boğaziçi University told daily Hürriyet when he was asked if recognition of ethnic identities in Turkey regarding the Kurdish issue would reach a point of challenging the Lausanne Treaty.
“Lausanne is not open to debate because at this point the whole process [in the Middle East] proceeds independently from Lausanne. The arguments are not linked to Lausanne, it’s mostly linked with people’s ethnic identities,” he said.
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 24, 1923, before the founding of the Turkish Republic. It officially ended the state of war that had existed between Turkey and the Western Alliance since the onset of World War I. The treaty set the structure of Turkey’s minority laws accepting only Rums (Anatolian Greeks), Jews and Armenians as ethnic minority groups.