History 16/01/20 Error “Lenin”: how the Soviet Union lost mountains of Ararat

Mount Ararat is somewhere on the slopes of which, according to legend, lie the remains of Noah’s ark, considered one of the symbols of Armenia, but in fact it is in the territory of neighboring Turkey. The borders of Soviet Armenia in 1921, approved by Vladimir Lenin, who had their own views of the Turkish Republic.

On both sides of Ararat

After the October revolution the situation in the Caucasus for some time been developed in isolation from the Russian events. On the territory of the Erivan gubernia and Kars oblast in may 1918 became an independent state – the Republic of Armenia (Ararat Republic), which rules the social democratic party “Dashnaktsutiun”.

In August 1920, the Ottoman government agreed to sign the Treaty of Sevres. Thanks to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson Armenia has a historic chance to join the huge lands in Eastern Anatolia from Trebizond, Erzurum and lake van. However, this was prevented by the Turkish liberation movement raised by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The Turks repulsed the invading Armenian troops and themselves went on the offensive. At the same time the war with the Dashnak Armenia began the RSFSR and the Azerbaijan SSR. In December 1920 Armenia’s independence came to an end – in its place was formed the Armenian SSR. Before the victorious Bolsheviks and Kemalists – arose the problem of establishing mutual boundaries.

Deal with Ataturk

the purpose of “building bridges” the President of the Council of people’s Commissars Lenin entered into personal correspondence with the leader of the Turkish liberation movement of Mustafa Kemal. Latest Moscow government considered a beneficial ally. According to Soviet foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, Lenin “recognized in the atatürk large person who stood above the narrow interests of the bourgeois-landlord elite in Turkey”.

simply put, the leader of the world proletariat counted that with time Turkey will join the number of socialist republics. Promises Ataturk did give reason for optimism.

“We are committed to connect all our work and all our military operations with the Russian Bolsheviks, with the purpose of combating the imperialist governments and liberate all the oppressed from under their power,” wrote Mustafa Kemal to Lenin in April 1920, as President of the Grand national Assembly of Turkey. Note that the official head of state at that time was the Sultan Mehmed VI, the will of which neither Lenin nor Kemal was not considered.

To fight with Greece, the Russian Federation has sent Mustafa Kemal substantial assistance – the weapons and 10 million rubles in gold. Ataturk, for his part, helped create in Turkey the Communist party. March 16, 1921 in Moscow took place the signing of the “Treaty of friendship and brotherhood”, which established the modern border of Turkey and the Transcaucasian republics. The Treaty confirmed Turkish sovereignty over all the former Russian Kara region. According to the historian Paul Shlykov, before the Bolsheviks had a choice – to give the Turks the Armenian lands or Georgian Batum. It was decided to keep the latter as the port city of Batum was of greater importance than the legendary Ararat. In addition to territorial concessions Soviet Russia has written off debts to the Turks, had them before the Royal government.

Lenin Error

For ardent nationalist Ataturk “shift to the left” was nothing more than a tactical move. The leaders of the Turkish Communists was soon killed on the orders of “father of the Turks”, and the Communist party itself the President of Turkey was banned in 1923.

In 1930-e years, Ataturk and his successors finally broke off friendly relations with the Soviet Union – by this time the fledgling Turkish Republic was able to afford to pursue a more independent policy. This led to the fact that at the Potsdam conference in 1945, Stalin put forward to the territorial claims against Turkey under the guise of “reunification the Armenian people.” However, before the armed conflict, then it did not come.

Temporary Soviet-Turkish “friendship” chalk negative consequences not only for Armenians, but for living in the Kars region of Russian-Molokan. The Turks started to assimilate, because of what then all Molokans chose to leave the country.

© Russian Seven

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