Negative Effects Of The Lausanne Treaty On Turkey

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In 1923, the Lausanne Treaty was signed between Greece and Turkey, agreeing to a population exchange between their countries. The treaty stated that the Muslims living in Greece would be sent to Turkey, and the Orthodox Christians in Turkey would be sent to Greece. This large-scale exchange of about 1.6 million people was a massive undertaking, and greatly affected each country. The Greek-Turkish population exchange had an overall positive effect on Greece’s economy, politics, and society, while it had an overall negative effect on Turkey’s economy, politics, and society. The signing of the Lausanne Treaty was a direct result of the Greco-Turkish war of 1919. Turkey won the war in 1922, and its leaders wanted a population exchange because…show more content…
The most important effect on its economy was an increase in the size of Greece’s workforce. Before the exchange, Greece had a population of approximately 4.5 million people. During the exchange, Greece received about 1.2 million people from Turkey, causing a population increase of about 25% after the first two years. This was beneficial for Greece because the influx of workers increased the production of goods, thereby resulting in growth of the country’s economy. Besides the fact that Greek industry now had the advantage of more workers to support the economy, many of the refugees also brought new skills to Greece. The majority of the people who arrived were farmers, and they knew how to grow crops that had not been planted commercially in Greece before, such as “olive, fig… and cotton”. Despite the fact that Greece had fertile land that was ideal for growing crops, much of this land was unused before the population exchange, as the base of Greece’s economy was trade. However, after the exchange, the basis of the economy began to shift toward agriculture. The exchange also brought many new artisans to Greece. These artisans were mainly silk weavers and carpet makers, who brought industries that were previously almost nonexistent in Greece. In 1924, there was already a noticeable increase in the production and export of both silk and carpets. This new workforce played a large role in improving the economy of…show more content…
In Greece, the population exchange weakened elite groups in the government. The arrival of refugees from Turkey also swayed the outcomes of elections because refugees represented a large portion of the votes. Greece was a constitutional monarchy until 1909, when Eleftherios Venizelos, leader of the Liberal party in Greece, took control of the government via a military coup. When refugees started arriving in the 1920s, they supported Venizelos’ government because they approved of the party’s rural land distribution. The refugees disliked the royalist party, whom they blamed for the forced exchange. However, Venizelos began to lose the support of the refugees because they felt isolated from native Greek culture. The major event that caused Venizelos to lose popularity among refugees was the signing of an agreement with Turkey which stated that the refugees would not be reimbursed for the property that they owned before the exchange. This caused many refugees to become indebted to the state, which led to many of them shifting their support to the communist party. Because a large number of refugees were lower class workers, they saw communism as a way to improve their lives. The communist party began organizing strikes as it gained popularity among the refugees, and soon there were full scale riots. In response to the rise of the communist party, Metaxas, the minister of war at that time, established a

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