Treaty of Sèvres/Part IV
Turkey undertakes that the stipulations contained in Articles 141, 145 and I47 shall be recognised as fundamental laws, and that no civil or military law or regulation, no Imperial Iradeh nor official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation, Imperial Iradeh nor official action prevail over them.
Turkey undertakes to assure full and complete protection of life and liberty to all inhabitants of Turkey without distinction of birth, nationality, language, race or religion. All inhabitants of Turkey shall be entitled to the free exercise, whether public or private, of any creed, religion or belief.
The penalties for any interference with the free exercise of the right referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be the same whatever may be the creed concerned.
Whereas, in view of the terrorist regime which has existed in Turkey since November 1, 1914, conversions to Islam could not take place under normal conditions, no conversions since that date are recognised and all persons who were non-Moslems before November 1, 1914, will be considered as still remaining such, unless, after regaining their liberty, they voluntarily perform the necessary formalities for embracing the Islamic faith.
In order to repair so far as possible the wrongs inflicted on individuals in the course of the massacres perpetrated in Turkey during the war, the Turkish Government undertakes to afford all the assistance in its power or in that of the Turkish authorities in the search for and deliverance of all persons, of whatever race or religion, who have disappeared, been carried off, interned or placed in captivity since November 1, 1914.
The Turkish Government undertakes to facilitate the operations of mixed commissions appointed by the Council of the League of Nations to receive the complaints of the victims themselves, their families or their relations, to make the necessary enquiries, and to order the liberation of the persons in question.
The Turkish Government undertakes to ensure the execution
of the decisions of these commissions, and to assure the security and the liberty of the persons thus restored to the full enjoyment of their rights.
Turkey undertakes to recognise such provisions as the Allied Powers may consider opportune with respect to the reciprocal and voluntary emigration of persons belonging to racial minorities.
Turkey renounces any right to avail herself of the provisions of Article 16 of the Convention between Greece and Bulgaria relating to reciprocal emigration, signed at Neuilly-sur-Seine on November 27, 19l9. Within six months from the coming into force of the present Treaty, Greece and Turkey will enter into a special arrangement relating to the reciprocal and voluntary emigration of the populations of Turkish and Greek race in the territories transferred to Greece and remaining Turkish respectively.
In case agreement cannot be reached as to such arrangement, Greece and Turkey will be entitled to apply to the Council of the League of Nations, which will fix the terms of such arrangement.
The Turkish Government recognises the injustice of the law of 1915 relating to Abandoned Properties (Emval-i-Metroukeh), and of the supplementary provisions thereof, and declares them to be null and void, in the past as in the future.
The Turkish Government solemnly undertakes to facilitate to the greatest possible extent the return to their homes and re-establishment in their businesses of the Turkish subjects of non-Turkish race who have been forcibly driven from their homes by fear of massacre or any other form of pressure since January 1, 1914. It recognises that any immovable or movable property of the said Turkish subjects or of the communities to which they belong, which can be recovered, must be restored to them as soon as possible, in whatever hands it may be found. Such property shall be restored free of all charges or servitudes with which it may have been burdened and without compensation of any kind to the present owners or occupiers, subject to any action which they may be able to bring against the persons from whom they derived title.
The Turkish Government agrees that arbitral commissions shall be appointed by the Council of the League of Nations wherever found necessary. These commissions shall each be composed of one representative of the Turkish Government, one representative of the community which claims that it or one of its members has been injured, and a ehairman appointed by the Council of the League of Nations. These arbitral commissions shall hear all claims covered by this Article and decide them by summary procedure.
The arbitral commissions will have power to order:
(1) The provision by the Turkish Government of labour for any work of reconstruction or restoration deemed necessary. This labour shall be recruited from the races inhabiting the territory where the arbitral commission considers the execution of the said works to be necessary
(2) The removal of any person who, after enquiry, shall be recognised as having taken an active part in massacres or deportations or as having provoked them; the measures to be taken with regard to such person's possessions will be indicated by the commission;
(3) The disposal of property belonging to members of a community who have died or disappeared since January 1, 1914, without leaving heirs; such property may be handed over to the community instead of to the State
(4) The cancellation of all acts of sale or any acts creating rights over immovable property concluded after January 1, I914. The indemnification of the holders will be a charge upon the Turkish Government, but must not serve as a pretext for delaying the restitution. The arbitral commission will, however have the power to impose equitable arrangements between the interested parties, if any sum has been paid by the present holder of such property.
The Turkish Government undertakes to facilitate in the fullest possible measure the work of the commissions and to ensure the execution of their decisions, which will be final. No decision of the Turkish judicial or administrative authorities shall prevail over such decisions.
All Turkish nationals shall be equal before the law and shall enjoy the same civil and political rights without distinction as to race, language or religion.
Difference of religion, creed or confession shall not prejudice any Turkish national in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil or political rights, as for instance admission to public employments, functions and honours, or the exercise of professions and industries.
Within a period of two years from the coming into force of the present Treaty the Turkish Government will submit to the Allied Powers a scheme for the organisation of an electoral system based on the principle of proportional representation of racial minorities.
No restriction shall be imposed on the free use by any Turkish national of any language in private intercourse, in commerce, religion, in the press or in publications of any kind, or at public meetings. Adequate facilities shall be given to Turkish nationals of non-Turkish speech for the use of their language, either orally or in writing, before the courts.
The Turkish Government undertakes to recognize the validity of diplomas granted by recognised foreign universities and schools, and to admit the holders thereof to the free exercise of the professions and industries for which such diplomas qualify.
This provision will apply equally to nationals of Allied powers who are resident in Turkey.
Turkish nationals who belong to racial, religious or linguistic minorities shall enjoy the ame treatment and security in law and in fact as other Turkish nationals. In particular they shall have an equal right to establish, manage and control at their own expense, and independently of and without interference by the Turkish authorities, any charitable, religious and social institutions, schools for primary, secondary and higher instruction and other educational establishments, with the right to use their own language and to exercise their own religion freely therein.
In towns and districts where there is a considerable proportion of Turkish nationals belonging to racial, linguistic or religious minorities, these minorities shall be assured an equitable share in the enjoyment and application of the sums which may be provided out of public funds under the State, municipal or other budgets for educational or charitable purposes.
The sums in question shall be paid to the qualified representatives of the communities concerned.
The Turkish Government undertakes to recognise and respect the ecclesiastical and scholastic autonomy of all racial minorities in Turkey. For this purpose, and subject to any provisions to the contrary in the present Treaty, the Turkish Government confirms and will uphold in their entirety the prerogatives and immunities of an ecclesiastical, scholastic or judicial nature granted by the Sultans to non-Moslem races in virtue of special orders or imperial decrees (firmans, hattis, berats, etc.) as well as by ministerial orders or orders of the Grand Vizier.
All laws, decrees, regulations and circulars issued by the Turkish Government and containing abrogations, restrictions or amendments of such prerogatives and immunities shall be considered to such extent null and void.
Any modification of the Turkish judical system which may be introduced in accordance with the provisions of the present Treaty shall be held to override this Article, in so far as such modification may affect individuals belonging to racial minorities.
In towns and districts where there is resident a considerable proportion of Turkish nationals of the Christian or Jewish religions the Turkish Government undertakes that such Turkish nationals shall not be compelled to perform any act which constitutes a violation of their faith or religious observances, and shall not be placed under any disability by reason of their refusal to attend courts of law or to perform any legal business on their weekly day of rest. This provision, however, shall not exempt such Turkish nationals (Christians or Jews) from such obligations as shall be imposed upon all other Turkish nationals for the preservation of public order.
The Principal Allied Powers, in consultation with the Council of the League of Nations, will decide what measures are necessary to guarantee the execution of the provisions of this Part. The Turkish Government hereby accepts all decisions which may be taken on this subject.