The Info List - Turkish–Armenian War

Decisive Turkish victory

Treaty of Alexandropol Treaty of Moscow Treaty of Kars


Turkey Armenia

Commanders and leaders

Kâzım Karabekir Halit Karsıalan Rüştü Pasha Osman Nuri Koptagel Cavit Erdel Kâzım Orbay Drastamat Kanayan Hamo Ohanjanyan Ruben Ter-Minasian Christophor Araratov


50,000[2][3] –60,000[4][5] 20,000[6]

Casualties and losses

60,000–98,000[7] or 198,000–250,000[7][8][9] Armenian civilians killed

v t e

Turkish War of Independence

Greco-Turkish War Greek landing at Smyrna


Urla Malgaç Bergama Erbeyli Erikli Tellidede Aydın Akbaş 1920 Summer Offensive Gediz 1st İnönü 2nd İnönü Kütahya–Eskişehir Sakarya Great Offensive

Dumlupınar Capture of Smyrna

Turkish–Armenian War Oltu Sarikamish Kars Alexandropol

Franco-Turkish War Marash Urfa Aintab Karboğazı Kanlıgeçit

Revolts Ahmet Anzavur İzmit Geyve Konya Koçgiri

Naval Samsun

Other Chanak Crisis

The Turkish–Armenian war, known in Turkey
as the Eastern Operation[10] or Eastern Front (Turkish: Doğu Cephesi) of the Turkish War of Independence, refers to a conflict in the autumn of 1920 between the First Republic of Armenia
First Republic of Armenia
and the Turkish nationalists, following the signing of the Treaty of Sèvres. After an initial Armenian occupation of what is now eastern Turkey, the army of the Turkish National Movement
Turkish National Movement
under Kâzım Karabekir
Kâzım Karabekir
reversed the Armenian gains and further invaded and defeated Armenia, also recapturing territory which the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
had lost to the Russian Empire in 1855 and 1878.[1] The Turkish military victory was followed by Soviet Russia's occupation and sovietization of Armenia. The Treaty of Moscow (March 1921) between Soviet Russia and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the related Treaty of Kars
Treaty of Kars
(October 1921) confirmed the territorial gains made by Karabekir and established the modern Turkish–Armenian border. Armenia
had territorial disputes with the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans had tried to move the Armenians during the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
and occupied the South Caucasus during Summer 1918. Armenia
resisted until the Allied forces won WWI. The Ottomans maintained their troops along their territorial gains until Spring 1919.


1 Background 2 Bolshevik
and Turkish nationalist movements 3 Active stage

3.1 Early phases 3.2 Capture of Kars 3.3 Treaty of Alexandropol

4 Aftermath

4.1 Settlement

5 See also 6 Notes

Background[edit] With the dissolution of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
in the wake of the Feb 1917 revolution and of the Transcaucasian Federation
Transcaucasian Federation
in May 1918, the Armenians of the South Caucasus declared their independence and formally established the First Republic of Armenia.[11] In its two years of existence, the tiny republic, with its capital in Yerevan, was beset with a number of debilitating problems, ranging from fierce territorial disputes with its neighbors and an appalling refugee crisis.[12] Armenia's most crippling problem was its dispute with its neighbor to the west, the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans had killed as many as 1.5 million Armenians during the Armenian Genocide. Although the armies of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
eventually occupied the South Caucasus in the summer of 1918 and stood poised to crush the republic, Armenia resisted until the end of October, when the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
capitulated to the Allied powers. Though the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
was partially occupied by the Allies, they did not withdraw their forces from the pre-war Russo-Turkish boundary until February 1919 and maintained many troops mobilized along this frontier.[13] Bolshevik
and Turkish nationalist movements[edit] During the First World War and in the ensuing peace negotiations in Paris, the Allies had vowed to punish the Turks and reward some, if not all, the eastern provinces of the empire to the nascent Armenian republic.[14] But the Allies were more concerned with concluding the peace treaties with Germany and the other European members of the Central Powers. In matters related to the Near East, the principal powers, Great Britain, France, Italy
and the United States, had conflicting interests over the spheres of influence they were to assume. While there were crippling internal disputes between the Allies, and the United States
United States
was reluctant to accept a mandate over Armenia, disaffected elements in the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in 1920 began to disavow the decisions made by the Ottoman government in Constantinople, coalesced and formed the Turkish National Movement, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha.[15] The Turkish Nationalists considered any partition of formerly Ottoman lands (and subsequent distribution to non-Turkish authorities) to be unacceptable. Their avowed goal was to "guarantee the safety and unity of the country."[16] The Bolsheviks sympathized with the Turkish Movement due to their mutual opposition to "Western Imperialism," as the Bolsheviks referred to it.[17] In his message to Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Bolsheviks, dated 26 April 1920, Kemal promised to coordinate his military operations with the Bolsheviks' "fight against imperialist governments" and requested five million lira in gold as well as armaments "as first aid" to his forces.[18] In 1920, the Lenin government supplied the Kemalists with 6,000 rifles, more than five million rifle cartridges, and 17,600 projectiles, as well as 200.6 kg of gold bullion; in the following two years the amount of aid increased.[19] In the negotiations of the Treaty of Moscow (1921), the Bolsheviks demanded that the Turks cede Batum
and Nakhchivan; they also asked for more rights in the future status of the Straits.[20] Despite the concessions made by the Turks, the financial and military supplies were slow in coming.[20] Only after the decisive Battle of Sakarya (August–September 1921), the aid started to flow in faster.[20] After much delays, the Armenians received from the Allies in July 1920 about 40,000 uniforms and 25,000 rifles with a great amount of ammunition.[21] It was not until August 1920 that the Allies drafted the peace settlement of the Near East, in the form of the Treaty of Sèvres. The United States
United States
had refused to assume the Armenian mandate in May of that year, but the Allies delegated the US to draw the western boundaries of the republic. The US allotted four of the six eastern provinces to the Ottoman Empire, including an outlet to the Black Sea.[22] The Treaty of Sèvres
Treaty of Sèvres
served to confirm Kemal's suspicions about Allied plans to partition the empire. According to the historian Richard G. Hovannisian, his decision to order the invasion of Armenia was intended to show the Allies that "the treaty would not be accepted and that there would be no peace until the West was ready to offer new terms in keeping with the principles of the Turkish National Pact."[23] Active stage[edit]

Map of the war

Early phases[edit]

The territory of the Republic of Armenia
in 1920.

According to Turkish and Soviet sources, Turkish plans to take back formerly Ottoman-controlled lands in the east were already in place as early as June 1920.[24] Using Turkish sources, Bilâl Şimşir has identified mid-June as to when exactly the Ankara government began to prepare for a campaign in the east.[25] Hostilities were first began by Kemalist forces.[26] Kâzım Karabekir
Kâzım Karabekir
was assigned command of the newly formed Eastern Front on June 9, 1920[27] and was given the authority of a field army over all civil and military officials in the Eastern Front on June 13 or 14.[28] Skirmishes between Turkish forces and the Armenian military in the border of Kars
were frequent during that summer, although full-scale hostilities did not break out until September. Convinced that the Allies would not come to the defense of Armenia
and aware that the ADR's leaders had failed to gain recognition of its independence by Soviet Russia, Kemal gave the order to commanding general Kâzım Karabekir
Kâzım Karabekir
to advance into Armenia.[29] At 2:30 in the morning of September 13, five battalions from the Turkish XV Army Corps crossed the Turkish–Armenian border and surprised the thinly spread and unprepared Armenian armies at Olti
and Peniak (now Penek village in Şenkaya
district). By dawn, Karabekir's forces had occupied Peniak, and the Armenians had suffered at least 200 casualties and been forced to retreat east towards Sarıkamış.[30] As neither the Allied powers nor Soviet Russia reacted to Turkish operations, on September 20 Kemal authorized Karabekir to push onwards and take Kars
and Kağızman. By this time, Karabekir's XV Corps had grown to the size of four divisions. At 3:00 in the morning of September 28, the four divisions of the XV Army Corps advanced towards Sarıkamış, creating such panic that Armenian residents had abandoned the town by the time the Turks entered the next day.[31] The armed forces started toward Kars but were delayed by Armenian resistance. In early October, the Armenian government pleaded that the Allies intervene and put a halt to the Turkish advance, to no avail. Most of Britain's available forces in the Near East were concentrated on crushing the tribal uprisings in the Iraq, while France
and Italy
were also fighting the Turkish revolutionaries near Syria and Italian controlled Antalya.[32] Neighboring Georgia declared a less than sincere neutrality during the conflict. On October 11, Soviet plenipotentiary Boris Legran arrived in Yerevan with a text to negotiate a new Soviet-Armenian agreement.[33] The agreement signed at October 24 secured Soviet support.[33] The most important part of this agreement dealt with Kars, which Armenia
agreed to secure.[33] The Turkish national movement
Turkish national movement
was not happy with possible agreement between the Soviets and Armenia. Karabekir was informed by the Government of the Grand National Assembly
Government of the Grand National Assembly
regarding the Boris Legran agreement and ordered to resolve the Kars
issue. The same day the agreement between Armenia
and Soviet Russia was signed, Karabekir moved his forces toward Kars. Capture of Kars[edit] On October 24, Karabekir's forces launched a new, massive campaign against Kars.[32] The Armenians abandoned the city, which by October 30 came under full Turkish occupation.[34] Turkish forces continued to advance, and a week after the capture of Kars, they took control of Alexandropol
(present-day Gyumri, Armenia.)[1] On November 12, the Turks also captured the strategic village of Aghin, northeast of the ruins of the former Armenian capital of Ani, and planned to move toward Yerevan. On November 13, Georgia broke its neutrality. It had concluded an agreement with Armenia
to invade the disputed region of Lori, which was established as a Neutral Zone (the Shulavera Condominium) between the two nations in early 1919.[35] Treaty of Alexandropol[edit]

An article from the New York Times, December 10, 1920

The Turks, headquartered in Alexandropol, presented the Armenians with an ultimatum which they were forced to accept. They followed it with a more radical demand which threatened the existence of Armenia
as a viable entity. The Armenians at first rejected this demand, but when Karabekir's forces continued to advance, they had little choice but to capitulate.[32] On November 18, 1920, they concluded a cease-fire agreement.[1] During the invasion the Turkish Army carried out mass atrocities against Armenian civilians. These include mass rape and massacres with tens of thousands of civilians executed. Atrocities occurred in Kars
and Alexandropol.[7][8][9] As the terms of defeat were being negotiated between Karabekir and Armenian Foreign Minister Alexander Khatisyan, Joseph Stalin, on the command of Vladimir Lenin, ordered Grigoriy Ordzhonikidze
Grigoriy Ordzhonikidze
to enter Armenia
from Azerbaijan
in order to establish a new pro-Bolshevik government in the country. On November 29, the Soviet Eleventh Army invaded Armenia
at Karavansarai (present-day Ijevan).[32] After the capture of Yerevan
and Echmiadzin
by Bolshevik
forces on 2 December 1920, the Armenian government signed the Treaty of Alexandropol
on 3 December 1920, though it no longer existed as a legal entity.[1] The treaty required Armenia
to disarm most of its military forces, and cede all Ottoman territory that had been granted to Armenia
by the Treaty of Sèvres. The Armenian Parliament never ratified the treaty, as the Soviet invasion took place at the same time and the communists took over the country. Aftermath[edit]

The Soviet-Turkish frontier established in the Treaty of Kars.

In late November 1920, there was a Soviet-backed communist uprising in Armenia. On November 28, 1920, blaming Armenia
for the invasions of Şərur
(20 November) and Karabakh
(21 November), the 11th Red Army under the command of Anatoli Gekker crossed the demarcation line between Armenia
and Soviet Azerbaijan. The second Soviet-Armenian war lasted a week. Exhausted by the six years of wars and conflicts, the Armenian army and population were incapable of active resistance. When the Red Army entered Yerevan
on December 4, 1920, the government of Armenian Republic effectively surrendered. On December 5, the Armenian Revolutionary Committee (Revkom, consisting mostly of Armenians from Azerbaijan) also entered the city. Finally, on December 6, the Cheka, Felix Dzerzhinsky's dreaded secret police, entered Yerevan. The Soviets took control and Armenia
ceased to exist as an independent state.[32] Soon afterward, the communists declared the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. Settlement[edit] Main article: Treaty of Kars The warfare in Transcaucasia
was settled in a friendship treaty between the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
Grand National Assembly of Turkey
(GNAT) (which proclaimed the Turkish Republic in 1923), and Soviet Russia (RSFSR). The "Treaty on Friendship and Brotherhood," called the Treaty of Moscow, was signed on March 16, 1921. The succeeding Treaty of Kars, signed by the representatives of Azerbaijan
SSR, Armenian SSR, Georgian SSR, and the GNAT, ceded Adjara
to Soviet Georgia in exchange for the Kars territory (today the Turkish provinces of Kars, Iğdır, and Ardahan). Under the treaties, an autonomous Nakhchivan oblast was established under Azerbaijan's protectorate. See also[edit]

Armenian–Azerbaijani War Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922) Caucasus Campaign


^ a b c d e Dr. Andrew Andersen, Ph.D., Atlas of Conflicts: Turkish-Armenian War ^ Kadishev, A.B. (1960), Интервенция и гражданская война в Закавказье [Intervention and civil war in the South Caucasus], Moscow, p. 324  ^ Andersen, Andrew. "TURKEY AFTER WORLD WAR I: LOSSES AND GAINS". Centre for Military and Strategic Studies.  ^ Guaita, Giovanni (2001), 1700 Years of Faithfulness: History of Armenia
and its Churches, Moscow: FAM, ISBN 5-89831-013-4  ^ On the right of self-determination of the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh ^ (in French) Ter Minassian, Anahide (1989). La république d'Arménie. 1918–1920 La mémoire du siècle. Brussels: éditions complexe, p. 220. ISBN 2-87027-280-4. ^ a b c These are according to the figures provided by Alexander Miasnikyan, the President of the Council of People's Commissars of Soviet Armenia, in a telegram he sent to the Soviet Foreign Minister Georgy Chicherin
Georgy Chicherin
in 1921. Miasnikyan's figures were broken down as follows: of the approximately 60,000 Armenians who were killed by the Turkish armies, 30,000 were men, 15,000 women, 5,000 children, and 10,000 young girls. Of the 38,000 who were wounded, 20,000 were men, 10,000 women, 5,000 young girls, and 3,000 children. Instances of mass rape, murder and violence were also reported against the Armenian populace of Kars
and Alexandropol: see Vahakn N. Dadrian. (2003). The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus. New York: Berghahn Books, pp. 360–361. ISBN 1-57181-666-6. ^ a b Armenia: The Survival of a Nation, Christopher Walker, 1980. ^ a b Akçam, Taner (2007). A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
and the Question of Turkish Responsibility. p. 327.  ^ "The liberation of Sarikamis and Kars
formed a part of our Eastern Operation, and as is known this operation was against Armenians" - D. Akbulut, The liberation of Sarikamis and Kars
According to the Albayrak Newspaper, in " Kars
and Eastern Anatolia in the Recent History Symposium", Ankara 1994. ^ For the period leading up to independence see Richard G. Hovannisian (1967). Armenia
on the Road to Independence, 1918. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-00574-0. ^ The full history of the Armenian republic is covered by Richard G. Hovannisian, Republic of Armenia. 4 Vols. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971–1996. ^ Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971). The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918–1919, Vol. I. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 416ff. ISBN 0-520-01984-9.  ^ Hovannisian, Richard G. "The Allies and Armenia, 1915–18." Journal of Contemporary History. Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jan., 1968), pp. 145–168. ^ Hovannisian, Richard G. (1982). The Republic of Armenia, Vol. II: From Versailles to London, 1919–1920. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 20–39, 316–364, 404–530. ISBN 0-520-04186-0.  ^ Goal of the Turkish National Movement ^ Hovannisian, Richard G. " Armenia
and the Caucasus in the Genesis of the Soviet-Turkish Entente." International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2 (April, 1973), pp. 129–147. ^ (in Russian) Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn, 1963, № 11, pp. 147–148. The first publication of Kemal's letter to Lenin, in excerpts, in Russian. ^ (in Russian) Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn, 1963, № 11, p. 148. ^ a b c Erik J. Zürcher: Turkey: A Modern History, I.B.Tauris, 2004, ISBN 1860649580, p. 153. ^ (French) Ter Minassian, Anahide (1989). La république d'Arménie. 1918–1920 La mémoire du siècle, Brussels: Éditions complexe, ISBN 2-87027-280-4, p. 196. ^ Hovannisian. Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV, pp. 40–44. ^ Hovannisian. Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV, p. 180. ^ Hovannisian. Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV, p. 194, note 27. ^ (in Turkish) Şimşir, Bilâl N. Ermeni Meselesi, 1774–2005 (The Armenian Question, 1774–2005). Bilgi Yayınevi, 2005, p. 182. ^ Vital issues in modern Armenian history: a documented exposé of misrepresentations in Turkish historiography, pages 45-62 ^ (in Turkish) T.C. Genelkurmay Harp Tarihi Başkanlığı Yayınları, Türk İstiklâl Harbine Katılan Tümen ve Daha Üst Kademlerdeki Komutanların Biyografileri, Genkurmay Başkanlığı Basımevi, Ankara, 1972. ^ " Kâzım Karabekir
Kâzım Karabekir
Paşa, Doğu Cephesi'nde bulunan bütün sivil ve askeri makamlar üzerinde seferdeki ordu komutanlığı yetkisine haizdir": (in Turkish) Kemal Atatürk, Atatürk'ün bütün Eserleri: 23 Nisan-7/8 Temmuz 1920 (The Complete Works of Atatürk: 23 April-7/8 July). Kaynak Yayınları, 2002, p. 314. ISBN 978-975-343-349-5. ^ Hovannisian. Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV, pp. 182–184. ^ Hovannisian. Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV, pp. 184–190. ^ Hovannisian. Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV, pp. 191–197. ^ a b c d e Hewsen, Robert H. Armenia: A Historical Atlas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 237. ISBN 0-226-33228-4 ^ a b c Hovannisian. Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV, p. 259. ^ Hovannisian. Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV, pp. 253–261. ^ Hovannisian. Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV, pp. 222–226.

v t e

Turkish War of Independence


Partition of the Ottoman Empire Khilafat Movement King–Crane Commission

National awakening

Turkish National Movement Karakol society Sultanahmet demonstrations Amasya Circular Erzurum Congress Balıkesir Congress Alaşehir Congress Sivas Congress Amasya Protocol Grand National Assembly


Ottoman Parliament (1919) Grand National Assembly (1920) Grand National Assembly (1923)


Menemen massacre Chanak Crisis Samsun deportations Amasya trials Population exchange Personae non gratae Malta exiles Fire of Smyrna Fire of Manisa Yalova Peninsula massacres Kaç Kaç incident


British (Allies)



Koçgiri rebellion Konya rebellion Kuva-yi Inzibatiye Revolt of Ahmet Anzavur


Oltu Sarıkamış Kars Alexandropol


Marash Urfa Aintab Karboğazı


Smyrna, 1919 (Occupation) Urla Malgaç Bergama Erbeyli Erikli Tellidede Aydın Akbaş Summer Offensive (1920) Gediz 1st İnönü 2nd İnönü Eskişehir Sakarya Dumlupınar Great Offensive



Conference of London San Remo conference Paris Peace Conference


Misak-ı Millî Treaty of Sèvres

National Assembly

Treaty of Alexandropol Treaty of Moscow (1921) Conference of London Cilicia Peace Treaty Treaty of Ankara
Treaty of Ankara
(1921) Treaty of Kars Conference of London Armistice of Mudanya Conference of Lausanne Treaty of Lausanne


v t e

List of modern conflicts in the Middle East


World War I

Middle Eastern theatre Arab Revolt Armenian Genocide Assyrian genocide

Unification of Saudi Arabia Simko Shikak revolt Egyptian revolution of 1919 Turkish War of Independence

Greco-Turkish War Turkish–Armenian War Franco-Turkish War Revolts

Mahmud Barzanji revolts


Franco-Syrian War Iraqi revolt against the British Sectarian conflict in Mandatory Palestine Adwan Rebellion Arab separatism in Khuzestan Great Syrian Revolt Sheikh Said rebellion 1921 Persian coup d'état


Ararat rebellion Ahmed Barzani revolt Simele massacre Saudi–Yemeni War (1934) Goharshad Mosque rebellion 1935–36 Iraqi Shia revolts 1935 Yazidi revolt Dersim rebellion


World War II

Italian bombing of Palestine Anglo-Iraqi War Syria–Lebanon Campaign Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran

1943 Barzani revolt Alwaziri coup Al-Wathbah uprising Kurdish separatism in Iran

Iran crisis of 1946

Arab–Israeli conflict

Israeli–Palestinian conflict


Egyptian revolution of 1952 1953 Iranian coup d'état Jebel Akhdar War Cypriot ethnic crisis Yemeni–Adenese clan violence 1958 Lebanon crisis 1958 Iraqi revolution 1959 Mosul uprising


Iraqi–Kurdish conflict

First Iraqi-Kurdish War

Dhofar Rebellion North Yemen Civil War Feb. 1963 Iraqi coup 8th March Syrian Revolution Nov. 1963 Iraqi coup Aden Emergency 1964 Hama riot 1966 Syrian coup d'état


Black September
Black September
in Jordan 1972 North Yemen–South Yemen war Turkish invasion of Cyprus Lebanese Civil War Political violence in Turkey
(1976–80) Libyan–Egyptian War Islamist uprising in Syria NDF Rebellion Iranian Revolution

Consolidation of the Iranian Revolution

1979 Qatif Uprising Grand Mosque seizure


Sadr uprising (1980) Iran–Iraq War 1980 Turkish coup d'état Kurdish separatism in Turkey

Turkey-PKK conflict

South Yemen Civil War 1986 Egyptian conscripts riot 1986 Damascus bombings Mecca massacre Abu Nidal's executions


Gulf War
Gulf War
(1990–1991) 1991 uprisings in Iraq Terror campaign in Egypt (1990s) Yemeni Civil War (1994) Islamic insurgency in Saudi Arabia (2000–present) Operation Desert Fox al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen 1999 Shia uprising in Iraq


Iraq War Balochi insurgency in Iran 2004 al-Qamishli riots Houthi insurgency in Yemen Iran–Israel proxy conflict

2006 Lebanon War

Fatah–Hamas conflict Nahr al-Bared fighting 2008 conflict in Lebanon South Yemen insurgency 2009–10 Iranian election protests


Bahraini uprising of 2011 Egyptian Crisis

Sinai insurgency Insurgency in Egypt (2013–present)

Syrian Civil War Syrian War spillover in Lebanon Iraqi insurgency (2011–13) Iraqi Civil War (2014–present) Yemeni Crisis Turkish involvement in Syria

This list includes post-Ottoman conflicts (after 1918) of at least 100 fatalities each Prolonged conflicts are listed in the decade when initiated; ongoing conflicts are marked italic and conflict with +100,000 kille