MARCH 16 OR 18? – 2020-1

The signing deadlines of the 1921 Russian-Turkish Treaty of Moscow


Ararat M. Hakobyan-Doctor of Historical Sciences
Considering the issue of the deadlines of signing the 1921 Russian-Turkish “Friendship and Brotherhood” Treaty of Moscow from the distance of about a century, the following may be stated.

1. In the history of international diplomacy such cases are unique that the two internationally unrecognized states – the RSFSR and Kemalist Turkey, discussed and jointly decided on territorial-border issues of Armenia – an independent third state, without its knowledge and involvement. That is to say, the 1921 Treaty of Moscow is illegal and invalid and cannot contain any obligation for the successor modern Republic of Armenia to recognize that treaty.

2. The second political-diplomatic oddity that is the main focus of this publication is that the two negotiating parties – the Russian and the Turkish sides, dictated by their great-power interests, even falsified the exact day of the signature of the Treaty of Moscow. It was actually signed on March 18, 1921, but “March 16” is recorded on the document, and to this day this erroneous historical date continues to be circulated in historical literature.

Much related to the history and the fate of the Armenian people, the 1921 March 16 or 18 calendar games around the Moscow treaty date in diplomacy can be characterized as a peculiar historical falsification (fake) that shows once again that Armenia’s distant and close, sometimes friendly and allied states often resorted to violating the legitimate interests of the Armenian people, through seizing, dividing between each other and appropriating the vital territories of their historic homeland. The abovementioned episode is an instructive experience and lesson in the millennia-old Armenian history, from which one must learn, draw appropriate conclusions, gain historical and political experience on the way to the consolidation of our modern-day independent statehood.

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