American Society of International Law
Issue: 20
Volume: 24
By: Loqman Radpey
Date: August 10, 2020


On August 10, 1920, exactly a century ago, the political fate of the Kurdish nation along with its territory, Kurdistan were on the line, after the Allied Powers asserted their interest in national rights to self-determination following World War I (WWI). President Wilson wrote in his Fourteen Points for World Peace in January 1918: “[t]he Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but other nationalities which are now under Turkish administration should be assured an undoubted security of life and an unmolested opportunity of autonomous development.” On November 9, 1918 in a joint declaration, Britain and France promised “the complete and final liberation of the peoples” who had been long oppressed by the Turks, through “native governments and administrations.” These arrangements were to be established when nations, of “their own free will” would act upon “the principles of self-determination.”[1]

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