|The Conference of Lausanne: the Greek-Turkish talks
Greece was represented in the 1923 peace conference at Lausanne by a group of proxies under the leadership of Eleftherios Venizelos, who played a crucial role in the talks. Among the problems dividing the two peoples, the most important were the demarcation of frontiers, the distribution of the public Ottoman debt, the payment of war reparations from the Greek side, the operational status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the fate of Greek and Turkish populations outside the territories of Greece and Turkey respectively. The demarcation of the frontiers of Thrace, unlike the negotiations for determining the fate of the islands of the eastern Aegean, did not meet with unbridgable obstacles. The islands Imbros and Tenedos were annexed to Turkey while Greece was subject to restrictions in respect of its sovereign rights over a number of islands close to the shores of Asia Minor.
Regarding the issue of the mutual exchange of populations, particularly important was the case of those defined as 'exchangeable'. It was decided that they would have no right to return to their homelands without the permission of their respective governments. The separate Treaty of the Exchange of Populations between Greece and Turkey was signed on 30 January 1923.
The payment of war reparations by Greece to Turkey, despite the impasses it had caused, was avoided both because of the acts of Venizelos himself, and pressure from the Allies. Out of the decisions of the Treaty a new order arose, on the basis of which the birth of the national Turkish state was validated, but also the shrinkage of the Hellenic world into the narrow confines of the - exhausted - Greek state.
The Treaty of Lausanne determined not only the territorial profile but also the wider balance of powers in the area of the southern Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean.