The Mudros Armistice. The Armenian Question and British Diplomacy




Mudros Armistice, Armenian Question, British diplomacy, Western Armenia, Cilicia, Ottoman Empire


The Ottoman Empire came out of World War I defeated. The representative of Great Britain signed the armistice agreement with the Turks in the port of Mudros on the Greek island of Lemnos. With that, the Turks were subject to capitulation. The terms of the Mudros armistice also had an impact on the Armenian Question. During the war, the Turks organized the Armenian Genocide and the Armenian territories under Ottoman rule (Cilicia and 7 provinces of Western Armenia) were completely ethnically cleansed. Out of 2.5 million Ottoman Armenians, 1.5 million were killed and 1 million became refugees. The task of this study is to demonstrate how Cilicia was immediately liberated from the Turks by the agreement of Mudros and the Armenians were able to return to their homeland, but Western Armenia was not liberated, which led to the emergence of the Kemalist nationalist movement and the failure of the Armenian Question. The article covers the negative consequences of the conditions of the Mudros armistice in the failure of the Armenian Question. The problem has never been considered from this point of view by historiography. Analyzing facts, the article shows that it was due to the intrigues of British imperialist diplomacy, which was directed primarily against France. However, it also aimed to block Russia’s way from the Caucasus to the south. The British tried to achieve their far-reaching goals through another power – the United States. The work mostly refers to archival materials and documents, also drawing on some studies related to the topic. The article is built on comparative and critical analysis, observing the principles of objectivity and historicity. Many representatives of Western and Russian historiography have addressed the Franco-British contradictions over the Ottoman heritage. Armenian historians have also referred to some aspects of the issue in question. In the study, facts previously published for different purposes are presented in a new way. The problem was set to show the influence of the British far-reaching aims on the Armenian Question.

Author Biographies

Samvel Poghosyan

Dr. Hab. (History), Deputy Dean for Science and International Cooperation of the Faculty of History and Social Science, Armenian State Pedagogical University after Kh. Abovyan.

17, Tigran Mets Ave., 0010, Yerevan, Armenia.

ORCID 0000-0003-2478-1860

Vanik Virabyan

Dr. Hab. (History), Professor, Armenian State Pedagogical University after Kh. Abovyan.

17, Tigran Mets Ave., 0010, Yerevan, Armenia.

ORCID 0000-0002-8874-1780

Armine Yeprikyan

PhD (History), Associate Professor, Armenian State Pedagogical University after Kh. Abovyan.

17, Tigran Mets Ave., 0010, Yerevan, Armenia.

ORCID 0000-0003-2926-3667


Adamov, E. A. (Ed.). (1924). Razdel Aziatskoi Turtsii: po sekretnym dokumentam b. Ministerstva inostrannykh del [The Division of Asian Turkey: According to Secret Documents of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs]. Moscow, Litizdat NKID. 383 p.

Akçam, T. (2012). The Young Turks’ Crime against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire. Princeton, Oxford, Princeton Univ. Press. 483 p.

Bibliothèque Nubar. Stock “Correspondance Cilicie”. List 2. Dos. 1, 10.

Dekrety Sovetskoi vlasti v 18 t. [Decrees of Soviet Power. 18 Vols.]. (1957–1997). Moscow, Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo politicheskoi literatury. Vol. 1. 25 oktyabrya 1917 g. – 16 marta 1918 g. 625 p.

Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919–1939. Ser. 1. (1919–1974). L., HMSO. Vol. 1. 1947. 970 p.

Fomin, A. (2010). Voina s prodolzheniem. Velikobritaniya i Frantsiya v bor’be za „Osmanskoe nasledstvo”. 1918–1923 [War with a Continuation. Great Britain and France in the Struggle for the Ottoman Heritage. 1918–1923]. Moscow, Russkii fond sodeistviya obrazovaniyu i nauke. 472 p.

Fromkin, D. (2009). A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East. N. Y., Macmillan. 688 p.

Ghazarian, V. (Ed.). (1996). Boghos Nubar’s Papers and the Armenian Question 1915–1918: Documents. Waltham, Mayreni Publ. 496 p.

Hovannisian, R. (1969). Armenia on the Road to Independence 1918. Berkeley, Univ. of California Press. 364 p.

Les grandes puissances, l’Empire ottoman et les Arméniens dans les archives françaises: 1914–1918 / documents réunis et présentés par A. Beylerian, préface de J.-B. Duroselle. (1983). Paris, Les рubl. de la Sorbonne. 793 p.

Maurice, F․ (1943). The Armistices of 1918. L., Oxford Univ. Press. 104 p.

NАА. Stock 57. List 5. Dos. 19, 72; Stock 1457. List 1. Dos. 91; Stock 430. List 1. Dos. 26.

Sbornik diplomaticheskikh dokumentov. Reformy v Armenii (26 noyabrya 1912 goda – 10 maya 1914 goda) [Collection of Diplomatic Documents. Reforms in Armenia (November 26, 1912 – May 10, 1914)]. (1915). Petrograd, Gosudarstvennaya tipogrfiya. 294 p.

Schabas, W. A. (2000). Genocide in International Law: The Crimes of Crimes. Cambridge, Cambridge Univ. Press. 644 p.



How to Cite

Poghosyan, S., Virabyan, V., & Yeprikyan, A. (2024). The Mudros Armistice. The Armenian Question and British Diplomacy. Quaestio Rossica, 12(1), 243–253.



Problema voluminis