EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: On October 13, 1921, the Kars Agreement was signed in the town of Kars in eastern Anatolia (Western Armenia). This agreement redrew, in Turkey’s favor, the Kars-Ardahan-Artvin border between Turkey and the Caucasus republics of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, an area that had been stripped from Turkey by the post-WWI Sèvres peace treaty. While there are irredentist trends in the now independent Caucasian republics that wish to invalidate the Turkish claim, they are being restrained by present day realities.
The Sèvres Agreement (August 10, 1920), which partitioned the territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire, delineated inter alia the border between the newly born Turkish state and its northeastern neighbors, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The agreement was not favorable to Turkey, which had lost the Kars region to Christian domination (Georgia and Armenia).
Through shrewd diplomacy, Turkish statesmen managed to reverse this. The young Soviet regime at the time was desperate to achieve international recognition of its legitimacy, and was therefore ready to turn the area back over to Turkey in exchange for recognition. This arrangement was formalized in the Moscow Agreement of March 16, 1921. The loss of these lands was not particularly painful to Moscow as they were not Russian territories but Armenian and Georgian. Georgia and Armenia (Azerbaijan was party to the agreement too, but further to the east) were embroiled in an agonizing Sovietization process that was creating a great deal of internal strife, so they were in no position to resist dictates that were coming from Moscow at their expense.