Australian Treaty Series

Australian Treaty Series 1924 No 11



Convention respecting the Thracian Frontiers

(Lausanne, 24 July 1923)

Entry into force generally: 24 May 1924

Entry into force for Australia: 6 August 1924


1924 No. 11 (electronic)

(c) Commonwealth of Australia 1999


The British Empire, France, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria, Greece, Roumania, the Serb-Croat-Slovene State and Turkey, being desirous of ensuring the maintenance of peace on the frontiers of Thrace,

AND CONSIDERING it necessary for this purpose that certain special reciprocal measures should be taken on both sides of this frontier, as provided in Article 24 of the Treaty of Peace signed this day,

HAVE DECIDED to conclude a Convention for this purpose, and have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries:

[Names of plenipotentiaries not listed here.]

Who, having produced their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:

Article 1

From the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea the territories extending on both sides of the frontiers separating Turkey from Bulgaria and from Greece shall be demilitarised to a depth of about 30 kilometres within the following limits (see the attached map):

(1) In Turkish territory, from the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea:

a line generally parallel to the frontier of Turkey with Greece and Bulgaria, defined in Article 2, paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Treaty of Peace signed this day. This line shall be traced at a minimum distance of 30 kilometres from that frontier, except in the neighbourhood of Kirk Kilisse, where the town itself, and an area within a radius of at least 5 kilometres from the centre of the town shall be excluded from the demilitarised zone. The line will run from Ibrije-Burnu on the Aegean Sea, to Serbes-Burnu on the Black Sea;

(2) in Greek territory, from the Aegean Sea to the Greco-Bulgarian frontier:

a line starting from Cape Makri (the village of Makri being excluded), thence northwards generally parallel to the course of the Maritza as far as Tahtali, then passing eastwards of Meherkoz to a point to be determined on the Greco-Bulgarian frontier, about 15 kilometres to the west of Kuchuk-Derbend;

(3) in Bulgarian territory, from the Greco-Bulgarian frontier to the Black Sea:

a line running from the point defined above, crossing the road from Adrianople to Kossukavak at a point 5 kilometres to the west of Papas-Keui, thence running at a distance of at least 30 kilometres from the Greco-Bulgarian frontier, and from the Turco-Bulgarian frontier, except in the neighbourhood of Harmanli, where the town itself, and an area within a radius of at least 5 kilometres from the centre of the town, shall be excluded from the demilitarised zone; the line shall reach the Black Sea at the head of the bay situated to the north-west of Anberler.

Article 2

A Boundary Commission, which shall be set up within fifteen days from the coming into force of the present Convention, shall settle and trace on the spot the boundaries defined in Article 1. This Commission shall be composed of representatives appointed by France, Great Britain, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, each Power having one representative. The Bulgarian, Greek and Turkish representatives shall only take part in the work concerning the territory of Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey respectively; however, the combined result of these operations shall be drawn up and registered at a plenary meeting of the Commission.

Article 3

The demilitarisation of the zones defined in Article 1 shall be effected and maintained in accordance with the following provisions:

(1) All permanent fortifications and field works actually in existence shall be disarmed and dismantled by the Power on whose territory they are situated. No new fortification or work of this nature shall be constructed, and no depot of arms or of war material or any other offensive or defensive installation of either a military, naval or aeronautical character shall be organised.

(2) No armed force, other than the special elements, such as gendarmerie, police, customs officers, frontier guards, necessary for ensuring internal order and the supervision of the frontiers, shall be stationed or move in the zones.

The number of these special elements, which must not include any air force, shall not exceed:

(a) in the demilitarised zone of Turkish territory a total of 5,000 men;

(b) in the demilitarised zone of Greek territory a total of 2,500 men;

(c) in the demilitarised zone of Bulgarian territory a total of 2,500 men.

Their armament shall be composed only of revolvers, swords, rifles and four Lewis guns per 100 men, and will exclude any artillery.

These provisions shall not affect the obligations incurred by Bulgaria under the Treaty of Neuilly of 27 November 1919.

(3) Military or naval aircraft of any flag whatsoever are forbidden to fly over the demilitarised zone.

Article 4

In the event of one of the bordering Powers whose territory forms the subject of the present Convention having any complaint to make respecting the observance of the preceding provisions, this complaint shall be brought by that Power before the Council of the League of Nations.

Article 5

The present Convention shall be ratified.

The ratifications shall be deposited at Paris as soon as possible.[1]

The Convention shall come into force as soon as Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey shall respectively have ratified it.[2]

These ratifications shall be recorded in a special procès-verbal. In so far as concerns the other Powers which have not at that date ratified the Convention, it shall come into force as from the date on which they deposit their respective ratifications, which deposit shall be notified to the other Contracting Powers by the Government of the French Republic.[3]

The Japanese Government shall be entitled merely to inform the Government of the French Republic, through their diplomatic representative in Paris, that ratification has been given, and in that event the Japanese Government shall forward the instrument of ratification as soon as possible.

IN FAITH WHEREOF the abovementioned Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention.

DONE at Lausanne, the 24th July, 1923, in a single copy, which shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of the French Republic, which will transmit a certified copy thereof to each of the signatory Powers.

[Signatures not reproduced here.]


[Not reproduced here - see combined map in UKTS 1923 No. 16 (Cmd. 1929).]

[1] The Convention was signed for Australia 24 July 1923. Instrument of ratification deposited for the British Empire, including Australia, 6 August 1924.

[2] The Convention entered into force generally 24 May 1924.

[3] The Convention entered into force for Australia 6 August 1924.