Decree on Turkish Armenia

Written: December 29, 1917/January 11, 1918
Source: Republic of Western Armenia, "A Common Set of Legal and Political Documents of Armenians of Western Armenia and Protection of rights of Western Armenia (Collection of documents)", 3rd revised edition, 2017, p. 12
Translated: Republic of Western Armenia
Transcription/Markup: Zdravko Saveski
Online Version: 2017

The Council of People's Commissars declares to Armenian people, that Russian Government of Workers and Peasants supports the rights of Armenians of the occupied territories of "Turkish Armenia" and proclaims the freedom of self-determination up to full independence. The Council of People's Commissars recognizes that this right can only be exercised in a number of pre-approval of the safeguards that are absolutely necessary for the people of Armenia to hold a referendum.

The Council of People's Commissars recognises as a partial guarantee the following conditions:

Article A. Withdrawal of Russian troops from Turkish Armenia and immediate creation of Armenian national police (militsia) to protect personal and material safety of Turkish Armenians.

Article B. Unimpeded return of Armenian refugees, scattered across the different countries to Turkish Armenia.

Article C. Unimpeded return of Armenians to Turkish Armenia, who during the war were forcibly exiled inside Turkey by the Turkish authorities. ... The Council of People's Commissars Commissars Council will insist on this condition during the negotiations with the Turkish delegation.

Article D. The establishment of Interim Government in Turkish Armenia. Deputies will be elected on the principle of democracy.

Stepan Shaumyan, appointed as Commissar Extraordinary for the Caucasus, will provide assistance to Armenians of Turkish Armenia in the implementation of Articles B and C, as well as for the formation of Mixed Commission to identify the date and ways of Russian troops' withdrawal, according to Article A.

The geographic boundaries of Turkish Armenia will be determined by the people's democratically elected representatives together with Muslims and other residents of neighboring disputed areas and the Commissar Shahumyan".