By: Mir M.Hosseini
On January 23, 1932 the first definitive frontier treaty between Turkey and Iran; the Iran–Turkey Non-aggression Treaty was signed in Tehran. It should be mentioned that the border between Turkey and Iran is one of the oldest in the world and has stayed more or less the same since the Battle of Chaldoran in 1514. In other words, this 1932 treaty was basically the rubber-stamping of the centuries old status quo.
Iran surrendered its claims on some regions near Mount Ararat and in return received a great portion of Kurdistan. On the same day the countries signed a new Treaty of Friendship, as well as a Treaty of Conciliation, Judicial Settlement and Arbitration.
It was subsequent to establishment of this friendly relation that Reza Shah visited Turkey on 6/11/1934 at the invitation of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the Turkish President. That was Reza Shah's only foreign state visit until Iran was occupied in 1943 and he was sent to exile.
Subsequently, on October 13, 1932, Iraq's independence was admitted to the League of Nations thus officially breaking away from the Ottoman Empire.
The Iran - Turkey boundary is 500 km in length.
It begins in the north at the junction of the Aras River with the Qarasu and follows the thalweg, or main channel, of the Qarasu to the northwest for 25 km. It then swings southwest and west for approximately 90 km, skirting Mount Ararat before turning south to meander for 385 km across the highlands of Kurdistan to the junction with the northeastern border of Iraq.
A boundary separating the Ottoman and Safavid empires, located much as it exists today, was laid down in 1639 between the Aras River and the Persian Gulf.
No new treaties were concluded on the location of the boundary and it remained in an indefinite state until 1911 when an agreement was signed providing for a mixed commission to establish a definite line based on the 1847 Treaty. This commission held a series of meetings, during which about three-quarters of the Turkish - Iranian boundary was redefined, the settlement of the rest being left to be determined on the ground. The November, 1913 Constantinople Protocol embodied the work of the commission, and set up a bi-national group which, by October 1914, had demarcated the entire boundary except for about 65 km in the neighborhood of Qotur.
World War I interrupted work on the boundary and, with the creation of the British mandate of Iraq in 1920, the Turkish - Iranian border was shortened by about three-quarters of its length.
Four years later the Angora (Ankara) Frontier Convention was concluded between Turkey and Iran, providing for a review of their common boundary and the settlement of disputed areas. By the Tehran Convention of 1932 three exchanges of territory were agreed upon, one in the neighborhood of Mt. Ararat in Turkey's favor, a second in the Qotur area in Iran's favor, and a third, near Bajirge, northwest of Reza'iyeh (Urmia), also in Iran's favor, and a third, near Bajirge, northwest of Urmia, also in Iran's favor. Small areas were involved in all three cases but they settled points of irritation between the two countries. The boundary was again demarcated and a final agreement in May, 1937, provided for a minor rectification some 40 km above the southern terminus of the boundary.