Protocol relating to the Delimitation of the Turco-Persian Boundary signed at Constantinople on November 4th (17th), 1913

The undersigned: His Excellency Sir Louis Mallet, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of His Britannic Majesty to His Majesty the Sultan; His Excellency Mirza Mahmud Khan Kajar 'Ahd-i-Shamus Salteneh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Shah of Persia to His Majesty the Sultan; His Excellency M. Michel de Giers, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Emperor of Russia to His Majesty the Sultan; His Highness Prince Said Halim Pasha, Grand Vizier and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Ottoman Empire; have met for the purpose of recording in the present Protocol the Agreement concluded between their respective Governments with regard to the Turco-Persian boundary.
They began by recapitulating the progress, up to date, of the negotiations recently instituted among them.
The Joint Commission provided for in Article 1 of the Protocol signed at Tehran between the Imperial Ottoman Embassy and the Persian Minister for Foreign Affairs with a view to determining the bases for the negotiations relating to the delimitation of the Turco-Persian boundary held eighteen meetings, the first on March 12th (25th) and the last on August 9th (22nd), 1912.
On August 9th (22nd), 1912, the Imperial Russian Embassy at Constantinople addressed to the Sublime Porte under No. 264, a note stating that "the Imperial Government" considers that too much emphasis cannot be laid on the necessity of putting into effect without delay the explicit stipulations of the Treaty of Arzerum, which are tantamount to the restoration of the status quo of 1848.
The Imperial Embassy at the same time forwarded to the Imperial Ottoman Government a memorandum showing in detail the frontier-line in conformity with the stipulations of the treaties in force.
The Imperial Ottoman Government replied to this communication by a note dated March 18th (31st), 1913, No. 30469/47. It stated that the Sublime Porte, being anxious to comply with the desire expressed by the Imperial Russian Government by eliminating any cause of difference in its cordial relations with the latter, and wishing, further, to demonstrate to the Persian Government its entire good faith in regard to the dispute existing on the subject between the two countries, has decided to accept the line mentioned in the aforesaid note and memorandum of the Ambassador of His Majesty the Emperor of Russian for the delimitation of the northern part of the Turco-Persian frontier from Serdar Bulak to Bane - that is to say, down to the 36th parallel of latitude".
Nevertheless, the Imperial Ottoman Government suggested a number of modification in the line proposed in the memorandum annexed to the note of the Imperial Russian Embassy dated August 9th (22nd), 1912, No. 264.
The Imperial Ottoman Government also appended to its note "an explanatory note on the situation of the Zohab boundaries and the arrangement that it would be able to accept in order to reach a final and equitable understanding with the Persian Government on that part of the frontier".
The Imperial Russian Embassy replied by a note dated March 28th (April 10th), 1913, No. 78. It noted the statement "by which the Imperial Ottoman Government recognizes as a principle for the delimitation of the Ararat-Bane section the exact sense of Article 3 of the Treaty of 1848, known as the Treaty of Arzerum, as set forth in the note of August 9th (22nd), 1912, No. 264". As regards the modifications proposed by the Sublime Porte, the Imperial Embassy stated (with a reservation on the question of Egri-chai) that it could not sufficiently emphasize the necessity of making no change in the line established in its note of August 9th (22nd), 1912.
As regards the question of Zohab, the Imperial Russian Embassy, while reserving the right to submit its detailed observations concerning that frontier, expressed "its opinion on the whole of the Ottoman draft, which does not seem to it to guarantee sufficiently, for the future, the maintenance of order and peace on the frontiers".
On April 20th (May 3rd), 1913, the Russian and British Embassies addressed an identic note to His Highness Prince Said Halim Pasha, accompanied by a memorandum summarising their point of view regarding the delimitation of Zohab and the regions situated south of that district.
This exchange of notes was followed by conversations between Their Excellencies M. de Giers and Sir Gerald Lowther, of the one part, and His Late Highness Mahmud Shefket Pasha, of the other part. The result of these conversations was recorded in an aide-memoire presented by His Excellency the Russian Ambassador to His Highness the Grand Vizier on June 6th, 1913, and in the note from the Sublime Porte addressed on June 26th (July 9th), 1913, No. 34553/95, to the Russian Embassy, and on July 12th, 1913, to the British Embassy.
On July 29th, 1913, a "declaration" was signed in London by Sir Edward Grey and His Highness Ibrahim Hakky Pasha concerning the demarcation of the southern boundary between Persia and Turkey.
The Imperial Russian Embassy then proceeded to recapitulate the principles of delimitation established in the correspondence concerning the Turco-Persian Boundary.

It addressed to the Sublime Porte a note dated August 5th(18th), 1913, No.166, an identic note was addressed to the Sublime Porte by the British Embassy on the same date.
The Sublime Porte replied to these communications by identic notes dated September 23rd, 1913, No. 37063/113.
As a result of the subsequent negotiations, the four plenipotentiaries of Great Britain, Persia, Russia, and Turkey, agreed on the following provisions:

It is agreed that the boundary between Persia and Turkey shall be defined as follows:
The boundary in the north shall start from boundary - park No. XXXVII on the Turco-Russian frontier, situated close to Majar Bulak, on the crest between Little and Grand Ararat. It shall then drop southwards by way of the ridges, leaving on the Persian side the valley of Dombat, Sarrvteh, and the water system of Yarym-Kaya, which rises to the south of Mount Ayubeg. The boundary shall then leave Bulak-bashi, in Persia, and shall continue to follow the highest ridge, the southern extremity of which is situated at about 44
22' longitude and 3928' latitude. Then skirting the west side of the march which extends to the west of Yaryum-Kaya, the boundary shall cross the Sary-Su stream, pass between the villages of Girdebaran (Turkish) and Bazargan (Persian), and ascending to the ridge to the west of Bazargan, follow the watershed formed by the Saranli, Zenduli, Gir-Kelime, Kanly-baba, Deduki-Khasineh, and Deveji ridges.
After Deveji, the line shall cross the valley of Egri-chai at the place to be designated by the Delimitation Commission in conformity with the status quo, leaving the villages of Nado and Nifto in Persia.
The ownership of the village of Kyzyl-Kaya (Bellasor) shall be established after an examination of the geographical situation of the village, the western side of the watershed in that region being allocated to Turkey, and the eastern side to Persia.
Should the final boundary line leave outside Ottoman territory a section of the road which passes close to Kyzyl-Kaya and connects the district of Bayazid with the province of Van, it is understood that the Persian Government shall give free passage over this section of the road to the Imperial Ottoman Posts and to travellers and goods, other than military troops and convoys.
The frontier shall then ascend to the ridges forming the watershed: Kyzyl-Ziaret, Sarychimene, Dumanlu, Karaburga, the hill between the reservoirs of Ayri-chai (Persian) and of Jelli-gol (Turkish), Avdal-dashi, Reshkan, the hill between Akhurek and Tavra Bevra Bevra-begazdan, Gevri-Mahine, Khydyr-baba, Avristan.
As regards Kotur, the Protocol of July 15th (28th), 1880, known as the Protocol of Sary-Kamiche, shall be applied in such a way that the village of Kevlik shall remain in Turkey, and the villages of Bilejik, Razi, Gharatil (Haratil), the two Jelliks, and Panamerik, shall remain in Persia.
The frontier following the Mir-Omar ridge shall ascend the mountain of Surava, and leaving Khanyga on the Turkish side, shall bass by way of the watershed formed by the pass of Borush-Khuran, the mountain of Haravil, Beleko, Shinetal, Sardul, Gulambi, Kepper, Bergabend, Peri-Khan, Iskander, Avene, and Kotul. The valley of Bajirga shall remain in Turkey, and the villages of Sartyk and Sero in Persia, and the frontier shall pass from the southern extremity of Kotur over the ridge rising to the west of the Persian village of Behik, and, following the peaks of Seri-Baydost, shall joint the crest of Mount Zont.
From Mount Zont the frontier shall follow continuously the watershed between the Persian districts of Tergever, Desht, and Mergever, and the Turkish sanjak of Hakkiary - that is to say, the crest of Shiveh-Shishali, Chil-Chovri, Chel-Berdir, Kuna-Koter, Kazi-beg, Avukh, Mai-Helanch, the mountains to the west of Binar and Delamper; then, leaving on the Persian side the basin emptying by way of Ushnu into the lake of Urumiya, including the sources of the Gadyr river known as Abi-seri-gadyr (the valley of which is situated to the south of Delamper and to the east of Mount Girdeh), it shall reach the pass of Keleh-Shin.
To the south of Keleh-Shin the frontier shall leave on the Persian side the reservoir of Lavene, including the valley of Chumi-Geli (situated to the east of Zerdegel and to the south-west of Spi-rez), and on the Turkish side the waters of Revanduz, and shall pass by the following peaks and passes: Siah-Kuh, Zerdeh-Gel, Boz, Barzin, Ser-Shiva, Kevi-Khoja-Ibrahim. Thence the frontier shall continue to follow towards the south the main chain of Kandil, leaving on the Persian side the basins of the affluents of Kialu on the right side: the streams Purdanan, Khydyrava and Talkhatan.
It is understood that the Turkish tribes which are in the habit of spending the summer in the said valleys at the Gadyr and Lavene springs shall still have the use of their pastures under the same conditions as in the past.
Having reached the summit of Seri-Kele-Kelin, the line shall pass over Zinvi-Jasusan and the pass of Bamin, and shall cross the Vezne river near the Purde-Berdan bridge. The Delimitation Commission will have to decide as to the future of the village of Shenieh, on the basis of the general principle of the status quo.
After Purde-Berdan, the frontier shall ascend over the chains of Foka-baba-kyr, Borde-spian, Berde-Abul-Fath and the pass of Kaniresh. It shall then follow the watershed formed by Lagav-Ghird, Donleri, the pass of Khan-Ahmed, and the southern extremity of Tepe-Salos. The frontier will thus pass between the villages of Kandol (Turkish) and Kesh-Keshiva and Mazynava (Persian), and reach the course of the Kialu river (the Little Zab).
After joining the course of the Kialu river, the frontier shall follow it upstream, leaving on the Persian side the right bank (the Alano-ajem) and on the Turkish side the left bank of that river. On reaching the mouth of the Khileh-resh river (an affluent of the Kialu on the left side), the frontier shall follow the course of that river upstream, leaving on the Persian side the villages of Alot, Kivero, etc., and on the Turkish side the district of Alani-Mavont. At the south-western extremity of Mount Balu, the frontier shall leave the course of the Khileh-resh river, and ascending over the north-west extremity of the Surkew chain, extending to the south of the Khile-resh river, shall pass over the Surkew ridge, leaving the districts of Siwel and Shive-Kel on the Turkish side.
On reaching the astronomical point of Surkew almost at latitude 35
49, the frontier shall pass in the direction of the village of Champar-aw, the future of which shall be decided by the Delimitation Commission on the basis of the accepted principle of the Status quo. The line shall then ascend over the chain of mountains which form the frontier between the Persian district of Baneh and the Turkish district of Kyzyieja; Gakash, Berdi-Kechel, Pusht-Hangajal, Du-bera, Parajal, and Spi-Kana, after which it shall reach the pass of Now-Khuvan. Thence, still following the watershed, the frontier shall turn southwards and then westwards, passing by way of the summits of Vul-Guza, Pushti-Shehidan, Hazar-Mal, Bali-Keder, Keleh-Melaik, and Kuhai-Koce-resha, separating the Turkish district of Teretul from the Persian district of Merivan.
From there, the frontier shall follow the course of the Khalil-Abad brook downstream as far as its confluence with the Chami-Kyzylja, and then this last-named river upstream as far as the mouth of its left affluent flowing from the village of Bnava-Suta; it shall follow this Bnava-Suta brook upstream and, by way of the passes of Keli-Naveh-Sar and Keli-Piran, shall reach the pass of Surene, known, it appears, by the name of Chigan (or Chakan).
The main chain of Avroman, extending in the direction north-west-south-east, shall then form the frontier between Persia and the Ottoman district of Shehrisor. On reaching the peak of Kemadjar (south-east of Kala-Selm and north-west of Sheri-Avroman), the frontier shall continue to follow the main ridge as far as its ramification on the western side, rising to the north of the valley of Derc-Vuli leaving the villages of Khan-Germela and Nowsud on the Persian side. For the remainder of the frontier as far as Sirvan, the Commission shall - by way of exception - delimit the ground, taking into consideration such changes as may have occurred there between the year 1848 and the year 1905.
South of Sirvan, the frontier shall begin close to the mouth of the Chami-Zimkan, shall pass by way of the Beyzel (Bezel) mountain, and shall descend to the Chemi-Berishk watercourse. Next, following the watershed between this last-named watercourse and the river which, rising in the Bend-Bemo, bears, according to the identic map, the name of Pushti-Gherav (Arkhevendu), it shall ascend to the summit of Bend-Bemo.
After following the ridge of Bamu (Bemo), the frontier, on reaching the defile of Derbendi-Dehul (Derbendi-Hur), shall follow the course of the Zengeneh (Abbasan) river as far as the point nearest to the summit of Shevaldir (astronomical point) and situated below the village of Mayshan. It shall ascend this summit and shall next pass by way of the crest of the hills forming a watershed between the plains of Tileku and Serkaleh, then by way of the chains of Khuli-Baghan, Jebel-Ali-Beg, Bender-Chok-Chermik, Sengler, and Asengucran, as far as the point in the Tengi-Hamam defile situated opposite the northern extremity of the Karawiz mountains.
Thence the frontier shall follow the course of the river Kuretu as far as the village of that name. The future of the village of Juretu shall be decided by the Delimitation Commission on the basis of the nationality of its inhabitants. Thence the frontier shall pass by way of the road between the villages of Kuretu and Kush-Kurrek, then along the crests of Mounts Kishka and Ak-Dag, and then, leaving Kala-Sebzi in Persia, it shall turn southwards as far as the Ottoman post of Kanibez. Thence it shall follow the course of the Elevend river upstream as far as the point, a quarter of an hour's distance downstream from its confluence with the Gilan watercourse; from that point it shall continue as far as the Naft-Su skirting the Ab-Bakhshan in accordance with the line agreed upon with the late Mahmud Shefket Pasha and shown roughly on the map annexed to the note of the Imperial Russian Embassy dated August 5th (18th), 1913, and leaving Naft-Mukataasy to Turkey. Thence, the frontier-line, following the Naft-Deressi, on reaching the point where the Kassri-Shirin road cuts that waterway, shall continue along the mountains of Varbulend, Konerigh-Kelashuvan, and Jebel-Gerebi (the extension of the Jebeli-Hamrinach in).
The Delimitation Commission shall draw up a special agreement for the distribution of the Gengir (Sumar) waters between the parties concerned.
The part of the frontier between Mendeli and the northern point of the line indicated in the declaration made in London on July 29th (Shuaib) between Hakky Pasha and Sir G. Grey not having yet been discussed in detail, the undersigned leave the establishment of that part of the frontier to the Delimitation Commission.
As regards delimitation from the region of Hawizeh as far as the sea, the frontier-line shall start from the place called Umm-Shir, where the Khor-el-Duvel divides from the Khor-el-Azem. Umm-Shir is situated east of the junction of the Khor-el-Muhaisin with the Khor-el-Azem, nine miles north-west of Bisaitin, a place situated at latitude 31
43'29". From Umm-Shir, the line shall turn south-westwards as far as longitude 45, at the southern extremity of a small lake known also by the name of Azem and situated in the Khor-el-Azem some distance north-west of Shuaib. From this point the line shall continue to the south along the marsh as far as latitude 31, which it shall follow directly eastwards as far as a point north-east of Kushk-i-Basra, so as to leave this place in Ottoman territory. From this point the line shall go southwards as far as the Khaiian canal at a point between the Nahr-Diaiji and the Nahr-Abu al-Arabid; it shall follow the medium filum aquae of the Khaiyin canal as far as the point where the latter joint the Shatt-al-Arab, at the mouth of the Nahr-Nazaileh. From this point the frontier shall follow the course of the Shatt-al-Arab as far as the sea, leaving under Ottoman sovereignty the river and all the islands therein, subject to the following conditions and exceptions:
a) The following shall belong to Persia (1) the island of Muhalla and the two islands situated between the latter and the left bank of the Shatt-al-Arab (Persian bank of Abadan); (2) the four islands between Shetait and Maawiyeh and the two islands opposite Mankuhi which are both independent of the island of Abadan; (3) any small islands now existing or that may be formed which are connected at low water with the island of Abadan or with Persian terra firma below Nahr-Nazaileh.
b) The modern port and anchorage of Muhammara, above and below the junction of the river Karun with the Shatt-al-Arab, shall remain within Persian jurisdiction in conformity with the Treaty of Arzerum; the Ottoman right of usage of this part of the river shall not, however, be affected hereby, nor shall Persian jurisdiction extend to the parts of the river outside the anchorage.
c) No change shall be made in the existing rights, usages and customs as regards fishing on the Persian bank of the Shatt-al-Arab, the word "Bank" including also the lands connected with the coast at low water.
d) Ottoman jurisdiction shall not extend over the parts of the Persian coast that may be temporarily covered by water at high tide or by other accidental causes. Persian jurisdiction, on its side, shall not be exercised over lands that may be temporarily or accidentally uncovered when the water is below the normal low-water level.
e) The Sheikh or Muhammara shall continue to enjoy in conformity with the Ottoman laws his rights of ownership in Ottoman territory.
The frontier-line established in this declaration is shown in red on the map annexed hereto.
The parts of the frontier not detailed in the above mentioned frontier-line shall be established on the basis of the principle of the status quo, in conformity with the stipulations of Article 3 of the Treaty of Arzerum.

The frontier-line shall be delimited on the spot by a Delimitation Commission, consisting of commissioners of the four Governments.
Each Government shall be represented on this Commission by a commissioner and a deputy commissioner. The latter shall take the commissioner's place on the Commission in case of need.

The Delimitation Commission, in the performance of the task devolving upon it, shall comply:
(1) With the provisions of the present Protocol;
(2) With the rules of Procedure of the Delimitation Commission annexed (Annex (A)) to the present Protocol.

In the event of a divergence of opinion in the Commission as to the boundary-line of any part of the frontier, the Ottoman and Persian commissioners shall submit a written statement of their respective points of view within forty-eight hours to the Russian and British Commissioners, who shall hold a private meeting and shall give a decision on the question in dispute and communicate their decision to their Ottoman and Persian colleagues. This decision shall be inserted in the Minutes of the plenary meeting and shall be recognized as binding on all four Governments.

As soon as part of the frontier has been delimited, such part shall be regarded as finally fixed and shall not be liable to subsequent examination or revision.

As the work of delimitation proceeds, the Ottoman and Persian Governments shall have the right to establish posts at the frontier.

It is understood that the concession granted by the Convention of May 28th, 1901 (9 Sefer, 1319, of the Hegira), by the Government of His Imperial Majesty the Shah of Persia to William Knox D'Arcy and now being worked, in conformity with the provisions of Article 9 of the said Convention, by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (Limited), having its registered office at Winchester House, London (the said Convention being referred to hereunder as "the Convention" in the Annex (B) to the present Protocol, shall remain in full and unrestricted force throughout the territories transferred by Persia to Turkey in virtue of the provisions of the present Protocol and of Annex (B) thereto.

The Ottoman and Persian Governments will distribute among the officials on the Frontier a sufficient number of copies of the delimitation map drawn up by the Commission, together with copies of translations of the statement provided for in Article XV of the Commission's Rules of Procedure. It is understood, however, that the French text alone shall be regarded as authentic.

Selections from the Iraqi-Iranian Dispute, 138-145

Rules of procedure of the Delimitation Commission

The four commissioners shall enjoy exactly the same rights and the same prerogatives, whatever their personal rank may be.
The commissioners shall act in rotation as Chairman at meetings of the Commission.
The same principle of perfect equality shall apply both to the relations inter se of the deputy commissioners and to the relations of the other members of the Commission performing similar functions.

The original identic map communicated in 1869-70 to the Ottoman and Persian Governments shall serve as a topographical basis for the delimitation.

In case of sickness or for any other reason, any commissioner may be represented on the Commission by his deputy. In such cases, the deputy shall enjoy all the rights of the commissioner whom he represents.

The official language of the Commission shall be French.

The Commission shall meet once a week, or oftener in case of need, to take note of the work of delimitation carried out on the spot.
Minutes shall be kept of every meeting. Such Minutes shall be read at the beginning of the following meeting and, after having been duly approved by the commissioners, shall be signed by them. These Minutes shall contain a detailed description of each boundary-mark and of the frontier.
The frontier-line, as and when it is finally delimited, shall be marked on the identic map, which shall be initiated by each commissioner.

The Commission shall make the necessary arrangements for the work of the secretariat, which shall be responsible for the drafting of the Minutes and for any other work that the Commission may think fit to entrust to it. The members of the secretariat shall be present at the meeting of the Commission.

Copies of the Minutes shall be communicated in due course by the commissioners to their respective Governments.

The nature of the boundary-marks to be set up shall be decided by the Commission; the cost of their erection shall be divided equally between the Ottoman and Persian Governments. The costs of construction shall be approximately fixed for each stage by the Commission; the sum indicated shall then be paid over, half being paid by the Ottoman and half by the Persian commissioner, and shall be expended under the supervision of the Sub-Commission provided for in Article IX. The Commission shall keep accounts with a view to the final allocation of the costs between the two Governments.

As the position of the boundary-marks is finally fixed, the Commission shall appoint a Sub-Commission to supervise their erection. This Sub-Commission shall be composed of not less than two members selected either from among the commissioners or from among members of the staff. The Sub-Commission shall submit to the Commission a detailed account of its work at the earliest possible date.
This report shall be inserted in the Minutes of the Commission.
The Sub-Commission may be appointed in a permanent capacity.

In case of need, other special Sub-Commissions may be appointed by the Commission under the above-mentioned conditions, subject to the approval of their work by the four commissioners in plenary session.

Should the commissioners consider it desirable to reinforce their personal escorts, the Ottoman or Persian commissioner, as the case may be, shall be responsible for making the necessary representations to the local authorities.
Each commissioner, with his personal escort, shall have the right to cross the frontier without restriction.

The Commission shall decide on its movements by joint agreement. Each commissioner may, however, choose the site for his own camp on condition that he shall fall in as far as possible with the movements of the Commission.

The Commission shall have the right to adjourn the delimitation of a part of the frontier temporarily for climatic reasons. Decisions to this effect shall be taken by majority vote.

As soon as possible after the final completion of the work of the Commission, copies of the map mentioned in Article II, signed by all the commissioners, shall be prepared and distributed as follows: to each of the Governments represented on the Commission, one copy; to the Turkish Embassy and to the Russian and British Ministers at Tehran, one copy each; to the Ambassadors of Great Britain, Persia and Russia at Constantinople, one copy each.

When supplying the above-mentioned frontier map to the four Powers, the commissioners shall submit at the same time a statement giving a detailed description of the frontier; this description shall follow textually that of the Minutes of the Commission and shall bear the signatures of the four Commissioners.
(signed) Louis Mallet
Ethechamos-Saltaneh Mahmud
Michel de Giers
Said Halim

al-Izzi, 217-220

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