Many in Turkey welcomed the early hours of the new year with jokes on social media about a conspiracy theory around the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, which set the boundaries of modern Turkey after the country’s War of Independence.
Many people in Turkey, representing all groups on the political spectrum, have for years believed that the treaty has some secret articles that would expire as of 2023. According to those conspiracy-theory believers, those secret articles prevented Turkey from extracting precious resources like gold, petroleum and boron. They argued that the country will experience an economic boost with the expiration of those articles which they claimed would be made public in 2023.
Despite many experts repeatedly explaining that the treaty does not include such secret articles, the conspiracy theory kept on attracting people, elevating their hopes for a richer country.
Many social media users in Turkey, including politicians, journalists and celebrities, used the hashtag “#gizli” [#secret] to share jokes on this conspiracy theory in the early hours of 2023.
The jokes about the Lausanne peace treaty in fact started a few days before the new year, with some writing on social media that they have been waiting with their digging tools to extract those valuable reserves immediately after 2023 starts.
It is still unknown whether 2023 will bring an end to political polarisation and the economic decline that have dominated Turkey’s agenda in recent years, but it will most certainly put an end to the debate on the Lausanne theory, disappointing the believers of the conspiracy theory.