Found in: History of Turkey
The Chanak Crisis (or Affair) in September 1922 was the threatened attack on British and French troops stationed near Canakkale (Chanak) to guard the Dardanelles neutral zone by Turkish troops which had recently defeated Greek forces and recaptured Izmir (Smyrna). The Crisis contributed to the downfall of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and, given the reticence of the Canadian government to be involved, the rise of Canada's diplomatic independence.
The British Cabinet met on 15 September 1922 and decided that British forces should maintain their positions. On the following day, in the absence of Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon, certain Cabinet ministers issued a communique threatening Turkey with a declaration of war by Britain and the Dominions, on the grounds that Turkey had violated the Treaty of Sevres. On 18 September, on his return to London, Curzon pointed out that this would enrage the pro-Turkish Prime Minister of France, Raymond Poincare, and left for Paris to attempt to smooth things over. Poincare, however, had already ordered the withdrawal of the French detachment at Chanak. Curzon reached Paris on 20 September, and after several angry meetings with Poincare, reached agreement to negotiate an armistice with the Turks.
The British public was alarmed by the Chanak episode and the possibility of going to war again. It did not help that Lloyd George had not fully consulted the Commonwealth prime ministers. Unlike the case eight years earlier, when World War I broke out, Canada in particular did not automatically consider itself active in the conflict. Instead, Prime Minister Mackenzie King insisted that the Canadian Parliament should decide on the course of action the country would follow. By the time the issue had been debated in the Canadian House of Commons, the threat at Chanak had passed. Nonetheless, King made his point: Parliament would decide the role that Canada would play in external affairs.
Lloyd George's rashness was a major factor in the calling of the Carlton Club meeting on 19 October 1922, where Conservative MPs decided that they would leave the coalition and fight the next general election as a single, united party. This decision had dire ramifications for Lloyd George, as the Conservative Party made up the vast majority of the 1918-1922 post-war coalition. Indeed, they could have made up the majority government if it were not for the coalition.
Lloyd George also lost the support of the influential Curzon, who considered that the Prime Minister had been manoeuvring behind his back.
Following the Carlton Club decision, the MPs voted 185 to 85 for ending the Coalition. Lloyd George resigned as Prime Minister, never to return as a major figure in party politics.
Canada A Nation Unfolding, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1994.