|During World War I, Turkey had sided with Germany and Austria-Hungary and as one of the defeated powers, the Ottoman Empire was forced to give up its remaining non-Turkish lands. On May 19th, one of Turkey's few heroes of the war, Mustapha Kemal Pasha, began organizing resistance to the further dismemberment of Turkey by the victorious powers. This led to his dismissal by the Sultan. Mustapha Kemal Pasha then went on to establish a Nationalist party. The Nationalists put forth a multi-point program including self-determination, security of Constantinople, opening of the Dardanelles Straits, rights for minorities and non-capitulation to any additional demands made by foreign powers.
The Nationalists won a subsequent election, and their program was adopted by the Parliament. In an attempt to stop the increasing influence of the Nationalists, the allies occupied Constantinople in March 1920 and dissolved the Parliament. The Nationalist then set up a provisional government at Ankara. In June, the Greeks initiated open warfare against the Nationalists. In August, the Sultan's government agreed to and signed the Treaty of Severes, actions which were denounced by the Nationalists. On January 20th, the Nationalists adopted a set of fundamental laws that became the foundation of the modern state of Turkey. These laws provided for the sovereignty of the people, a parliament elected by male suffrage, and a president with extensive powers.