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During the time of the Crusades Cilicia was controlled by the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia until Cilicia fell under Ottoman dominion in the 15th century.
After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the French controlled Cilicia. According to the Treaty of Sèvres signed in 1920, Cilicia was to become an independent Armenian state under French authority. That treaty never went into effect because of the Turkish War of Independence. Measures were taken to repopulate the region with Armenians. More than 170,000 refugees, the majority of whom were originally from Cilicia, were to be taken back to their homes by the French and British. Armenian aspirations for an autonomous Cilicia were shattered on October 21, 1921 when France signed the Treaty of Ankara with the Kemalist revolutionaries and relinquished Cilicia to Turkey. After the Franco-Turkish War the region become part of the Republic of Turkey in 1921 with the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne.

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