Under these extreme conditions, the Congress of Erzurum, despite all the dangers, had come together because of the true love of the homeland, which was to become an important turning point in Turkish history. In this Congress the first foundations of the Turkish War of Independence were laid and the historical decisions taken were the basic rules of the National Struggle.
The decisions of the Erzurum Congress can be summarized as follows:
1.- The eastern provinces of Trabzon and Canik (today Samsun) must not be separated from the Ottoman community for any reason or excuse and are a whole.
This means that the eastern provinces will not be transferred to a new state called Pontus or an enlarged Armenia. This was the first warning to those who want to divide their homeland and nation.
2.- In the face of any foreign occupation and intervention, the nation will defend itself as a unity.
This paragraph clearly states that the nation will reject any kind of occupation and will defend itself as a unity. Any attempt to occupy the homeland will not go unanswered.
3.- If the government in Istanbul is not sufficient to protect and secure the homeland and independence, a temporary government will be formed in Anatolia to achieve the goal.
The state and attitude of the Istanbul government was clear; it was weak, incompetent and intimidated and infiltrated by the occupying forces. The current government handed the country over to the occupying states with the Mondros ceasefire. Only a government based on national will could save the country from the cliff. This would definitely happen. The Erzurum Congress was the first step on this path.
4.- It is important that Kuva-yi Milliye dominates in the country and nation as one will.
The Kuva-yi Milliye were a national army that would emerge from the womb of the nation. For the sacred purpose of the nation, this army only had victory before its eyes. Bringing a common national will here and dominating it also required a democratic principle. These were the first sparks of a republic that could be made out.
5.- Christian minorities cannot be granted privileges that disturb political sovereignty and social equilibrium.
At that time, minorities were looking for political sovereignty in some places. The danger was big that they wanted to found their own independent state - see as an example the attempt of Greek minorities in the Black Sea region to found a state called Pontus within the nation. They would want to overthrow the country again only in the chaos...
The aim was to act as a common nation and not as groups.
6.- Mandate and patronage are unacceptable.
The Turkish nation, which wanted to do everything for its independence, was ready to take the weapons in its hands and do everything for it. No one was expected to help and no one wanted mercy from foreign states. Independence would be achieved at any cost.
There was only one thing: "Either independence or death!
7.- The attempt is made to organize the National Assembly immediately and to carry out the government work under the control of the Assembly.
The National Assembly, which was to be prevented by the pressure of the Allied powers and the decree of the Sultan, had to be assembled immediately, and all decisions of the new government concerning the nation and the actions of the country were to be subordinated to the National Assembly. All government decisions were to be valid only through the National Assembly.
8.- The nation celebrates human and contemporary goals. It welcomes technological, industrial and economic goals, needs and progress.
With this sentence was indicated the innovative spirit of the Turkish nation. It should be said that the Turkish nation is a nation that knows and understands the value of human and civilized purposes. When Atatürk started the great revolutions, he said the following words in the Erzurum Congress:
"The revolutions we want to plan and undertake should make our nation a civilized society in every respect. This is the basic principle of our revolution".
With this he clearly expressed that they wanted to bring a ruined country back to prosperity economically, industrially and also humanly.
9.- The organization resulting from the suffering is founded for the purpose of the homeland and the national conscience and is called the Eastern Anatolian Association of Rights.
With this article, the individual groups operating in Trabzon and in the eastern region were first united under one name. Later other groups from all parts of the country were added.
10.- A delegation of representatives was elected by the Congress.
With this article a committee was formed to represent the Congress of Erzurum.
The Congress of Erzurum, with its historical decisions, was no longer a regional Congress and had a great influence on all the events that developed afterwards. The decisions of the Sivas Congress were based on the decisions of the Erzurum Congress. The decisions of the Erzurum Congress were based on the National Pact. The large national assemblies of Turkey took place on decision of the Congress of Erzurum.
The spirit of independence was motivated by the treaties of Mudanya and Lausanne and was inspired by the decisions of the Erzurum Congress. The spirit of a republic came from the will of a national unity.
Not only the first sparks of a republic could be seen at the Erzurum Congress, but also the later reforms of Atatürk found their roots here.
Mustafa Kemal Pasha said in his concluding speech at the Erzurum Congress:
"History will undoubtedly record this Congress as a rare and magnificent work".