16.05.

1916: The Great Powers Secretly Agree to Dismember the Ottoman Empire and the Arab World

1916: The Great Powers Secretly Agree to Dismember the Ottoman Empire and the Arab World
Photo Credit To https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sykes-Picot-1916.gif

The famous Sykes-Picot agreement was concluded on this day. It divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire into areas of future British and French control (after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I). The agreement was named after his authors. The British diplomat was Sir Mark Sykes, and the French diplomat was François Georges-Picot. They determined future state borders, which still exist and influence lives of millions of people in the Middle East.

According to the Sykes-Picot Agreement, Britain was allocated control of areas of present-day Israel, Jordan, large part of Iraq, and areas near the Persian Gulf. France was allocated control of areas of present-day Lebanon, Syria, Northern Iraq, and Southeastern Turkey. Russia was allocated control of Istanbul, the Bosporus, the Dardanelles, and the Armenian parts of the Ottoman Empire. At the time, Russia was still an empire, i.e. it was before the October Revolution.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement was a secret agreement until the new Bolshevik government published it. Namely, the communists forbade secret agreements and other secret pacts. When the Sykes-Picot Agreement was published, the Arab population was appalled – the British had promised them an independent state (Lawrence of Arabia acted as mediator). When the truth was discovered, everyone knew that Britain and France had been leading a hypocritical diplomatic policy.

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