Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916 AD): History and Maps

Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916): Maps and History
The Sykes-Picot Agreement is a secret agreement between Britain and France regarding the division of Ottoman territory in the Middle East. The agreement formulated by François Georges-Picot represented France and Mark Sykes represented Britain.

After both conducting surveys and negotiations, finally the agreement was inaugurated in May 1916 or at the height of World War I. The agreement was based on the assumption that the Allies would win the war and as a result, the Ottoman Empire siding with Germany would be divided by the Allies.

Under the Sykes-Picot Agreement, France intends to acquire territory or direct control in Syria, Lebanon and southeast Turkey, including the area around Alexandretta. Britain currently controls Iraq and Jordan and areas in Palestine around the northern port of Haifa. Meanwhile, the holy city of Jerusalem and Bethlehem will be under international control. None of these areas stood as an independent state, because all were ruled as provinces of the Ottoman Empire since the 16th century.

In the next agreement, Russia, another ally in World War I, will receive Armenia and parts of Kurdistan. Russia also hopes that this means the realization of his old dream to control access to the Mediterranean Sea from the Black Sea through the Strait of Dardanelles. While the Italians, including allies, will acquire the Aegean Sea and western Turkey around the big city of Izmir. The territory of Saudi Arabia is now not included in the agreement because in 1916 the region was not considered economically or politically important (oil has not been found).

Map Sykes-Picot Agreement
In its development, part of the agreement involving Russia was canceled when Russia left the war early through a separate agreement with Germany. While due to the success of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's military defense of the Anatolian Peninsula, the region was not partitioned after the war.

Some British Government officials warned at that time, part of the Sykes-Picot Agreement was contrary to a secret agreement made with Arabs in the Husayn-McMahon Sherif correspondence. The correspondence contained that Britain would give Great Syria to Sherif Husayn if he was willing to help him fight the Ottomans. The exit of the Balfour Declaration aimed at establishing a Jewish state in Palestine in 1917 further complicates the problem of the division of the region.

In the end, only the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the Balfour Declaration were formalized in the 1920 San Remo Treaty and in the League of Nations in 1922. As a result, Syria and Lebanon became the mandates of France and Jordan, Iraq and Palestine including Jerusalem under the British mandate. While Syarif Hussein failed to get the promised area of Mc.Mahon.

As a result, in the post-World War I era, Arabs not only failed to gain independence but also divided into separate countries ruled by two different powers. The consequences of this decision continued to cause conflict in this region throughout the 20th century.

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