How European Powers Reshaped Middle East

On May 19, 1916, a secret accord, known as the Sykes-Picot agreement, was signed by Europe’s major powers, Britain and France. It was envisaged that the Ottoman Empire would be divided into British and French spheres of influence.
After the beginning of the First World War in 1914 the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, the French Third Republic and the Russian Empire started secret negotiations regarding the hypothetical future of the Ottoman Empire that fought at the time on the side of the Wilhelminian Germany.


The talks resulted in the Constantinople Agreement, concluded on March 18, 1915. In accordance with the secret assurances, the Russian Empire was promised Constantinople (Istanbul), the Bosporus Strait and control over the Dardanelles. In return, Russia would agree to British and French claims on other territories of the Ottoman Empire and central Persia.


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