Previous post Next post

Sykes-Picot: Carving up the Middle East | The Economist

In 1915 British diplomat Mark Sykes described for The Economist the battle underway in the Middle East. A few months later he carved up control of the region with his French counterpart Francois George Picot. The impact of the secret agreement they reached is still being felt today

Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube:

One hundred years ago, as war raged in the Middle East a secret treaty was signed that defined national boundaries and still impacts upon the region today.

In 1915, The Economist reported on Sir Mark Sykes first hand account of war in the Middle East. The local Arabs were preparing to fight alongside British and French allies to defeat the Ottoman empire.

Away from the fighting, the same British diplomat secretly plotted what would happen next. Mark Sykes and his French counterpart Francois Georges Picot agreed to carve up most of the region between the British and the French.

The map they created would set the tone for decades of turmoil. The Sykes-Picot map marked more than division. To the Arabs it spelt treachery.

A century later, Sykes-Picot is no less potent, and still fuelling upheaval. In 2014, Isis broke through the border of Syria and Iraq proclaimed a caliphate and declared Sykes-Picot to be ‘over’.

A century on from the Sykes-Picot agreement, its legacy looks as tortured as ever.

Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films every day of the working week.

For more from Economist Films visit:
Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue:
Like The Economist on Facebook:
Follow The Economist on Twitter:
Follow us on Instagram:
Follow us on LINE:
Follow us on Medium:

Are you the author?
The Economist
The Economist offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
Previous post See more for 5.) The Economist Next post

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.