What Was The Significance Of The Sykes Picot Agreement
In the chain of agreements between France, Russia and Great Britain, the Russian demands were first confirmed: France confirmed their agreement on 26 April and Britain on 23 May, with formal sanctions on 23 October. The Anglo-French agreement was confirmed in an exchange of letters on 9 May and 16 May.  For a period of twenty years, the existing Turkish tariff remains in effect in all blue and red zones as well as in zones (a) and b) and there is no increase in tariffs or conversions of value at certain rates, unless there is an agreement between the two powers. After the outbreak of war in the summer of 1914, the Allies – Britain, France and Russia – had much discussion about the future of the Ottoman Empire, which is now fighting on the side of Germany and the central powers, and its vast area in the Middle East, Arabia and southern Europe. In March 1915, Britain signed a secret agreement with Russia, whose plans for the territory of the Empire had prompted the Turks to join Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1914. Under its terms, Russia would annex the Ottoman capital, Constantinople, and retain control of the Dardanelles (the extremely important strait that connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean) and the Gallipoli Peninsula, the target of a major Allied military invasion, which began in April 1915. In exchange, Russia would accept British claims to other territories of the former Ottoman Empire and Central Persia, including the oil-rich region of Mesopotamia. Second, at the end of the war, the British, not the French, occupied the Asian Arab territory from within, which was part of the Ottoman Empire. As they played a stronger hand than the French, they took for themselves to divide this territory into zones under the authority of the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration. And the boundaries of the various administrative areas conflicted with those set by the Sykes-Picot agreement. The aim was to compensate for the loss of military power in the Middle Eastern Theatre of the First World War, when Russian (tsarist) troops withdrew from the Caucasus campaign, although they were replaced by troops from the First Republic of Armenia.  It was clear to the Italians that the territory allocated to them might not be easily abandoned by the Turkish Empire, so the British Prime Minister proposed a vague formula for post-war adjustment if the actual post-war allocation did not appear to be balanced.
 Why are commentators and others still focusing on the Sykes-Picot agreement, 100 years after the fact? After all, it was not the first secret agreement that aspired to divide the Ottoman Empire among the allies; it would be the Constantinople Agreement of 1915. In 1917, the Bolsheviks took power in Russia. The new government has focused on consolidating power in its own country, not on access to holy sites or interim arrangements, renouncing all secret agreements in which the Tsarist government has participated. The minutes, which took place at a meeting of the “Big Four” in Paris on 20 March 1919 and attended by Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau, Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, Lloyd George and Arthur Balfour, set out the British and French positions on the agreement. This was the first topic discussed in the discussion on Syria and Turkey and was then at the centre of all the discussions. In his doctoral thesis, Gibson discussed the role of oil in British strategic thinking at the time and mentioned Vilayet Mosul as France`s largest potential oil field in 1918 to accept its accession to the mandate of Iraq (the Clemenceau Lloyd George Agreement) in exchange for “some of the oil and British support elsewhere.”  The agreement is seen by many as a turning point in Western and Arab relations.