Borders in the Middle East are Shattering

Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

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 15 Ağustos 2014 Saat : 12:43


Borders in the Middle East are Shattering


The borders in the Middle East were drawn in 1919 by Ms. Gertrude Bell of British Intelligence  using a simple 12 inch wooden ruler and a blue colored chinagraph pencil. She was quite talented and as good as the Lawrence of Arabia.


Britain and France shared the whole Middle East stretching from the shores of Eastern Mediterranean Sea till Strait of Hurmuz on the East-West direction and from Anatolia till Yemen on the North-South direction clandestinely after the Sykes-Picot agreement on 1916. The signatories were French diplomat François Georges-Picot on behalf of France and Sir Mark Sykes on behalf of British Empire. The Russian Tsarist government was the minor party to the agreement and seeking a portion from the estate of the Ottoman Empire. After the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917 in Russia, the Bolshevik government under the leadership of Lenin exposed the agreement.


After the exposition of the agreement the Arabs dismayed, especially Hussein bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca felt heavily deceived as he was promised to be declared and appointed as the King of Arabia after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire.


In reliance upon this promise given by the British, he and his Bedouin troops fought side by side with the British forces to defeat the Ottoman Army in the region. Although the Ottoman Army was defeated at the end and the British took hold of the Middle East, he wasn’t rewarded with a Kingdom of any kind and size at all. He passed away as a standard and a ordinary citizen of the Ottoman Empire on 1931.


At the end of Worl War I, the new borders in the Middle east were drawn according to the sole interest of British Empire without taking into consideration the ethnical accumulation of the local Arabs and any kind of geographical feature. The new born states were quite artificial had no special characteristics of their own.


On the regions rich with oil, built artificial states with small population so that they cannot revolt in any way against British or Western powers and on the territories with no oil, created artificial states with large but poor population, who cannot afford to buy arms for a revolt against Western powers.


Till the end of World War II, these artificial new states of the Middle East were under the strict control and dominance of the British Empire and France. Beginning from the year 1946 the control loosened up and all of these artificial states declared their independences. Since they were not nation-states at all but a collection of local tribes with different cultures, beliefs and wealth, the only way to keep up the unity of the state was to limit the basic human rights of the citizens under gun point and dictatorship.


This system lasted in all of these artificial states one way or another till the Arab Spring and burst out. The Sykes-Picot Agreement finally ended and the borders in the Middle East are now due change and new states will emerge within the next 10 years…..


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