Entente Powers Develop Options Regarding the Ottoman Empire

Great Britain, France, Russia, and eventually Italy — the Entente Powers — after declaring war on the Ottoman Empire, undertook consideration of future options concerning the Empire – whether the goal would be to break it up or maintain it some fashion.  In the process, a number of secret agreements were made during the war.  These became the source of considerable controversy after they were revealed by the Bolsheviks after the overthrow of the Russian Czarist regime. 


de Bunsen Committee Report

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Jul 1915 to Mar 1916

Hussein-McMahon Correspondence

McMahon Map (click to enlarge) Between July 1915, and March 1916, Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt and Sherif Hussein of Mecca, exchanged a series of 10 letters in which the British promised to support the creation of an independent Arab state in return for assistance in fighting against the Ottoman Empire ... Read more

19 May 1916

Sykes-Picot Agreement

When the possibility of a British invasion of Palestine was first raised, it became necessary to reach an understanding with France, which also had an interest in Palestine and Syria. As early as 16 May 1916 Sir Mark Sykes, who had studied the political problems of Mesopotamia and Syria, had agreed with M. Picot, formerly ... Read more