Sykes-Picot Agreement

   The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 was originally a secret pact among Great Britain, France, and Russia detailing their plans to partition the Ottoman Empire—and thus most of Kurdistan—at the end of World War I. Sir Mark Sykes for Britain, Francois Picot for France, and Sergei Sazanov for Russia drew the agreement up, but Russia dropped out following the Bolshevik revolution. The new Soviet government then revealed the agreement to the world.
   Originally, the Sykes-Picot Agreement gave most of the Kurdish areas in what became Turkey and Syria to the French and in Iraq and parts of Turkey to Russia. After Russia dropped out of the agreement, Britain took over the Russian portion of Mosul and attached it to its mandate, Iraq. The Sykes-Picot Agreement became a byword for British-French imperialist control of the Middle East and, with it, manipulation and control of the Kurds. With the quick rise of the Kemalists in Turkey, however, the new Republic of Turkey acquired much of what were originally to be French and Russian areas. These areas then became Turkish Kurdistan.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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