A New Map for the Middle East?

On May 16, 1916, representatives of Great Britain and France signed an agreement that had been negotiated by Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot to divide up the Middle East into British and French spheres of influence after the end of the Great War and the destruction of the Ottoman Empire. The Sykes-Picot Agreement, now 100 years old, has been denounced ever since for perpetuating a supposedly artificial division of the Middle East into unpopular nation states whose existence only fuels conflicts. Many now suggest that it is time to discard Sykes-Picot in order to solve the region’s myriad problems. Continue reading

Turkish President Declares Lawrence of Arabia a Bigger Enemy than ISIS

In a stunning speech, Erdogan railed against Western “spies” and journalists and seemed to endorse the ISIS plan to redraw the region’s borders.

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took on the iconic Lawrence of Arabia Monday in a furious anti-Western diatribe.  The Turkish president compared the outside meddling in the region now to the role the renowned British army officer played during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans during World War I. And Western diplomats here say the tirade bears a rather striking resemblance to some of the propaganda that has come out of the so-called Islamic State, widely known by the acronym ISIS or ISIL.

Last week, stung by Western criticism of Turkey’s conspicuous absence from the U.S.-led air combat against the terror organization, and the refusal of the Turkish government to rescue the besieged town of Kobani, just across the Syrian border, Erdoğan insisted he had no sympathy for the jihadists.

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