An Imperial Traveler: Mark Sykes and His Impressions in the Middle East through His Article and Notes in the Late 19th Century

Aslanmirza Ö.

Tarih Dergisi, vol.73, pp.173-194, 2021 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 73
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/iutd.739895
  • Journal Name: Tarih Dergisi
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, L'Année philologique, Historical Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.173-194
  • Keywords: Mark Sykes, British-Ottoman relations, Travelling, Orientalism, Middle East
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of this study is to explore Mark Sykes's experiences as a traveler and how they shaped his attitude towards Britain and the Middle East. Renowned for his contribution to the partition of the Ottoman Empire via the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, this study examines his early observations of the Middle East and his relation to the political agenda of Ottoman-British relations. Sykes's private notes and his publications will be compared for differences enabling us to discern how his two texts reveal his Orientalist mindset and early impressions of the Middle East. With reference to archival sources, this study helps us to understand how Sykes's opinions developed and were formative in the political agenda of the Middle East.