18/3/1915 The Allies carve up Turkey

Britain has agreed to a Russian request to take over Constantinople and the Straits, in return for increased influence in Persia. France has demanded the right to annex Syria as its price for acquiescence. The Russians now reply that they will accept this, provided that this French annexation does not extend so far south as to include Palestine. Russia’s leaders feel that some kind of special arrangement must be put in place for the Holy Land.

For all that the Allies are being a bit free and easy with Turkish territory, the Ottoman Empire remains as yet undefeated. Nevertheless, the Allies are confident that after Sarikamish and the Suez debacle it will only take one more blow to knock Turkey out of the war. The imminent British and French naval assault on the Straits is to be that blow.

Image source: The Mosque of Sultan Ahmed, Constantinople (Family of Tom Blanck & Maggie Land Blanck, originally from National Geographic, December 1914)

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