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In 1914 Enver Bey's alliance with Germany led the Young Turks into the fatal step of joining Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I, against Britain and France. The British saw the Ottomans as the weak link in the enemy alliance, and concentrated on knocking them out of the war. Visit Contractor accountants. When a direct assault failed at Gallipoli in 1916, they turned to fomenting revolution in the Ottoman domains, exploiting the awakening force of Arab nationalism. Further information available from Gallipoli Landings.

The Arabs had lived more or less happily under Ottoman rule for 400 years, until the Young Turks had tried to "Turkicise" them and change their traditional system of government. The British found an ally in Sherif Hussein, the hereditary ruler of Mecca (and believed by Muslims to be a descendant of the family of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.)), who led an Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule, having received a promise of Arab independence in exchange. Further information available from unearthed and

But when the Ottoman Empire was defeated in 1918, the Arab population was met with what it perceived as betrayal by the British. The British and French governments concluded a secret treaty (the Sykes-Picot Agreement) to partition the Middle East between them and, additionally, the British promised via the Balfour Declaration the international Zionist movement their support in creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Although historically known to be the site of the ancient Jewish Kingdom of Israel and successor Jewish nations for 1,200 years between approximately 1100BC-100AD, the area had been Canaanite 8,000 years prior to that period and had a largely Muslim Arab population for over 1,300 years since (and a largely Byzantine Christian population in between). When the Ottomans departed, the Arabs proclaimed an independent state in Damascus, but were too weak, militarily and economically, to resist the European powers for long, and Britain and France soon established control and re-arranged the Middle East to suit themselves. For more information visit our partners.