ISTANBUL • Almost exactly one century ago, the last remaining troops of the Turkish empire in the Middle East surrendered and limped back home, an event which transformed the region. Britain and France went on to dominate the region for a few decades thereafter but basically, the Middle East we know today was born in that final act of Turkish withdrawal in 1919.
Yet, being in Istanbul - the former capital of that old mighty Turkish empire - a century after that seminal event, it's hard to escape the conclusion that the Middle East is on the verge of another historic transformation and most certainly not in a positive sense.
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