Main Factors That Influenced the Political Structure of the Middle East

Geopolitical Factor!
We ask ourselves: what is the Middle East?
•   Why do we call it the Middle East?
•   In the 19th century, people did not think of the current Middle East as the “Middle East”.
•   Ethnocentric Europeans viewed the rest of the world according to its distance to Europe—which they perceived as the centre of the world.
•   The current Middle East used to be referred to as the ‘Near East’.
•   In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Near East was referred to as the ‘Eastern Question’.
•   The Near East referred to Asia Minor (Turkey), the Levant (Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan), Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), and even included all of the Balkan states (Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina), which were part of the Ottoman Empire, and parts of North Africa.
•   The Balkans represented an important aspect of European diplomacy; especially important to the Europeans was their desire to try to get the Ottomans out of the Balkans.
•   Today the Middle East and Near East are synonymous.
•   During the Second World War, Great Britain moved its headquarters from India to Cairo and they became known as the Middle East headquarters. Suddenly people stopped calling India the Middle East and started calling the Near East the Middle East.

•   There are different views as to what constitutes the Middle East.
•   The Minimalists consider the Middle East to be formed of the following states:

    o   Turkey
    o   The Levant states (Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan)
    o   Egypt
    o   The Arabian peninsula (Saudi-Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United-Arab-Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait)
    o   Iraq
    o   Iran

•   So the Middle East goes from Egypt to Iran (West to East) and from Turkey to Yemen (North to South).
•   Some minimalists include Libya, but that is debatable.

•   The Maximalists go from Morocco, including the Maghreb states (Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco) to Iran.
•   Some even include Pakistan and the Sudan.
•   Countries...