The Info List - Near East

The Near East
Near East
is a geographical term that roughly encompasses Western Asia. Despite having varying definitions within different academic circles, the term was originally applied to the maximum extent of the Ottoman Empire. Unlike in other Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
spoken in Europe
where it remains, the term has fallen into disuse in English and has been replaced by the terms "Middle East" and "West Asia", the former of which may include Egypt, and the latter strictly Southwest Asia
including the Transcaucasus. According to the National Geographic Society, the terms Near East
Near East
and Middle East
Middle East
denote the same territories and are "generally accepted as comprising the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian territories, Syria, and Turkey".[1] The Food and Agriculture Organization
Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO) of the United Nations
United Nations
defines the region similarly, but also includes Afghanistan
while excluding the countries of North Africa
North Africa
and the Palestinian territories.[2]


1 Eastern Questions 2 Background

2.1 Ideas of the east up to the Crimean War 2.2 Original diplomatic concept of near east 2.3 Original archaeological concept of nearer east 2.4 Balkan confusion

2.4.1 Sir Henry Norman and his first wife 2.4.2 William Miller 2.4.3 Arnold Toynbee

2.5 Rise of the Middle East

2.5.1 Origin of the concept of Middle East 2.5.2 Single region concept 2.5.3 One presumed region, one name

3 Current meaning

3.1 Diplomatic

3.1.1 Influential agencies represented in the table 3.1.2 Table of near eastern countries recognized by some agencies 3.1.3 Other regional systems

3.2 Archaeological 3.3 Academic

4 See also 5 References 6 Bibliography 7 External links

Eastern Questions[edit] At the beginning of the 19th century the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
included all of the Balkan Peninsula
Balkan Peninsula
south to the southern edge of the Hungarian Plain, but by 1914 had lost all of it except Constantinople
and Eastern Thrace
Eastern Thrace
to the rise of Balkan nationalism, which saw the independence of Greece, Serbia, the Danubian Principalities
Danubian Principalities
and Bulgaria. Up until 1912 the Ottomans retained a band of territory including Albania, Macedonia and Southern Thrace, which were lost in the two Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
of 1912–13.

The Near East
Near East
as defined as the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
at the beginning of the Eastern Question

The Ottoman Empire, believed to be about to collapse, was portrayed in the press as the "sick man of Europe". The Balkan states, with the partial exception of Bosnia and Albania, were primarily Christian, as was the Arab zone of Lebanon. Starting in 1894 the Ottomans struck at the Armenians
on the explicit grounds that they were a non-Muslim people and as such were a potential threat to the Muslim
empire within which they resided[citation needed]. The Hamidian Massacres
Hamidian Massacres
aroused the indignation of the entire Christian world. In the United States the now aging Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, leaped into the war of words and joined the Red Cross. Relations of minorities within the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and the disposition of former Ottoman lands became known as the "Eastern Question", as the Ottomans were on the east of Europe. It now became relevant to define the east of the eastern question. In about the middle of the 19th century "Near East" came into use to describe that part of the east closest to Europe. The term "Far East" appeared contemporaneously meaning Japan, China, Korea, Indonesia
and Vietnam. "Near East" applied to what had been mainly known as the Levant, which was in the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Porte, or government. Those who used the term had little choice about its meaning. They could not set foot on most of the shores of the southern and central Mediterranean from the Gulf of Sidra
Gulf of Sidra
to Albania
without permits from the Ottoman Empire. Some regions beyond the Ottoman Porte
Ottoman Porte
were included. One was North Africa
west of Egypt. It was occupied by piratical kingdoms of the Barbary Coast, de facto independent since the 18th century. Formerly part of the empire at its apogee. Iran
was included because it could not easily be reached except through the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
or neighboring Russia. In the 1890s the term tended to focus on the conflicts in the Balkan states and Armenia. The demise of the sick man of Europe
left considerable confusion as to what was to be meant by "Near East". It is now generally used only in historical contexts, to describe the countries of Western Asia
Western Asia
from the Mediterranean to (or including) Iran.[3] There is, in short, no universally understood fixed inventory of nations, languages or historical assets defined to be in it. Background[edit]

Inhabitants of the Near East, late 19th century

The geographical terms "Near East" and "Far East" referring to areas of the globe in or contiguous to the former British Empire
British Empire
and the neighboring colonies of the Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and Germans, fit together as a pair based on the opposites of far and near, suggesting that they were innovated together. They appear together in the journals of the mid-19th century. Both terms were used before then with local British and American meanings: the near or far east of a field, village or shire. Ideas of the east up to the Crimean War[edit] There was a linguistic predisposition to use such terms. The Romans had used them in near Gaul / far Gaul, near Spain / far Spain and others. Before them the Greeks had the habit, which appears in Linear B, the oldest known script of Europe, referring to the near province and the far province of the kingdom of Pylos. Usually these terms were given with reference to a geographic feature, such as a mountain range or a river. Ptolemy's Geography divided Asia
on a similar basis. In the north is "Scythia this side of the Himalayas" and "Scythia beyond the Himalayas".[4] To the south is "India on this side of the Ganges" and "India beyond the Ganges".[5] Asia
began on the coast of Anatolia ("land of the rising Sun"). Beyond the Ganges
and Himalayas
(including the Tien Shan) were Serica
and Serae (sections of China) and some other identifiable far eastern locations known to the voyagers and geographers but not to the general European public. By the time of John Seller's Atlas Maritima of 1670, "India Beyond the Ganges" had become "the East Indies" including China, Korea, southeast Asia
and the islands of the Pacific in a map that was every bit as distorted as Ptolemy's, despite the lapse of approximately 1500 years.[6] That "east" in turn was only an English translation of Latin Oriens and Orientalis, "the land of the rising Sun", used since Roman times for "east". The world map of Jodocus Hondius
Jodocus Hondius
of 1590 labels all of Asia
from the Caspian to the Pacific as India Orientalis,[7] shortly to appear in translation as the East Indies.

Ottoman Porte, 1767, gateway to trade with the Levant. Painting by Antoine de Favray.

Elizabeth I of England, primarily interested in trade with the east, collaborated with English merchants to form the first trading companies to the far-flung regions, using their own jargon. Their goals were to obtain trading concessions by treaty. The queen chartered the Company of Merchants of the Levant, shortened to Levant Company, and soon known also as The Turkey
Company, in 1581. In 1582, the ship The Great Susan transported the first ambassador, William Harebone, to the Ottoman Porte
Ottoman Porte
(government of the Ottoman Empire) at Constantinople.[8] Compared to Anatolia, Levant
also means "land of the rising sun," but where Anatolia
always only meant the projection of land currently occupied by the Republic of Turkey, Levant
meant anywhere in the domain ruled by the Ottoman Porte. The East India Company (short for a much longer formal name) was chartered in 1600 for trade to the East Indies. It has pleased western historians to write of a decline of the Ottoman Empire as though a stable and uncontested polity of that name once existed. The borders did expand and contract but they were always dynamic and always in "question" right from the beginning. The Ottoman Empire was created from the lands of the former eastern Roman Empire on the occasion of the latter's violent demise. The last Roman emperor died fighting hand-to-hand in the streets of his capital, Constantinople, overwhelmed by the Ottoman military, in May, 1453. The victors inherited his remaining territory in the Balkans. The populations of those lands did not accept Turkish rule. The Turks to them were foreigners with completely different customs, way of life, and language. Intervals when there was no unrest were rare. The Hungarians had thrown off Turkish rule by 1688. Serbia
was created by the Serbian Revolution, 1815–1833. The Greek War of Independence, 1821–1832, created modern Greece, which recovered most of the lands of ancient Greece, but could not gain Constantinople. The Ottoman Porte was continuously under attack from some quarter in its empire, primarily the Balkans. Also, on a number of occasions in the early 19th century, American and British warships had to attack the Barbary pirates to stop their piracy and recover thousands of enslaved Europeans and Americans. In 1853 the Russian Empire on behalf of the Slavic Balkan states began to question the very existence of the Ottoman Empire. The result was the Crimean War, 1853–1856, in which the British Empire
British Empire
and the French Empire supported the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in its struggle against the incursions of the Russian Empire. Eventually, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
lost control of the Balkan region. Original diplomatic concept of near east[edit]

British troops, Crimea, 1855

Until about 1855 the words near east and far east did not refer to any particular region. The far East, a phrase containing a noun, East, qualified by an adjective, far, could be at any location in the "far east" of the speaker's home territory. The Ottoman Empire, for example, was the far East as much as the East Indies. The Crimean War brought a change in vocabulary with the introduction of terms more familiar to the late 19th century. The Russian Empire had entered a more aggressive phase, becoming militarily active against the Ottoman Empire and also against China, with territorial aggrandizement explicitly in mind. Rethinking its policy the British government decided that the two polities under attack were necessary for the balance of power. It therefore undertook to oppose the Russians in both places, one result being the Crimean War. During that war the administration of the British Empire
British Empire
began promulgating a new vocabulary, giving specific regional meaning to "the Near East", the Ottoman Empire, and "the Far East", the East Indies. The two terms were now compound nouns often shown hyphenated. In 1855 a reprint of a letter earlier sent to The Times
The Times
appeared in Littel's Living Age.[9] Its author, an "official Chinese interpreter of 10 years' active service" and a member of the Oriental Club, Thomas Taylor Meadows, was replying to the suggestion by another interpreter that the British Empire
British Empire
was wasting its resources on a false threat from Russia against China. Toward the end of the letter he said:

To support the "sick man" in the Near East
Near East
is an arduous and costly affair; let England, France and America too, beware how they create a "sick giant" in the Far East, for they may rest assured that, if Turkey
is [a] European necessity, China
is a world necessity.

Much of the colonial administration belonged to this club, which had been formed by the Duke of Wellington. Meadows' terminology must represent usage by that administration. If not the first use of the terms, the letter to the Times was certainly one of the earliest presentations of this vocabulary to the general public. They became immediately popular, supplanting "Levant" and "East Indies", which gradually receded to minor usages and then began to change meaning. Original archaeological concept of nearer east[edit]


"Near East" remained popular in diplomatic, trade and journalistic circles, but a variation soon developed among the scholars and the men of the cloth and their associates: "the Nearer East", reverting to the classical and then more scholarly distinction of "nearer" and "farther". They undoubtedly saw a need to separate the Biblical lands from the terrain of the Ottoman Empire. The Christians saw the country as the land of the Old and New Testaments, where Christianity had developed. The scholars in the field of studies that eventually became Biblical archaeology
Biblical archaeology
attempted to define it on the basis of archaeology. For example, The London Review of 1861 (Telford and Barber, unsigned) in reviewing several works by Rawlinson, Layard and others, defined themselves as making:[10]

…an imperfect conspectus of the arrow-headed writings of the nearer east; writings which cover nearly the whole period of the postdiluvian Old Testament history…

By arrow-headed writings they meant cuneiform texts. In defense of the Bible as history they said:[11]

The primeval nations, that piled their glorious homes on the Euphrates, the Tigris, and the Nile, are among us again with their archives in their hands;…

They further defined the nations as:[12]

...the countries lying between the Caspian, the Persian Gulf, and the Mediterranean...

The regions in their inventory were Assyria, Chaldea, Mesopotamia, Persia, Armenia, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, Ancient Israel, Ethiopia, Caucasus, Libya, Anatolia
and Abyssinia. Explicitly excluded is India. No mention is made of the Balkans. British archaeologist D.G. Hogarth published The Nearer East in 1902, in which he stated his view of "The Near East":[13]

The Nearer East is a term of current fashion for a region which our grandfathers were content to call simply The East. Its area is generally understood to coincide with those classic lands, historically the most interesting on the surface of the globe, which lie about the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea; but few probably could say offhand where should be the limits and why.

Hogarth then proceeds to say where and why in some detail, but no more mention is made of the classics. His analysis is geopolitical. His map delineates the Nearer East with regular lines as though surveyed. They include Iran, the Balkans, but not the Danube
lands, Egypt, but not the rest of North Africa.[14] Except for the Balkans, the region matches the later Middle East. It differs from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
of the times in including Greece
and Iran. Hogarth gives no evidence of being familiar with the contemporaneous initial concept of the Middle East.[original research?] Balkan confusion[edit] In the last years of the 19th century the term "Near East" acquired considerable disrepute in eyes of the English-speaking public as did the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
itself. The cause of the onus was the religiously motivated Hamidian Massacres
Hamidian Massacres
of Christian Armenians, but it seemed to spill over into the protracted conflicts of the Balkans. For a time, "Near East" meant primarily the Balkans. Robert Hichens' book The Near East (1913) is subtitled Dalmatia, Greece
and Constantinople. Sir Henry Norman and his first wife[edit] The change is evident in the reports of influential British travelers to the Balkans. In 1894, Sir Henry Norman, 1st Baronet, a journalist, traveled to the Far East, afterwards writing a book called The Peoples and Politics of the Far East, which came out in 1895. By "Far East" he meant Siberia, China, Japan, Korea, Siam
and Malaya. As the book was a big success, he was off to the Balkan states with his wife in 1896 to develop detail for a sequel, The People and Politics of the Near East, which Scribners planned to publish in 1897. Mrs. Norman, a writer herself, wrote glowing letters of the home and person of Mme. Zakki, "the wife of a Turkish cabinet minister," who, she said, was a cultivated woman living in a country home full of books. As for the natives of the Balkans, they were "a semi-civilized people".[15] The planned book was never published, however Norman published the gist of the book, mixed with vituperation against the Ottoman Empire, in an article in June, 1896, in Scribner's Magazine. The empire had descended from an enlightened civilization ruling over barbarians for their own good to something considerably less. The difference was the Hamidian Massacres, which were being conducted even as the couple traveled the Balkans. According to Norman now, the empire had been established by "the Moslem horde" from Asia, which was stopped by "intrepid Hungary." Furthermore, " Greece
shook off the turbaned destroyer of her people" and so on. The Russians were suddenly liberators of oppressed Balkan states. Having portrayed the Armenians as revolutionaries in the name of freedom with the expectation of being rescued by the intervention of Christian Europe, he states "but her hope was vain." England had "turned her back." Norman concluded his exhortation with "In the Balkans
one learns to hate the Turk." Norman made sure that Gladstone read the article. Prince Nicolas of Montenegro
wrote a letter thanking him for his article.[16] Throughout this article Norman uses "Near East" to mean the countries where "the eastern question" applied; that is, to all of the Balkans. The countries and regions mentioned are Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina
(which was Muslim
and needed, in his view, to be suppressed), Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Romania. The rest of the Ottoman domain is demoted to just "the east." William Miller[edit] If Norman was apparently attempting to change British policy, it was perhaps William Miller (1864–1945), journalist and expert on the Near East, who did the most in that direction. In essence, he signed the death warrant, so to speak, of the Age of Empires. The fall of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
ultimately enmeshed all the others as well. In the Travel and Politics in the Near East, 1898, Miller claimed to have made four trips to the Balkans, 1894, 1896, 1897 and 1898, and to be, in essence, an expert on "the Near East," by which he primarily meant the Balkans.[17] Apart from the fact that he attended Oxford and played Rugby not many biographical details have been promulgated. He was in effect (whatever his formal associations if any) a point man of British near eastern intelligence. In Miller's view, the Ottoman officials were unfit to rule:[18]

The plain fact is, that it is as hard for an Ottoman official to be honest as it is for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle. It is not so much the fault of the men as the fault of the system, which is thoroughly bad from top to bottom... Turkish administration is synonymous with corruption, inefficiency, and sloth.

These were fighting words to be coming from a country that once insisted Europe
needed Turkey
and was willing to spill blood over it. For his authority Miller invokes the people, citing the "collective wisdom" of Europe, and introducing a concept to arise many times in the decades to follow under chilling circumstances:[19]

…no final solution of the difficulty has yet been found.

Miller's final pronouncements on the topic could not be ignored by either the British or the Ottoman governments:[20]

It remains then to consider whether the Great Powers can solve the Eastern Question... Foreigners find it extremely difficult to understand the foreign, and especially the Eastern policy of Great Britain, and we cannot wonder at their difficulty, for it seems a mass of contradictions to Englishmen themselves... At one moment we are bringing about the independence of Greece
by sending the Turkish fleet to the bottom of the bay of Navarino. Twenty-seven years later we are spending immense sums and wasting thousands of lives in order to protect the Turks against Russia.

If the British Empire
British Empire
was now going to side with the Russian Empire, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
had no choice but to cultivate a relationship with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was supported by the German Empire. In a few years these alignments became the Triple Entente
Triple Entente
and the Triple Alliance (already formed in 1882), which were in part a cause of World War I. By its end in 1918 three empires were gone, a fourth was about to fall to revolution, and two more, the British and French, were forced to yield in revolutions started under the aegis of their own ideologies. Arnold Toynbee[edit]

Australian troops, Gallipoli, 1915. The battle was an Ottoman victory.

By 1916, when millions of Europeans were becoming casualties of imperial war in the trenches of eastern and western Europe
over "the eastern question," Arnold J. Toynbee, Hegelesque historian of civilization at large, was becoming metaphysical about the Near East. Geography alone was not a sufficient explanation of the terms, he believed. If the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
had been a sick man, then:[21]

"There has been something pathological about the history of this Near Eastern World. It has had an undue share of political misfortunes, and had lain for centuries in a kind of spiritual paralysis between East and West—belonging to neither, partaking paradoxically of both, and wholly unable to rally itself decidedly to one or the other...."

Having supposed that it was sick, he kills it off:

"The Near East
Near East
has never been more true to itself than in its lurid dissolution; past and present are fused together in the flare."

To Toynbee the Near East
Near East
was a spiritual being of a "Janus-character," connected to both east and west:

The limits of the Near East
Near East
are not easy to define. On the north-west, Vienna is the most conspicuous boundary-mark, but one might almost equally well single out Trieste or Lvov or even Prag. Towards the southeast, the boundaries are even more shadowy. It is perhaps best to equate them with the frontiers of the Arabic language, yet the genius of the Near East
Near East
overrides linguistic barriers, and encroaches on the Arabicspeaking world on the one side as well as on the German-speaking world on the other. Syria
is essentially a Near Eastern country, and a physical geographer would undoubtedly carry the Near Eastern frontiers up to the desert belt of the Sahara, Nefud and Kevir.

From the death of the Near East
Near East
new nations were able to rise from the ashes, notably the Republic of Turkey. Paradoxically it now aligned itself with the west rather than with the east. Mustafa Kemal, its founder, a former Ottoman high-ranking officer, was insistent on this social revolution, which, among other changes, liberated women from the strait rules still in effect in most Arabic-speaking countries. The demise of the political Near East
Near East
now left a gap where it had been, into which stepped the Middle East. Rise of the Middle East[edit] Origin of the concept of Middle East[edit] The term middle east as a noun and adjective was common in the 19th century in nearly every context except diplomacy and archaeology. An uncountable number of places appear to have had their middle easts from gardens to regions, including the United States. The innovation of the term "Near East" to mean the holdings of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
as early as the Crimean War
Crimean War
had left a geographical gap. The East Indies, or "Far East," derived ultimately from Ptolemy's "India Beyond the Ganges." The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
ended at the eastern border of Iraq. "India This Side of the Ganges" and Iran
had been omitted. The archaeologists counted Iran
as "the Near East" because Old Persian cuneiform had been found there. This usage did not sit well with the diplomats; India was left in an equivocal state. They needed a regional term. The use of the term Middle East
Middle East
as a region of international affairs apparently began in British and American diplomatic circles quite independently of each other over concern for the security of the same country: Iran, then known to the west as Persia. In 1900 Thomas Edward Gordon published an article, The Problem of the Middle East, which began:[22]

"It may be assumed that the most sensitive part of our external policy in the Middle East
Middle East
is the preservation of the independence and integrity of Persia and Afghanistan. Our active interest in Persia began with the present century, and was due to the belief that the invasion of India by a European Power was a probable event."

The threat that caused Gordon, diplomat and military officer, to publish the article was resumption of work on a railway from Russia to the Persian Gulf. Gordon, a published author, had not used the term previously, but he was to use it from then on. A second strategic personality from American diplomatic and military circles, Alfred Thayer Mahan, concerned about the naval vulnerability of the trade routes in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
and Indian Ocean, commented in 1902:[23]

"The middle East, if I may adopt a term which I have not seen, will some day need its Malta, as well as its Gibraltar; it does not follow that either will be in the Gulf. Naval force has the quality of mobility which carries with it the privilege of temporary absences; but it needs to find on every scene of operation established bases of refit, of supply, and, in case of disaster, of security. The British Navy should have the facility to concentrate in force, if occasion arise, about Aden, India, and the Gulf."

Apparently the sailor did not connect with the soldier, as Mahan believed he was innovating the term Middle East. It was, however, already there to be seen. Single region concept[edit] Until the period following World War I
World War I
the Near East
Near East
and the Middle East coexisted, but they were not always seen as distinct. Bertram Lenox Simpson, a colonial officer killed eventually in China, uses the terms together in his 1910 book, The Conflict of Color, as "the Near and Middle East." The total super-region consisted of "India, Afghanistan, Persia, Arabistan, Asia
Minor, and last, but not least, Egypt."[24] Simpson (under his pen-name, Weale) explains that this entire region "is politically one region – in spite of the divisions into which it is academically divided." His own term revives "the Nearer East" as opposed to "the Far East." The basis of Simpson's unity is color and colonial subjection. His color chart recognizes a spectrum of black, brown and yellow, which at the time had been traditional since the late 19th century. Apart from these was "the great white race", which the moderate Simpson tones down to simply the white race. The great whites were appearing as late as the 1920s works of James Henry Breasted, which were taught as the gospel of ancient history throughout the entire first half of the 20th century. A red wavelength was mainly of interest in America. The eastern question was modified by Simpson to "The Problem of the Nearer East," which had nothing to do with the Ottomans but everything to do with British colonialism. Simpson wrote of the white man:[24]

"... in India, in Central Asia, and in all the regions adjacent to the Near East, he still boldly remains a conqueror in possession of vast stretches of valuable territory; a conqueror who has no intention of lightly surrendering his conquests, and who indeed sees in every attempt to modify the old order of things a most hateful and unjustifiable revolt which must at all costs be repressed. This is so absolutely true that no candid person will be inclined to dispute it."

These regions were occupied by "the brown men," with the yellow in the Far East
Far East
and the black in Africa. The color issue was not settled until Kenya
became independent in 1963, ending the last vestige of the British Empire. This view reveals a somewhat less than altruistic Christian intent of the British Empire; however, it was paradoxical from the beginning, as Simpson and most other writers pointed out. The Ottomans were portrayed as the slavers, but even as the American and British fleets were striking at the Barbary pirates
Barbary pirates
on behalf of freedom, their countries were promulgating a vigorous African slave trade of their own. Charles George Gordon
Charles George Gordon
is known as the saint of all British colonial officers. A dedicated Christian, he spent his time between assignments living among the poor and donating his salary on their behalf. He won Ottoman confidence as a junior officer in the Crimean War. In his later career he became a high official in the Ottoman Empire, working as Governor of Egypt
for the Ottoman khedive for the purpose of conducting campaigns against slavers and slavery in Egypt and the Sudan. One presumed region, one name[edit] The term "Near and Middle East," held the stage for a few years before World War I. It proved to be less acceptable to a colonial point of view that saw the entire region as one. In 1916 Captain T.C. Fowle, 40th Pathans (troops of British India), wrote of a trip he had taken from Karachi
to Syria
just before the war. The book does not contain a single instance of "Near East." Instead, the entire region is considered "the Middle East."[25] The formerly Near Eastern sections of his trip are now "Turkish" and not Ottoman. Subsequently, with the disgrace of "Near East" in diplomatic and military circles, "Middle East" prevailed. However, "Near East" continues in some circles at the discretion of the defining agency or academic department. They are not generally considered distinct regions as they were at their original definition. Although racial and colonial definitions of the Middle East
Middle East
are no longer considered ideologically sound, the sentiment of unity persists. For much, but by no means all, of the Middle East, the predominance of Islam lends some unity, as does the transient accident of geographical continuity. Otherwise there is but little basis except for history and convention to lump together peoples of multiple, often unrelated languages, governments, loyalties and customs. Current meaning[edit] Diplomatic[edit] In the 20th century after decades of intense warfare and political turmoil terms such as "Near East", "Far East", and "Middle East" were relegated to the experts, especially in the new field of political science. The new wave of diplomats often came from those programs. Archaeology on the international scene, although very much of intellectual interest to the major universities, fell into the shadow of international relations. Their domain became the Ancient Near East, which could no longer be relied upon to be the Near East. The Ottoman Empire was gone, along with all the other empires of the 19th century, replaced with independent republics. Someone had to reconcile the present with the past. This duty was inherited by various specialized agencies that were formed to handle specific aspects of international relations, now so complex as to be beyond the scope and abilities of a diplomatic corps in the former sense. The ancient Near East
Near East
is frozen in time. The living Near East
Near East
is primarily what the agencies say it is. In most cases this single term is inadequate to describe the geographical range of their operations. The result is multiple definitions.[citation needed] Influential agencies represented in the table[edit]

Logotype of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

The United States is the chief remaining nation to assign official responsibilities to a region called the Near East. Within the government the State Department has been most influential in promulgating the Near Eastern regional system. The countries of the former empires of the 19th century have in general abandoned the term and the subdivision in favor of Middle East, North Africa, and various forms of Asia. In many cases, such as France, no distinct regional substructures have been employed. Each country has its own French diplomatic apparatus, although regional terms, including Proche-Orient and Moyen-Orient, can be used in a descriptive sense.[citation needed] Some of the most influential agencies in the United States still use Near East
Near East
as a working concept. For example, the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, a division of the United States Department of State, is perhaps the most influential agency to still use the term Near East. Under the Secretary of State, it implements the official diplomacy of the United States, called also statecraft by Secretary Clinton. The name of the bureau is traditional and historic. There is, however, no distinct Middle East. All official Middle Eastern affairs are referred to this bureau.[26] Working closely in conjunction with the definition of the Near East provided by the State Department is the Near East
Near East
South Asia
Center for Strategic Studies (NESA), an educational institution of the United States Department of Defense. It teaches courses and holds seminars and workshops for government officials and military officers who will work or are working within its region. As the name indicates, that region is a combination of State Department regions; however, NESA is careful to identify the State Department region.[27] As its Near East is not different from the State Department's it does not appear in the table. Its name, however, is not entirely accurate. For example, its region includes Mauritania, a member of the State Department's Africa (Sub-Sahara).[citation needed] The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
(WINEP) is a non-profit organization for research and advice on Middle Eastern policy. It regards its target countries as the Middle East
Middle East
but adopts the convention of calling them the Near East
Near East
to be in conformance with the practices of the State Department. Its views are independent.[28] The WINEP bundles the countries of Northwest Africa
together under "North Africa". Details can be found in Policy Focus #65.[29] Table of near eastern countries recognized by some agencies[edit]

Country UN FAO Ency. Brit.[citation needed] Nat. Geo. State Dept. WINEP

Afghanistan ✓ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗

Algeria ✗ ✗ ✗ ✓ ✓

Bahrain ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Cyprus ✓ ✓ ✓ ✗ ✗

Egypt ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Iran ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Iraq ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Israel ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Jordan ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Kuwait ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Lebanon ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Libya ✗ ✓ ✗ ✓ ✓

Mauritania ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ ✓

Morocco ✗ ✗ ✗ ✓ ✓

Oman ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Palestinian territories ✗ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Pakistan ✗ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Qatar ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Saudi Arabia ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Syria ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Tunisia ✗ ✗ ✗ ✓ ✓

Turkey ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

United Arab Emirates ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Yemen ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓

Legend: ✓ included; ✗ excluded Other regional systems[edit] The United Nations
United Nations
formulates multiple regional divisions as is convenient for its various operations. But few of them include a Near East, and that poorly defined. UNICEF
recognizes the " Middle East
Middle East
and North Africa" region, where the Middle East
Middle East
is bounded by the Red Sea on the west and includes Iran
on the east.[30] UNESCO
recognizes neither a Near East
Near East
nor a Middle East, dividing the countries instead among three regions: Arab States, Asia
and the Pacific, and Africa. Its division "does not forcibly reflect geography" but "refers to the execution of regional activities."[31] The United Nations
United Nations
Statistics Division defines Western Asia
Western Asia
to contain the countries included elsewhere in the Middle East.[32] Its total area extends further into Central Asia
than that of most agencies. The Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) is a quasi-independent agency of the United States Government. It appears to have multiple leadership. On the one hand its director is appointed by the president. It plays a significant role in providing the president with intelligence. On the other hand, Congress oversees its operations through a committee. The CIA was first formed under the National Security Act of 1947
National Security Act of 1947
from the army's Office of Strategic Services
Office of Strategic Services
(OSS), which furnished both military intelligence and clandestine military operations to the army during the crisis of World War II. Many revisions and redefinitions have taken place since then. Although the name of the CIA reflects the original advised intent of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
and Harry S. Truman, the government's needs for strategic services have frustrated that intent from the beginning. The press received by the agency in countless articles, novels and other media have tended to create various popular myths; for example, that this agency replaced any intelligence effort other than that of the OSS, or that it contains the central intelligence capability of the United States. Strategic services are officially provided by some 17 agencies called the Intelligence Community. Army intelligence did not come to an end; in fact, all the branches of the Armed Forces retained their intelligence services. This community is currently under the leadership (in addition to all its other leadership) of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Under these complex circumstances regional names are less useful. They are more historical than an accurate gauge of operations. The Directorate of Intelligence, one of four directorates into which the CIA is divided, includes the Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis (NESA). Its duties are defined as "support on Middle Eastern and North African countries, as well as on the South Asian nations of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan."[33] The total range of countries is in fact the same as the State Department's Near East, but the names do not correspond. The Near East
Near East
of the NESA is the same as the Middle East defined in the CIA-published on-line resource, The World Factbook. Its list of countries is limited by the Red Sea, comprises the entire eastern coast of the Mediterranean, including Israel, Turkey, the small nations of the Caucasus, Iran
and the states of the Arabian Peninsula.[34] The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), an independent agency under the Department of State established in place of the Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
for the purpose of determining and distributing foreign aid, does not use the term Near East. Its definition of Middle East corresponds to that of the State Department, which officially prefers the term Near East.[35] The Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
of United Kingdom recognises a Middle East
Middle East
and North Africa
North Africa
region, but not a Near East. Their original Middle East
Middle East
consumed the Near East
Near East
as far as the Red Sea, ceded India to the Asia
and Oceania
region, and went into partnership with North Africa
North Africa
as far as the Atlantic.[36] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Greece
conducts "bilateral relationships" with the countries of the "Mediterranean – Middle East
Middle East
Region" but has formulated no Near East
Near East
Region.[37] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey
also does not use the term Near East. Its regions include the Middle East, the Balkans
and others.[38] Archaeological[edit] The Ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
is a term of the 20th century intended to stabilize the geographical application of Near East
Near East
to ancient history.[citation needed] The Near East
Near East
may acquire varying meanings, but the Ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
always has the same meaning: the ancient nations, people and languages of the enhanced Fertile Crescent, a sweep of land from the Nile Valley
Nile Valley
through Anatolia
and southward to the limits of Mesopotamia. Resorting to this verbal device, however, did not protect the "Ancient Near East" from the inroads of "the Middle East." For example, a high point in the use of "Ancient Near East" was for Biblical scholars the Ancient Near Eastern Texts relating to the Old Testament by James Bennett Pritchard, a textbook of first edition dated 1950. The last great book written by Leonard Woolley, British archaeologist, excavator of ancient Ur and associate of T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence
and Arthur Evans, was The Art of the Middle East, Including Persia, Mesopotamia and Palestine, published in 1961. Woolley had completed it in 1960 two weeks before his death. The geographical ranges in each case are identical. Parallel with the growth of specialized agencies for conducting or supporting statescraft in the second half of the 20th century has been the collection of resources for scholarship and research typically in university settings. Most universities teaching the liberal arts have library and museum collections. These are not new; however, the erection of these into "centres" of national and international interest in the second half of the 20th century have created larger databases not available to the scholars of the past. Many of these focus on the Ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
or Near East
Near East
in the sense of Ancient Near East. One such institution is the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents (CSAD) founded by and located centrally at Oxford University, Great Britain. Among its many activities CSAD numbers "a long-term project to create a library of digitised images of Greek inscriptions." These it arranges by region. The Egypt
and the Near East
Near East
region besides Egypt
includes Cyprus, Persia and Afghanistan
but not Asia
Minor (a separate region).[39] Academic[edit] A large percentage of experts on the modern Middle East
Middle East
began their training in university departments named for the Near East. Similarly the journals associated with these fields of expertise include the words Near East
Near East
or Near Eastern. The meaning of Near East
Near East
in these numerous establishments and publications is Middle East. Expertise on the modern Middle East
Middle East
is almost never mixed or confused with studies of the Ancient Near East, although often "Ancient Near East" is abbreviated to "Near East" without any implication of modern times. For example, "Near Eastern Languages" in the ancient sense includes such languages as Sumerian and Akkadian. In the modern sense, it is likely to mean any or all of the Arabic languages. See also[edit]

Ancient Near East Intermediate Region Eastern Mediterranean Fertile Crescent Syria
(region) Levant Mashriq Mesopotamia Middle East Near Eastern archaeology Oriental studies Transcaucasia Western Asia


^ "Middle East, Near East". Style Guide. National Geographic Society.  ^ "The Near East". Food and Agriculture Organization. United Nations.  ^ "Near East". Oxford Dictionary of English (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2003.  ^ Book
VI, Chapters 14, 15. ^ Book
VII, chapters 1, 2. ^ Tooley & Bricker 1989, pp. 135–136 ^ Tooley & Bricker 1989, p. 133 ^ Bent, J. Theodore, ed. (1893). Early Voyages and Travels in the Levant. London: The Hakluyt Society. p. viii.  ^ Meadows, Thomas Taylor (October–December 1855). "Chinese Insurgents and British Policy". Littell's Living Age. 47: 356–359.  ^ Telford & Barber 1861, p. 14. ^ Telford & Barber 1861, p. 6. ^ Telford & Barber 1861, p. 7. ^ Hogarth 1902, p. 1. ^ Hogarth 1902, Frontispiece ^ "Literary Chat: Two Traveled Authors". Munsey's Magazine. XV (1): 121–22. April 1896.  ^ Norman, Henry (June 1896). "In the Balkans
– the Chessboard of Europe". Scribner's Magazine. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 19 (6): 653–69.  ^ Miller 1898, p. ix. ^ Miller 1898, pp. 391–92. ^ Miller 1898, p. 479. ^ Miller 1898, p. 489. ^ Toynbee, Arnold J.; Great Britain Foreign Office (1916). The Treatment of Armenians
in the Ottoman Empire. London, New York [etc.]: Hodder and Stoughton. p. 595.  ^ Gordon, Thomas Edward (Jan–June 1900). Knowles, James, ed. "The Problem of the Middle East". The Nineteenth Century: a Monthly Review. London: Lowe, Marston & Company: 413.  Check date values in: date= (help) ^ Mahan, Alfred Thayer (1902). Retrospect and Prospect: Studies in International Relations Naval and Political. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. p. 237.  ^ a b Weale, Bertram Lenox Putnam (1910). The conflict of colour: the threatened upheaval throughout the world. New York: The MacMillan Company. pp. 184–187.  ^ Fowle, Trenchard Craven William (1916). "Preface". Travels in the Middle East: Being Impressions by the Way In Turkish Arabia, Syria, and Persia. New York: E.P. Dutton & Company.  ^ "Near Eastern Affairs: Countries and Other Areas". Diplomacy
in Action. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2011-06-19.  ^ "NESA Region". NESA. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.  ^ "Research Areas". The Washington Institute for Near East
Near East
Policy. Retrieved 19 June 2011.  ^ Hunt, Emily (February 2007). Islamist Terrorism in Northwestern Africa: a 'Thorn in the neck' of the United States? (PDF). Policy Focus #65. Washington, DC: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Archived from the original on 2008-08-27. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ " Middle East
Middle East
and North Africa". unicef. Retrieved 24 June 2011.  ^ "Arab States". UNESCO. Retrieved 24 June 2011.  ^ "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings". United Nations
United Nations
Statistics Division.  ^ "The Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 27 June 201.  Check date values in: access-date= (help) ^ "The Middle East". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 27 June 2011.  ^ "USAID Middle East
Middle East
Countries". USAID. Retrieved 20 June 2010.  ^ "Travel Advice by Country". Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2011.  ^ "Bilateral Relations". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Greece. Retrieved 29 June 2011.  ^ "Regions". Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 30 June 2011.  ^ " Egypt
and the Near East". CSAD. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 


Hogarth, David George (1902). The Nearer East. Appletons' World Series: The Regions of the World. New York: D. Appleton and Company.  Miller, William (1898). Travel and Politics in the Near East. London: T. Fisher Unwin.  Telford, John; Barber, Aquila. "Article I". The London Review, April and July 1861. London: Hamilton, Adams and Co. XVI: 1–33.  Tooley, R.V.; Bricker, Charles (1989). Landmarks of Mapmaking: an Illustrated History of Maps and Mapmakers. England: Dorset Press (Marlboro Books Corporation). 

External links[edit]

Media related to Near East
Near East
at Wikimedia Commons "Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (NEJS)". Brandeis University. Retrieved 29 June 2011.  "Department of Near Eastern Studies". University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 29 June 2011.  "Near Eastern Collection". Yale University
Yale University
Library. Retrieved 29 June 2011.  "Near Eastern Studies at Cornell". Cornell University
Cornell University
Department of Near Eastern Studies. Retrieved 30 June 2011.  "Netherlands Institute for the Near East". Leiden University. Retrieved 29 June 2011.  "Program in Near Eastern Studies". Princeton University. Retrieved 29 June 2011. 

Coordinates: 32°48′N 35°36′E / 32.800°N 35.600°E / 32.800; 35.600

v t e

CIA activities in Asia

Afghanistan Cambodia China India Indonesia Iran Iraq Laos Myanmar North Korea Pakistan Philippines Syria Turkey Vietnam Yemen

v t e

Regions of the world

v t e

Regions of Africa

Central Africa

Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Cape Lopez Mayombe Igboland


Maputaland Pool Malebo Congo Basin Chad Basin Congolese rainforests Ouaddaï highlands Ennedi Plateau

East Africa

African Great Lakes

Albertine Rift East African Rift Great Rift Valley Gregory Rift Rift Valley lakes Swahili coast Virunga Mountains Zanj

Horn of Africa

Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura

Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean

Comoros Islands

North Africa


Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains

Nile Valley

Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt

Western Sahara

West Africa

Pepper Coast Gold Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Niger Basin Guinean Forests of West Africa Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta

Southern Africa


Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands


North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta False Bay Hydra Bay


Aethiopia Arab world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan (region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

v t e

Regions of Asia


Greater Middle East Aral Sea

Aralkum Desert Caspian Sea Dead Sea Sea of Galilee



Greater Khorasan Ariana Khwarezm Sistan Kazakhstania Eurasian Steppe

Asian Steppe Kazakh Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe

Mongolian-Manchurian grassland Wild Fields

Yedisan Muravsky Trail


Ural Mountains

Volga region Idel-Ural Kolyma Transbaikal Pryazovia Bjarmaland Kuban Zalesye Ingria Novorossiya Gornaya Shoriya Tulgas Iranian Plateau Altai Mountains Pamir Mountains Tian Shan Badakhshan Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Mount Imeon Mongolian Plateau Western Regions Taklamakan Desert Karakoram

Trans- Karakoram

Siachen Glacier


Inner Asia Northeast Far East

Russian Far East Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga

Extreme North Siberia

(Lake Baikal) Transbaikal Khatanga Gulf Baraba steppe

Kamchatka Peninsula Amur Basin Yenisei Gulf Yenisei Basin Beringia Sikhote-Alin


Japanese archipelago

Northeastern Japan
Arc Sakhalin Island Arc

Korean Peninsula Gobi Desert Taklamakan Desert Greater Khingan Mongolian Plateau Inner Asia Inner Mongolia Outer Mongolia China
proper Manchuria

Outer Manchuria Inner Manchuria Northeast China
Plain Mongolian-Manchurian grassland

North China

Yan Mountains

Kunlun Mountains Liaodong Peninsula Himalayas Tibetan Plateau


Tarim Basin Northern Silk Road Hexi Corridor Nanzhong Lingnan Liangguang Jiangnan Jianghuai Guanzhong Huizhou Wu Jiaozhou Zhongyuan Shaannan Ordos Loop

Loess Plateau Shaanbei

Hamgyong Mountains Central Mountain Range Japanese Alps Suzuka Mountains Leizhou Peninsula Gulf of Tonkin Yangtze River Delta Pearl River Delta Yenisei Basin Altai Mountains Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass


Greater Middle East


Red Sea Caspian Sea Mediterranean Sea Zagros Mountains Persian Gulf

Pirate Coast Strait of Hormuz Greater and Lesser Tunbs

Al-Faw Peninsula Gulf of Oman Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Aden Balochistan Arabian Peninsula

Najd Hejaz Tihamah Eastern Arabia South Arabia

Hadhramaut Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
coastal fog desert

Tigris–Euphrates Mesopotamia

Upper Mesopotamia Lower Mesopotamia Sawad Nineveh plains Akkad (region) Babylonia

Canaan Aram Eber-Nari Suhum Eastern Mediterranean Mashriq Kurdistan Levant

Southern Levant Transjordan Jordan
Rift Valley

Israel Levantine Sea Golan Heights Hula Valley Galilee Gilead Judea Samaria Arabah Anti- Lebanon
Mountains Sinai Peninsula Arabian Desert Syrian Desert Fertile Crescent Azerbaijan Syria Palestine Iranian Plateau Armenian Highlands Caucasus


Greater Caucasus Lesser Caucasus

North Caucasus South Caucasus

Kur-Araz Lowland Lankaran Lowland Alborz Absheron Peninsula

Anatolia Cilicia Cappadocia Alpide belt


Greater India Indian subcontinent Himalayas Hindu Kush Western Ghats Eastern Ghats Ganges
Basin Ganges
Delta Pashtunistan Punjab Balochistan Kashmir

Valley Pir Panjal Range

Thar Desert Indus Valley Indus River
Indus River
Delta Indus Valley Desert Indo-Gangetic Plain Eastern coastal plains Western Coastal Plains Meghalaya subtropical forests MENASA Lower Gangetic plains moist deciduous forests Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows Doab Bagar tract Great Rann of Kutch Little Rann of Kutch Deccan Plateau Coromandel Coast Konkan False Divi Point Hindi Belt Ladakh Aksai Chin Gilgit-Baltistan

Baltistan Shigar Valley


Saltoro Mountains

Siachen Glacier Bay of Bengal Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Mannar Trans- Karakoram
Tract Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Lakshadweep Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman Islands Nicobar Islands

Maldive Islands Alpide belt



Indochina Malay Peninsula


Peninsular Malaysia Sunda Islands Greater Sunda Islands Lesser Sunda Islands

Indonesian Archipelago Timor New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

Philippine Archipelago

Luzon Visayas Mindanao

Leyte Gulf Gulf of Thailand East Indies Nanyang Alpide belt

Asia-Pacific Tropical Asia Ring of Fire

v t e

Regions of Europe


Nordic Northwestern Scandinavia Scandinavian Peninsula Fennoscandia Baltoscandia Sápmi West Nordic Baltic Baltic Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Iceland Faroe Islands


Danubian countries Prussia Galicia Volhynia Donbass Sloboda Ukraine Sambia Peninsula

Amber Coast

Curonian Spit Izyum Trail Lithuania Minor Nemunas Delta Baltic Baltic Sea Vyborg Bay Karelia

East Karelia Karelian Isthmus

Lokhaniemi Southeastern

Balkans Aegean Islands Gulf of Chania North Caucasus Greater Caucasus Kabardia European Russia

Southern Russia


Baltic Baltic Sea Alpine states Alpide belt Mitteleuropa Visegrád Group


Benelux Low Countries Northwest British Isles English Channel Channel Islands Cotentin Peninsula Normandy Brittany Gulf of Lion Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Pyrenees Alpide belt


Italian Peninsula Insular Italy Tuscan Archipelago Aegadian Islands Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Gibraltar Arc Southeastern Mediterranean Crimea Alpide belt

Germanic Celtic Slavic countries Uralic European Plain Eurasian Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe Wild Fields Pannonian Basin

Great Hungarian Plain Little Hungarian Plain Eastern Slovak Lowland

v t e

Regions of North America


Eastern Canada Western Canada Canadian Prairies Central Canada Northern Canada Atlantic Canada The Maritimes French Canada English Canada Acadia

Acadian Peninsula

Quebec City–Windsor Corridor Peace River Country Cypress Hills Palliser's Triangle Canadian Shield Interior Alaska- Yukon
lowland taiga Newfoundland (island) Vancouver Island Gulf Islands Strait of Georgia Canadian Arctic
Archipelago Labrador Peninsula Gaspé Peninsula Avalon Peninsula

Bay de Verde Peninsula

Brodeur Peninsula Melville Peninsula Bruce Peninsula Banks Peninsula (Nunavut) Cook Peninsula Gulf of Boothia Georgian Bay Hudson Bay James Bay Greenland Pacific Northwest Inland Northwest Northeast

New England Mid-Atlantic Commonwealth


Midwest Upper Midwest Mountain States Intermountain West Basin and Range Province

Oregon Trail Mormon Corridor Calumet Region Southwest

Old Southwest

Llano Estacado Central United States

Tallgrass prairie


South Central Deep South Upland South

Four Corners East Coast West Coast Gulf Coast Third Coast Coastal states Eastern United States


Trans-Mississippi Great North Woods Great Plains Interior Plains Great Lakes Great Basin

Great Basin
Great Basin

Acadia Ozarks Ark-La-Tex Waxhaws Siouxland Twin Tiers Driftless Area Palouse Piedmont Atlantic coastal plain Outer Lands Black Dirt Region Blackstone Valley Piney Woods Rocky Mountains Mojave Desert The Dakotas The Carolinas Shawnee Hills San Fernando Valley Tornado Alley North Coast Lost Coast Emerald Triangle San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay North Bay ( San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area) East Bay ( San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area) Silicon Valley

Interior Alaska- Yukon
lowland taiga Gulf of Mexico Lower Colorado River Valley Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta Colville Delta Arkansas Delta Mobile–Tensaw River Delta Mississippi Delta Mississippi River Delta Columbia River Estuary Great Basin High Desert Monterey Peninsula Upper Peninsula of Michigan Lower Peninsula of Michigan Virginia Peninsula Keweenaw Peninsula Middle Peninsula Delmarva Peninsula Alaska Peninsula Kenai Peninsula Niagara Peninsula Beringia Belt regions

Bible Belt Black Belt Corn Belt Cotton Belt Frost Belt Rice Belt Rust Belt Sun Belt Snow Belt


Northern Mexico Baja California Peninsula Gulf of California

Colorado River Delta

Gulf of Mexico Soconusco Tierra Caliente La Mixteca La Huasteca Bajío Valley of Mexico Mezquital Valley Sierra Madre de Oaxaca Yucatán Peninsula Basin and Range Province Western Caribbean Zone Isthmus of Panama Gulf of Panama

Pearl Islands

Azuero Peninsula Mosquito Coast West Indies Antilles

Greater Antilles Lesser Antilles

Leeward Leeward Antilles Windward

Lucayan Archipelago Southern Caribbean

Aridoamerica Mesoamerica Oasisamerica Northern Middle Anglo Latin

French Hispanic

American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

v t e

Regions of Oceania


Gulf of Carpentaria New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

New Zealand

South Island North Island

Coromandel Peninsula

Zealandia New Caledonia Solomon Islands (archipelago) Vanuatu

Kula Gulf

Australia Capital Country Eastern Australia Lake Eyre basin Murray–Darling basin Northern Australia Nullarbor Plain Outback Southern Australia


Sunraysia Great Victoria Desert Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf St Vincent Lefevre Peninsula Fleurieu Peninsula Yorke Peninsula Eyre Peninsula Mornington Peninsula Bellarine Peninsula Mount Henry Peninsula


Islands Region

Bismarck Archipelago Solomon Islands Archipelago

Fiji New Caledonia Papua New Guinea Vanuatu


Caroline Islands

Federated States of Micronesia Palau

Guam Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru Northern Mariana Islands Wake Island


Easter Island Hawaiian Islands Cook Islands French Polynesia

Austral Islands Gambier Islands Marquesas Islands Society Islands Tuamotu

Kermadec Islands Mangareva Islands Samoa Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu

Ring of Fire

v t e

Regions of South America


Amazon basin Atlantic Forest Caatinga Cerrado


Caribbean South America West Indies Los Llanos The Guianas Amazon basin

Amazon rainforest

Gulf of Paria Paria Peninsula Paraguaná Peninsula Orinoco Delta


Tierra del Fuego Patagonia Pampas Pantanal Gran Chaco Chiquitano dry forests Valdes Peninsula



Tropical Andes Wet Andes Dry Andes Pariacaca mountain range

Altiplano Atacama Desert

Latin Hispanic American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

v t e

Polar regions


Peninsula East Antarctica West Antarctica Eklund Islands Ecozone Extreme points Islands


Alaska British Arctic
Territories Canadian Arctic
Archipelago Finnmark Greenland Northern Canada Northwest Territories Nunavik Nunavut Russian Arctic Sakha Sápmi Yukon North American Arctic

v t e

Earth's oceans and seas


Amundsen Gulf Barents Sea Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea East Siberian Sea Greenland
Sea Gulf of Boothia Kara Sea Laptev Sea Lincoln Sea Prince Gustav Adolf Sea Pechora Sea Queen Victoria Sea Wandel Sea White Sea

Atlantic Ocean

Adriatic Sea Aegean Sea Alboran Sea Archipelago Sea Argentine Sea Baffin Bay Balearic Sea Baltic Sea Bay of Biscay Bay of Bothnia Bay of Campeche Bay of Fundy Black Sea Bothnian Sea Caribbean Sea Celtic Sea English Channel Foxe Basin Greenland
Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Gulf of Lion Gulf of Guinea Gulf of Maine Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Saint Lawrence Gulf of Sidra Gulf of Venezuela Hudson Bay Ionian Sea Irish Sea Irminger Sea James Bay Labrador Sea Levantine Sea Libyan Sea Ligurian Sea Marmara Sea Mediterranean Sea Myrtoan Sea North Sea Norwegian Sea Sargasso Sea Sea of Åland Sea of Azov Sea of Crete Sea of the Hebrides Thracian Sea Tyrrhenian Sea Wadden Sea

Indian Ocean

Andaman Sea Arabian Sea Bali Sea Bay of Bengal Flores Sea Great Australian Bight Gulf of Aden Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Oman Gulf of Suez Java Sea Laccadive Sea Mozambique Channel Persian Gulf Red Sea Timor

Pacific Ocean

Arafura Sea Banda Sea Bering Sea Bismarck Sea Bohai Sea Bohol Sea Camotes Sea Celebes Sea Ceram Sea Chilean Sea Coral Sea East China
Sea Gulf of Alaska Gulf of Anadyr Gulf of California Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf of Fonseca Gulf of Panama Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Tonkin Halmahera Sea Koro Sea Mar de Grau Molucca Sea Moro Gulf Philippine Sea Salish Sea Savu Sea Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Seto Inland Sea Shantar Sea Sibuyan Sea Solomon Sea South China
Sea Sulu Sea Tasman Sea Visayan Sea Yellow Sea

Southern Ocean

Amundsen Sea Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Weddell Sea

Landlocked seas

Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Salton Sea

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 246530764 GND: 4068878-1 SE


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