Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations
 Where is the Middle East?
Royal Geographical Society, 1920

As political geography changed in the wake of the Balkan Wars and World War I, "Middle East" was increasingly used to refer to territories that had earlier been spoken of as Near East, such as the Arab lands formerly under Ottoman control. In 1920, the Royal Geographical Society’s Permanent Commission on Geographical Names ruled that "Middle East" should refer to the lands from the Bosphorus to the eastern frontiers of India, while "Near East" should be used to refer to the Balkans. In popular usage, however, Egypt and the Levant were commonly referred to as Near East through World War II.

Source: Roderic H. Davison, “Where Is the Middle East?” Foreign Affairs 38 (1960): 668.

"Middle East"
Lands from the Bosphorus to the eastern frontiers of India

"Near East"
The Balkans

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