Was a British officer, diplomat and politician, most remembered because of the infamous Sykes-Picot agreement, partitioning the southern provinces of the Ottoman Empire in British and French spheres of interest. Sykes knew actually the region quite well. He travelled extensively in the Ottoman lands and took particular interest in the Kurds. His list of Kurdish tribes was long valued as the standard work in the field.
Mark Sykes (1904), "Dar-ul-Islam"
Sykes travel report "Dar-Ul-Islam. A record of a journey through ten of the Asiatic provinces of Turkey" (London, 1904) contains some stunning photos of the scenery and people he encountered.
Slide show of Sykes' pictures. Click to enlarge