Asia

In long-secular Turkey, sharia is gradually taking over

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Over the past few weeks, Turkish officials have broken with decades of precedent in what is still, at least nominally, a secular republic: they have begun describing the country’s military deployment in Syria as “jihad.” By Soner Cagaptay The Washington Post During the first two days of the operation, which began on Jan. 20, the government’s Directorate of Religious Affairs ordered all of Turkey’s nearly 90,000 mosques to broadcast the “Al-Fath” verse from the Koran — “the prayer of conquest” — ... Read More »

US position on artificial islands

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CHINA’s artificial islands in the South China Sea (SCS) and their upgrades have been serving as tools to Filipino politicians who’ve been mobilizing anti-Chinese sentiment against President Rodrigo Duterte who has been generally congenial to Beijing. By SASS ROGANDO SASOT The Manila Times Yet have you ever wondered what’s the actual position of the US on building artificial islands within a coastal state’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ)? It’s necessary to ask this as the Americans have been positioning themselves as ... Read More »

US military leader warns on China

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The head of US Pacific Command has issued a strong warning about China’s military buildup Admiral Harry Harris says China is trying to win dominance in the Indo-Pacific region as it issues a challenge globally. NHK He made the remarks at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday. Harris said he was most concerned about China’s activity in the South China Sea. That included the militarization of 7 outposts, despite a ruling by an Arbitral Tribunal under the Law ... Read More »

Japan thinks Brexit is an ‘act of self harm’, says former ambassador

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Sir David Warren says Britain’s withdrawal from EU could have ‘grave’ consequences for bilateral relations Chris Baynes The Independent Japan sees Brexit as an act of economic and political “self-harm” that will weaken the UK as a world power, according to the former British ambassador to Tokyo. Sir David Warren, who served in the post between 2008 and 2012, said Britain’s withdrawal from the EU could have “grave” consequences for relations with Japan. His comments came after the Japanese ambassador to London warned Prime Minister Theresa ... Read More »

Tillerson tries to soothe badly strained relations with Turkey

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for more than three hours Thursday in what both sides predicted would be two days of difficult talks after months of badly fraying relations between Washington and its NATO ally in Ankara. By Alexandra Zavis, Tracy Wilkinson and Umar Farooq LA Times An unsmiling Erdogan received Tillerson at the presidential palace. After their meeting, Tillerson would only tell reporters, “We’re still working.” The diplomatic push came a day after ... Read More »

Ai Weiwei on the project that awoke his political voice – The Start podcast

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The artist and activist tells how investigating schoolchildren’s deaths in the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 spawned his mammoth installation, Remembering Produced by Eva Krysiak with sound design by Chris Wood and original music by Stephen Fiske The Guardian In 2008, an earthquake devastated Sichuan province in China, claiming the lives of more than 69,000 people. Following accusations from parents that substandard construction caused the collapse of schools across in the region, the artist Ai Weiwei set upon a political investigation that would name every missing student ... Read More »

Israeli Knesset Rejects Bill Recognizing the Armenian Genocide

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JERUSALEM (A.W.)—The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) rejected a bill on Wednesday, which would have recognized the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Weekly Sponsored by Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid, the bill was rejected in a preliminary vote. “There is no reason that the Knesset, which represents a nation that went through the Holocaust, shouldn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide and have a remembrance day for it,” Lapid was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying. “The Israeli leadership diminishes itself by so ... Read More »

US leads globally with most planned and announced pipeline length additions

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GlobalData’s latest analysis of the global planned and announced trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines for the period 2018 to 2022 shows that the US has the longest planned pipelines length globally with 35,065km. By GlobalData Energy India and Russia follow with 29,142 km and 26,566 km respectively Presently, the US accounts for 14.3% of the total planned and announced trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines length globally. The country has the highest number of planned and announced pipeline additions with 184. ... Read More »

A ghostly oil spill menaces Asia’s richest fisheries

Smoke is seen from the Panama-registered Sanchi tanker carrying Iranian oil, which went ablaze after a collision with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea, in this January 9, 2018 handout picture released by China's Ministry of Transport January 10, 2018. China's Ministry of Transport/Handout via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

ZHOUSHAN, China — A fiery collision that sank an Iranian tanker in the East China Sea a month ago has resulted in an environmental threat that experts say is unlike any before: an almost invisible type of petroleum has begun to contaminate some of the most important fishing grounds in Asia, from China to Japan and beyond. By STEVEN LEE MYERS and JAVIER C. HERNNDEZ Today It is the largest oil spill in decades, but the disaster has unfolded outside the ... Read More »

Turkey may choose isolation over Western allies – analyst

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A wave of “anti-Western hostility” and “rampant nationalism” in Turkey has magnified the risk of a decisive break with its traditional allies in the West, even though it has not lined up any alternatives, according to an article Nicholas Danforth, a senior analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Ahval Danforth describes in the piece how the fear of “losing Turkey”, a constant refrain since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, is now dangerously close ... Read More »

Pentagon seeks to invest $550 million for SDF

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The Pentagon on Feb. 12 requested $300 million to train and equip the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and wants nearly as much to build a “border security force” with them in Syria WASHINGTON – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet The military’s budget proposal for 2019 also contains $850 million for train-and-equip activities in Iraq to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). “The training, equipment and operations support in this request will consolidate the gains achieved against [ISIL] and ... Read More »

Turkey Is Out of Control. Time for the U.S. to Say So.

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There’s a real danger of a clash between U.S. and Turkish forces. The administration should make clear that it won’t tolerate any more bad behavior—now. By ERIC EDELMAN and JAKE SULLIVAN Politico Following Turkey’s incursion into Syria, the once unthinkable prospect of a direct clash between Turkish and American soldiers has become alarmingly real. Turkey’s current fight, against U.S.-backed Kurdish troops in the northwestern Syria territory of Afrin, is destabilizing enough. But the real risk will come if Turkish President ... Read More »

Big Data, Large Concerns

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Consent and accountability should be at the core of the new privacy law. The Supreme Court recently affirmed a fundamental right to privacy. by Amba Kak , Jason Schultz The Indian Express The government is now moving to enact a data privacy law, the Justice Shri Krishna Committee has released a comprehensive report and the consultation process is coming to a close. Multiple legal challenges against Aadhaar — many involving citizens’ privacy — are being heard before the Supreme Court. The government is keen to ... Read More »

Turkey’s ‘New Nationalism’ Amid Shifting Politics

Turkish National flags and CCTV cameras and spikers seen in the main roundabout of Kumluca.
On Wednesday, 11 October 2017, in Kumluka, Turkey. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Further Analysis of Polling Results By Max Hoffman, Michael Werz, and John Halpin  Center for American Progress Introduction and summary From the outside, Turkey has the hallmarks of a consolidating authoritarian regime. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan exercises near absolute control through the parliamentary majority of his Justice and Development Party (AKP), his influence over a politicized judiciary, and a stranglehold on news media and political dissent. President Erdoğan was further granted expansive emergency powers by Turkish Parliament in the wake of the July 15, ... Read More »

Turkey and the Law of the Sea: some facts

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IN HIS interview with “Kathimerini” on February 4, 2018, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu asserted certain positions on the Law of the Sea in relation to Cyprus, which cannot remain unanswered. Andrew Jacovides * Cyprus Mail The legal position of Cyprus on the Law of the Sea is solidly based on the provisions of UNCLOS III of December 10 1982, in which the Republic actively participated. Article 121, Regime of Islands, expressly provides in Paragraph 2 that “the territorial sea, contiguous ... Read More »

Who is Asma Jahangir ?

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Known for maintaining a resolute stance in the face of extreme pressure and opposition, Jahangir will be remembered as a champion for the disenfranchised The Indian Express Eminent lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away in Lahore after she suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday, according to Pakistan media. She was 66. “Asma suffered heart attack today morning and she was rushed to Hameed Latif Hospital Lahore where she breathed her last. Doctors tried to save her life ... Read More »