Asia

‘Slow, painful death’ of Yazidi woman’s body and soul while enslaved by the Islamic State

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The Islamic State’s attempt to exterminate the Yazidi people of Iraq did not involve only murder Alia Malek When the militants swept through the north of the country after taking Mosul in the summer of 2014, they executed the religious minority group’s men and elderly women. The Washington Post The children and the other women they took captive. They brainwashed and conscripted the young boys and turned the women and girls into sexual slaves. This enslavement was justified by edicts ... Read More »

What next for the unresolved Cyprus question?

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Despite high expectations, the conference on Cyprus at Crans-Montana in Switzerland from 28 June to 5 July did not lead to a breakthrough. Andreas Theophanous Friends of Europe The stakes were high, given the conference’s broader goals, which included addressing the need for multilateral cooperation, involving Turkey, in the Eastern Mediterranean on energy and security issues. Furthermore, a solution to the Cyprus problem in times of regional turmoil and conflict would have been considered a success for the United Nations ... Read More »

Suu Kyi takes a populist, paranoid turn

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Myanmar de facto leader conflated illegal migration with terrorism in a keynote speech, adding her voice to the Islamophobia that has justified persecution of the Rohingya DAVID SCOTT MATHIESON Asia Times Myanmar’s increasingly internationally maligned de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi signaled a neo-populist turn in her speech on Monday to the Asia Europe Foreign Ministers (ASEM) meeting held at Naypyitaw. Echoing similar statements from Islamophobic populist leaders in Europe, the United States and Australia, Suu Kyi said, “conflicts around the ... Read More »

‘ISIS Opens Sex-Slave Market in Turkey’s Capital’

Haifa, a 36-year-old woman from Iraq's Yazidi community who was taken as a sex slave by Islamic State group fighters, stands on a street during an interview with AFP journalists in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk on November 17, 2016.
Haifa and her family were among thousands of members of the Yazidi minority shown no mercy by IS when it swept through areas north and west of the Iraqi capital in 2014. As the extremists advanced, they was singled out for especially cruel persecution in a campaign of violence and kidnapping which the United Nations has branded a genocide. Men were gunned down and thousands of women -- including Haifa and her younger sister -- were taken as sex slaves. / AFP / SAFIN HAMED        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

You may think ISIS’ demise in Iraq and Syria would mean an end to its sex-slave trading, but a new report says Islamic State has merely transferred its slave business into Turkey – including a market in Turkey’s capital Ankara. RAN MEIR  Clarion project This means ISIS is involved in the slavery industry in a European country. During its years of power in parts of Iraq and Syria, ISIS held slave markets both in private and public. With its loss ... Read More »

Public jittery as Turkish lira slides rapidly over political, economic issues

A change office staff shows Turkish lira on his hand on December 2, 2016 in Istanbul.
Turks have over the past three months nervously watched the steady decline in value of the Turkish lira against the dollar, seeing it haemorrhage more than 10 percent in the past month alone. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

The lira was trading at around 3.95 to the US dollar on Tuesday In May 2013, it traded at approximately 1.92 to the US dollar Middle East Eye ISTANBUL, Turkey – The spectre of economic hardship – if not outright crisis – is looming large yet again as the Turkish lira continues its rapid slide against the US dollar and euro, with some people already displaying signs of panic by talking of withdrawing their savings from banks as politicians revert to ... Read More »

Buldan: Isolation on Öcalan is the reason behind today’s attacks

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Peoples’ Democratic Party (HPD) MP Pervin Buldan said that the isolation on Abdullah Öcalan and cessation of the negotiations with him is the main reason behind the massacres and attacks today. ANF Speaking about the isolation on Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan at the final event of HDP Women Assembly’s campaign, Pervin Buldan underlined his role in the building of peace in the country. “We will continue to struggle until Öcalan is free. The main reason behind today’s massacres and attacks ... Read More »

How to Avoid an ISIS 2.0 in Iraq

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Washington and Baghdad have a golden opportunity, but it is slipping away. Michael O’Hanlon Sara Allawi With Mosul and other key cities now liberated from the horrible scourge of ISIS, Iraq stands at a crucial crossroads. The National Interest Iraqis and Americans have squandered historic opportunities to build a new, stable and prosperous country together before. We must not let that happen again. The key danger, as before, is this: extremism combined with sectarianism build on each other in a vicious ... Read More »

5 Points On The Cleric Targeted In Mike Flynn’s Shady Dealings With Turkey

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The focus of former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s tangle of business dealings with Turkey is one man: Fethullah Gulen, an ailing septuagenarian Muslim cleric who lives in a Pennsylvania compound. Allegra Kirkland Talking Points Memo Plenty of ink has been spilled about the hundreds of thousands of dollars Flynn received to produce negative PR materials about Gulen and about Flynn’s alleged discussions with Turkish officials about forcibly removing him from the U.S. What’s received less attention is why Turkey would ... Read More »

Cambodia faces int’l action after opposition party ban

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The United States promised “concrete steps” against Cambodia and the European Union raised a threat to vital trade preferences after the main opposition party was banned ahead of elections. PHNOM PENH – Reuters Hurriyet The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved by the Supreme Court on Nov. 16 at the request of the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose rule of more than three decades faces a major challenge at next year’s general election. The ban on the ... Read More »

The evolution of Turkish-Russian relations

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The past decade has seen considerable change in Russia’s Middle East policy, with greater involvement in regional crises and engagement in good relations with key countries and non-state actors. Sinem Cengiz Arab News Russia’s policy at times converges with Turkey’s, and at other times challenges it. Turkish-Russian relations have survived several crises, the most severe being in November 2015 when Turkey shot down a Russian jet along its border with Syria. Neither Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan nor his Russian ... Read More »

Why Did Israel Support the Kurdish Referendum?

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An independent Kurdistan would have created the possibility for Israel to reap a major strategic advantage: a well-positioned ally. Ari Heistein  The National Interest Israel was alone in its support for the Iraqi Kurdish referendum in September, and it has since become evident that KRG President Masoud Barzani miscalculated in deciding to hold the vote then. The Kurds overestimated both U.S. support for their independence movement and their own internal solidarity, while simultaneously underestimating the intensity and the near unanimity of the… ... Read More »

How to future-proof the West’s economies

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Top economic thinkers from the U.S. and Europe say we need to start by fixing our politics Sure, growth could be more robust. MAURA REYNOLDS Politico Sure, some workers are getting left behind. Sure, corporate debt is high and markets look frothy. But those problems aren’t the biggest threat facing the economies of the United States and Europe. What is? The answer from a group of top economic thinkers convened by POLITICO isn’t something in the economy. It’s politics. At a ... Read More »

Erdoğan’s Kurdish Gambit

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan perceives the Kurdish belt along Turkey’s Syrian and Iraqi borders as the country’s top security threat, and has recalibrated his policies accordingly. Burak Bekdil But he has a Kurdish constituency inside Turkey and will need their votes in 2019. BESA During the upcoming presidential campaign, Erdoğan will have to find a miracle equilibrium: how to win Kurdish votes without losing nationalist Turkish votes? In 2015, soon after the Turkish people went to the ballot box, ... Read More »

Photos of the New Futuristic Library in China with 1.2 Million Books

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China recently opened a new futuristic library that contains a staggering 1.2 million books Michael Zhang If you enjoy architectural photography, Dutch photographer Ossip van Duivenbode‘s images of the library will be a feast for your eyes. PetaPilexThe new Tianjin Binhai Library in Tianjin, China, was designed by the Dutch architectural firm MVRDV to look like a giant eye. The five-story, 360,000-square-foot library features shelves spanning from the floor to ceiling — many of the shelves double as stairs and seats in the ... Read More »

Altun: Socialism cannot be built with the tools of capitalism

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KCK’s Altun pointed out that most of the anti-system movements are turning a blind eye on the fact that they are living capitalism and imperialism in every aspect and are deceiving themselves with their ideologies and dogmas. ANF – BERFİN BAĞDU, BEHDINAN Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council member Rıza Altun spoke to ANF English service about the delusions with regards to having a true stance against the system, imperialism and capitalism, PKK’s approach to real socialism and socialism, change ... Read More »

Revenge of the TPP?

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership is back on the menu for a number of Asia-Pacific countries Scott B. MacDonald  And with America on the sidelines, U.S. exports could suffer. The National Interest One of the first actions that Donald Trump did when he came into office was to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal he called a “disaster.” According to him, past U.S. leaders were inept on trade and his administration’s approach would strike tougher, ... Read More »