Europe

Turkey has invested $35 bln in defense industry in 15 years: PM Yıldırım

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State investment in the defense industry has exceeded $35 billion in the past 15 years, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said. Hurriyet “We have made investments worth $35 billion over 15 years and we are now an exporter country in the field of the defense industry. The volume of our exports is over $2 billion,” Yıldırım said in an address at the National Defense University on March 2. “Our state continues to provide all sorts of technological opportunities for the ... Read More »

Fall of Troy: the legend and the facts

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The legendary ancient city of Troy is very much in the limelight this year: a big budget co-production between the BBC and Netflix: Troy, Fall of a City, recently launched, while Turkey designated 2018 the “Year of Troy” and plans a year of celebration, including the opening of a new museum on the presumed site. Mariacarmela Montesanto The Conversation So what do we know about the city, ruins of which have been painstakingly excavated over the past 150 years? The ... Read More »

922 cases of war crimes documented in Turkish attacks on Afrin

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A group of lawyers documented 922 cases of war crimes since the beginning of Turkey’s invasion attacks against Afrin on January 22. ANF A group of lawyers in Afrin held a press conference to release the information about war crimes committed by Turkish state. According to the statement, Turkish army and Al-Qaeda affiliated gangs committed 922 war crimes and all of these have documented by canton officials in Afrin. Here are some highlights from the report released by… 922 cases ... Read More »

Why does the UK deport North Korean asylum seekers?

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The UK hosts one of the largest North Korean populations outside of North-East Asia. Since 2003, more than 1,300 North Koreans have applied for asylum in the UK – and 544 have been granted asylum. Markus Bell The Conversation The Home Office, which decides who stays and who’s turned away, has rejected almost one-third of applicants. Why? To be sure, the UK is far from the only country to which North Koreans migrate. High up the list, of course, is ... Read More »

How Russian networks worked to boost the far right in Italy

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An analysis of social networks reveals how Kremlin-backed media outlets boosted xenophobic discourse DAVID ALANDETE DANIEL VERDÚ El Pais The Russian meddling machine has been focusing on Italy in recent months, conducting a disinformation campaign on the migration situation in order to drum up support for radical parties ahead of the general elections scheduled for Sunday. According to an analysis of 1,055,774 posts from 98,191 social media profiles to which EL PAÍS has had access, a network of anti-immigration and ... Read More »

Tony Blair: Just weeks left to stop Brexit

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 17:  Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair waits to deliver a keynote speech at a pro-EU event on February 17, 2017 in London, England. Mr Blair claimed that people voted in the referendum without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit and urged people to change their minds and rise up against Brexit.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The former prime minister will say in a speech Thursday that the EU should reform to provide an alternative to Brexit. Ryan Heath Politico Tony Blair believes there are just weeks left to stop Brexit and will argue in a speech in Brussels Thursday that EU reforms centered on immigration control are key to persuading Britons to change their mind in a second Brexit vote. In a speech at a European Policy Center event, the former U.K. prime minister will say the ... Read More »

Why Turkey Wants to Invade the Greek Islands

SEDDULBAHIR, TURKEY - APRIL 24:  Soldiers march in front of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the Turkish International Ceremony at Mehmetcik Abidesi Martyrs Memorial to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign on April 24, 2015 near Seddulbahir Turkey.. Allied and Turkish representatives, as well as family members of those who served, will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the campaign with ceremonies scheduled for April 24-25. The Gallipoli land campaign, in which a combined Allied force of British, French, Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops sought to occupy the Gallipoli peninsula and the strategic Dardanelles strait during World War I, began on April 25, 1915 against Turkish forces of the Ottoman Empire. The Allies, unable to advance more than a few kilometers, withdrew after eight months. The campaign cost the Allies approximately 45,000 killed and up to 200,000 wounded, the Ottomans approximately 85,000 killed and 160,000 wounded. on April 24, 2015 in Eceabat, Turkey. Allied and Turkish representatives, as well as family members of those who served, will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the campaign with ceremonies scheduled for April 24-25. The Gallipoli land campaign, in which a combined Allied force of British, French, Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops sought to occupy the Gallipoli peninsula and the strategic Dardanelles strait during World War I, began on April 25, 1915 against Turkish forces of the Ottoman Empire. The Allies, unable to advance more than a few kilometers, withdrew after eight months. The campaign cost the Allies approximately 45,000 killed and up to 200,000 wounded, the Ottomans approximately 85,000 killed and 160,000 wounded.  (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

There is one issue on which Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), are in complete agreement: The conviction that the Greek islands are occupied Turkish territory and must be reconquered. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute  So strong is this determination that the leaders of both parties have openly threatened to invade the Aegean. The only conflict on this issue between the two parties is in competing to prove which is more ... Read More »

Congress, State Department divided on sanctions against Turkey

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As the US Congress continues to weigh potential sanctions against Turkey over its unremittingly hostile stance toward the United States, there is growing debate within the policy community about the merits of such action, with some arguing it could bow Turkey into submission and others insisting it will make the problem even worse. Amberin Zaman Al-Monitor Fury at what Washington calls the unlawful detention of US consular staff and US citizens, in particular that of North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson ... Read More »

German court backs city bans on diesel cars

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A top German court ruled on Feb. 27 in favor of allowing major cities to ban the most heavily polluting diesel cars, a move set to hit the value of 12 million vehicles in Europe’s largest car market and probably force carmakers to pay for costly modifications. LEIPZIG – Reuters Hurriyet There has been a global backlash against diesel-engine cars since Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating U.S. exhaust tests, meant to limit emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide ... Read More »

Italy’s Election Is a Shipwreck

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Italians are rearranging the deck chairs as their country irrevocably sinks. By Luigi Zingales FP A few weeks ago, an Italian magazine asked me to illustrate graphically how I see Italy from abroad. I am incompetent at drawing, but an image instantly popped in my mind: the Costa Concordia shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea in 2012. Italy, too, is a beautiful ship slowly sinking because of the ineptitude of its captain — or captains, as it were. Surprisingly, this is ... Read More »

What today’s anti-immigrant populists could learn from Homer about kindness to strangers

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Troy, a new BBC adaptation of Homer’s Iliad, shows the enduring interest we have in Ancient Greek myths. Aleardo Zanghellini The Conversation Today, Homer’s epic works remain both politically and ethically relevant. The Greek poet’s insight into why law and legality matter is particularly enlightening in the context of contemporary debates about immigration, which loom large amid the rise of right-wing populism on both sides of the Atlantic. Those who object to immigration and demonise immigrants argue that the West’s ... Read More »

New constitutional stand-off as SNP pushes ahead with Brexit bill

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The constitutional stand-off between Holyrood and Westminster over Brexit escalated last night after the Scottish Government forged ahead with its own EU Withdrawal Bill – despite being told it is beyond the Scottish Parliament’s powers. By SCOTT MACNAB The Scotsman In an unprecedented move, Scotland’s Brexit minister Mike Russell insisted that the Scottish Government would forge ahead with its own legal framework after Holyrood’s Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh judged it was outwith Holyrood’s competence. And it could result in a court ... Read More »

High-strength cannabis now dominates illegal market, study finds

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Samples showed huge rise in highly psychoactive strains, raising public health concerns Damien Gayle The Guardian Almost all cannabis seized by police now comprises high-strength varieties, with outdoor-grown herbal strains and hashish barely found, according to a new analysis. In the first study of its kind for 10 years, researchers from GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes medicines derived from cannabis, and King’s College London found 94% of samples seized by police were varieties with a high psychoactive content, suggesting they dominate the illicit ... Read More »

How Europe’s Band-Aid Ensures Greece’s Bondage

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All the happy talk about impending “debt relief” and a “clean exit” from Greece’s third “bailout” obscures an uglier truth: the country’s debt bondage is being extended to 2060. Yanis Varoufakis Project Syndicate Worse, by ossifying Greece’s insolvency, while pretending to have overcome it, Europe’s establishment is demonstrating its refusal to fix the eurozone’s flaws. ATHENS – Greece’s never-ending public-debt saga has come to signify the European Union’s inept handling of its inevitable eurozone crisis. Eight years after its bankruptcy, ... Read More »

Germany’s arm forces full of flaws, parliamentary report says

20 February 2018, Germany, Berlin, Federal press conference: The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Federal Armed Forces, Hans-Peter Bartels presents the annual report 2017 of the parliamentary commissioner for the Armed Forces. Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/dpa, Image: 363817465, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: GERMANY OUT, Model Release: no, Credit line: Profimedia, AFP

Hans-Peter Bartels, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, presented on 20 February a report on the German armed forces worrying poor shape. Martin Macq ESJ While Germany is committing to take on more responsibility in NATO, its armed forces have to still cope with serious equipment and personnel shortages, significantly reducing its readiness to fulfill its commitments and plans. Bartels points out that only a fraction of the crucial weapons system is operational while some 21,000 positions are vacant within ... Read More »

The U.S. and Turkey Go Their Separate Ways

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said what many analysts have long been thinking: The relationship between Turkey and the United States has reached a “crisis point.” By Sinan Ciddi Stratfor The two countries’ strategic partnership has been increasingly rocky as Washington and Ankara take diverging approaches to the Syrian civil war. But more than protracted policy disagreements, the decline in U.S.-Turkish relations owes to a fundamental loss of trust. Visits by key U.S. government personnel — including Tillerson ... Read More »