Middle East

‘Collective punishment’: Israel blocks fuel shipment to Gaza

Fuc 1a

Israel further tightens its blockade on the strip while rights group denounces measure as ‘morally depraved’. AlJazeera Israel has further tightened its blockade on the Gaza Strip, preventing gas and fuel deliveries through its only commercial crossing with the Palestinian besieged enclave a week after Israeli authorities announced the closure of the crossing. The Kerem Shalom crossing, known to Palestinians as Karem Abu Salem, was shut down on July 9 and initially, only items deemed as “humanitarian” would be allowed to enter Gaza, ... Read More »

Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean Alliance

Carao 1a

Concrete steps over the past three years have set the foundations of an Eastern Mediterranean Alliance (EMA) comprising Israel, Greece, and Cyprus. John M. Nomikos BESA The convergence of the three nations is the natural outcome of close democratic similarities and a joint desire for stability and progress in a region tormented by perennial Middle East strife, radical Islamism, and the morphing of Turkey into a fundamentalist Islamic autocracy. The EMA is emerging at a time of increasing global instability. ... Read More »

Five human rights we should enjoy – while we still can

Kays 2b

In case warnings of impending fascism have merit, here’s a bucket list of rights to tick off Van Badham The Guardian Fascism is a political philosophy. It exalts the supposed supremacy of a particular national identity or racial group above individual freedoms, social equality and the collective social good. And these ideas seem frightfully trendy right now. I’m not saying that today’s Poland, America, Russia, Turkey or Hungary are fascist countries. I’m saying fascism seeks to establish an authoritarian government headed by ... Read More »

Can democracy vote itself out of existence?

Crema 2b

Look at the state of the world’s democratic nations, and it is easy to see why so many are concerned for the future of democracy. Manjeet Ramgotra The Conversation Leaders such as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vladimir Putin and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán have centralised political power by changing their countries’ constitutions, silencing dissent and controlling the media. Since 2016’s coup attempt in Turkey, Erdoğan’s government has used the subsequent state of emergency to incarcerate thousands without trial. Opposition politicians, judges, journalists ... Read More »

British report about Balkans: Russians, Chinese, Turks…

Novi 1a

Outside actors such as Russia, China and Turkey have filled a void created by EU neglect of the Western Balkans over the past decade. Source: B92 This is stated in the UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee report, which adds that many of the witnesses it heard “suggested that, by contrast, Russian influence in the region is weak, not least because its economic presence is limited.” “Despite this, Russia is capable of exploiting the region’s problems and undermining its progress towards peace, ... Read More »

UAE accused of War Crimes over torture in Yemen prisons as Middle East conflict rages on

Enten 1a

AMNESTY International has called for a war crimes investigation after accusing the United Arab Emirates and its allied Yemeni forces of torturing detainees at prisons in the south of Yemen. Caitlin Doherty Sunday Express The UAE has been engaged in battle with the Houthi government in Yemen since they seized control in September 2014. They have been fighting the rebels in the capital Sana’a alongside Saudi Arabia, the US, and Yemeni allies. But an Amnesty International report released earlier this ... Read More »

Path of Blood: New documentary explores jihadi extremism, radicalisation and al-Qaeda’s target, Saudi Arabia

Path of Blood 1a film LLLL

Aimen Dean was just 19 when he pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden – until the brutal reality of mass murder led him to be flipped by the Qataris, and return to Afghanistan as a spy for MI6 Stephen Applebaum Independent In the years following 9/11, documentaries such as Restrepo and Armadillo gave us intimate and unflinching accounts of the daily lives of troops fighting the war in Afghanistan. Jonathan Hacker’s Path of Blood now offers a similar kind of insider’s eye ... Read More »

Voices of Idlib

Ebe 1a

Humanitarian Fallout of Conflict ICG The Syrian war grinds lethally on, as regime forces move to recapture rebel-held areas. In our first-ever illustrated commentary, Crisis Group explores one holdout, Idlib, where three million Syrians – many already displaced – chafe at jihadist rule but dread the coming onslaught. Voices of Idlib… Read More »

Erdogan’s New Dynasty Makes Turkey Uninvestable

Gabro 1a

The president has given investors every reason to turn away. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unfortunately is a man of his word. Marcus Ashworth Bloomberg He promised to take greater control of monetary policy during the election campaign, and he has wasted no time in doing so. He has snipped the last threads in Turkey’s safety net — and he has made his nation all but uninvestable. Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek and Finance Minister Naci Agbal have both departed. They were the kinds ... Read More »

Israeli Crypto Startup Bancor Loses $13.5 Million to Hacking

Ether 2b

Bancor reported the incident in a tweet on Monday. A digital coin valued at $23.5 million was stolen, with Bancor eventually retrieving $10 million worth of its own coin, BNT Amarelle Wenkert C Tech On Monday, Israeli crypto coin trading platform Bancor announced in a tweet it had been the victim of a security breach which has resulted in the theft of $13.5 million in crypto coins, mostly Ethereum. The company said that no user wallets were compromised in the event. ... Read More »

Massive Turkey-funded mosque stirs unease in secular north Cyprus

This picture shows the Hala sultan mosque in Haspolat (called Mia Milia by Greek Cypriots), in the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), on July 7, 2018.
North of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a massive Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to attend the opening ceremony on July 10 of the 3,000-capacity house of worship, with its four minarets and built in classic Ottoman style. While many have welcomed it, the mosque has sparked concern among some Turkish Cypriots over Ankara's growing influence in the north of the divided island. / AFP PHOTO / Matthieu CLAVEL

Many local residents see imposing structure as part of Erdogan’s efforts to cement control over territory. ‘It symbolizes the Islamist mentality. It’s not an innocent thing’ Dylan Collins The Times of Israel NICOSIA, Cyprus (AFP) — In the flat sunbaked fields north of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a huge Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to attend the opening ceremony, expected to take place on ... Read More »

Justice for Cyprus: The Goal should be Freedom from Occupation

Kyrenia Harbour 1a LLLL

Cyprus, a member state of the European Union, has been illegally occupied by Turkey since 1974. Turkey’s false excuse for its presence on the island is the “protection of Turkish Cypriots from Greek violence.” Uzay Bulut * H Fusion     However, in 2017, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş revealed the real reason behind Turkey’s control of Cyprus:  “There is this misinformation that Turkey is interested in Cyprus because there is a Turkish society there… Kyrenia Harbour Even if no Turks lived in Cyprus, ... Read More »

Swedish activist granted Palestinian citizenship

Ludr 1a

Palestinian resistance group Hamas condemns Israel for not allowing Benjamin Ladraa to enter Palestine World Bulletin Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas granted Palestinian citizenship Friday to Swedish activist Benjamin Ladraa, who has been walking from Sweden to Palestine to raise awareness on human rights violations. “This step is taken to appreciate Ladraa’s efforts and his position to support the Palestinian people,” Abbas said according to a report by the official Wafa news agency. Ladraa was barred by Israeli police from entering ... Read More »

Israeli intelligence firm targeted NGOs during Hungary’s election campaign

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - APRIL 08: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban leaves from the polling station on April 8, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary. Hungarians are going to the polls in the Parliamentary election today. (Photo by Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images)

People working for Black Cube secretly taped meetings that were then cited by Prime Minister Victor Orbán. Lili Bayer Politico The Israeli private intelligence firm Black Cube was involved in a campaign to discredit NGOs ahead of Hungary’s April election, according to a former Black Cube employee and a person with knowledge of the company’s inner workings. Between December 2017 and March 2018, Hungarian NGOs and individuals connected to American-Hungarian businessman George Soros were contacted by agents using false identities who… Israeli intelligence ... Read More »

Outspoken Aberdeen University academic arrested in Turkey for criticising the government

Agop Baris 
FB pic

An outspoken Aberdeen University academic has been arrested in Turkey for posting critical commentary online about the country’s leader. Kieran Beattie The Press and Journal Lawyer Hanifi Baris, who graduated from Aberdeen University’s Centre of Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law with a PhD last year, was yesterday arrested by police in Istanbul for “posting items with criminal content on Facebook and Twitter accounts”. Mr Baris, who moved to Turkey after leaving Aberdeen last year to be with his ... Read More »

NATO Is Obsolete

Tetho 3c

“Europe is prosperous and treats America like a patsy. Let it stand on its own.” Before the United States President Donald Trump attempts real diplomacy with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Helsinki on July 16, he’ll first be subjected to another summit. Christian Whiton The National Interest That first summit is a gathering of leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These leaders continually assure the United States they are America’s best allies, even as most ... Read More »