Middle East

Male sexual quirks among the Ottomans

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In the days of the Ottoman Empire, pederasty-like relationships were common between pre-pubescent boys and bearded older men. Though today it seems homoerotic, the relationship had a deeper meaning according to the mystic Sufis and their search for God. Hurriyet – Niki Gamm “Your airs have turned my head! Say, who has brought you up so impudent? That stature by no ... Read More »

Abbott, Key to discuss Iraq commitment

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AAP Herald Sun – A JOINT operation in Iraq is likely to be the focus of talks between Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his New Zealand counterpart John Key. THE pair meet in Auckland for an annual bilateral leaders discussion on Saturday morning. Mr Key recently committed to send 143 NZ troops to help train Iraqi forces in the fight against ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia to allow Israel use of its airspace to strike Iran – report

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RT – Saudi Arabia has reportedly agreed to let Israel use its airspace to attack Iran if necessary, in exchange for “some kind of progress” on the Palestinian issue, Israel’s Channel 2 TV station quoted an unnamed European official as saying. “The Saudis have declared their readiness for the Israeli Air Force to overfly Saudi air space en route to ... Read More »

Libya: Getting Geneva Right

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ICG – Middle East and North Africa Report N°157 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Libya’s deteriorating internal conflict may be nearing a dramatic turning point. Over six months of fighting between two parliaments, their respective governments and allied militias have led to the brink of all-out war. On the current trajectory, the most likely medium-term prospect is not one side’s triumph, but that rival ... Read More »

Former police intel chief detained as key figure in Dink murder

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A high-ranking Turkish police chief has been detained inAnkara as part of the investigation into the 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Hurriyet – Toygun Atilla Ramazan Akyürek, who was detained in Ankara on Feb. 26, had served as the head of the police in the Black Seaprovince of Trabzon between December 2003 and May 2006. He then served as ... Read More »

More weapons are not the answer to Libya’s jihadi upsurge

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In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Libya Senior Analyst Claudia Gazzini discusses the upsurge in Islamic State activity in Libya. ICG – After the Islamic State (IS) beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya, and Egypt bombed IS camps in response, it seems clear that there is an IS problem in Libya that didn’t exist before. By Claudia Gazzini How did Libya ... Read More »

Islamic State militants abduct at least 150 Christians from Syrian villages, activists say

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Jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) group have kidnapped at least 150 Assyrian Christians in north-east Syria, activists say. The abductions took place on Tuesday after IS seized two Assyrian villages – Tal Shamiram and Tal Hermuz – from Kurdish forces in the province of Hassakeh, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A Syrian Christian group representing ... Read More »

Palestinians ordered to pay over attacks

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A US jury has found Palestinian authorities liable for six attacks in Jerusalem that killed and injured Americans, awarding victims and their families more than $US218 million in damages. The Australian BY JENNIE MATTHEW AAP UNDER the US anti-terrorism act, the damages are automatically tripled, meaning that the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organisation are liable to pay more than ... Read More »

Blackburn MP Jack Straw is honoured by the Turkish government

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Jack Straw has been given one of Turkey’s highest awards for being ‘a politician who approaches the Islamic world and Muslim societies with sincerity and friendship’. Lancashire Telegraph – by Bill Jacobs, Local government reporter He flew to Turkish capital Ankara to receive the country’s highest order available to individuals who are not heads of state. The citation for the Order ... Read More »

Turkey’s Culture of Horror

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Translations of this item: Dutch The problem is about the conservative culture in which the Turks take much pride. Child brides and buying brides (mostly in return for gold or cattle), are fine. Killing your daughter because she was raped is from a tradition to protect family honor. Killing your daughter because she fell in love with a boy is ... Read More »