Middle East

Is Turkey turning its back on the US?

On a cool day in Istanbul the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge was opened to much fanfare. Rose Asani Hundreds, if not thousands, came to watch Turkey’s President Erdogan unveil a masterpiece in design and engineering. Named after the conquering Ottoman Sultan who expanded the Empire into the Middle East, it has been billed as a ‘bridge to the future’ for the… Source: Is Turkey turning its back on the US? | Coffee House Read More »

Syria: Evacuation of Daraya begins in deal to end siege

First buses of evacuees leave besieged Damascus suburb, as rebels prepare to cede control of area to government forces. Residents and rebels began leaving the besieged Damascus suburb of Daraya on Friday, part of an evacuation deal to end one of the longest stand-offs in Syria’s five-year-long war… Source: Syria: Evacuation of Daraya begins in deal to end siege – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

Turkey has gone further than promised in Syria, says Moscow

Ankara is carrying out a full-scale ground operation in Syria. This format has not been coordinated with Moscow and threatens to undermine the warming of Russian-Turkish relations… Source: Turkey has gone further than promised in Syria, says Moscow | Russia Beyond The Headlines Read More »

Can Saudi Arabia Escape the Trap of Endless War in Yemen?

Riyadh can’t bomb its way out of this one. Thomas W. Lippman It took only two days after the collapse of Yemen peace talks in early August for the Saudi-led coalition to resume its intense bombing of the rebel-held capital, Sanaa. With it… Source: Can Saudi Arabia Escape the Trap of Endless War in Yemen? | The National Interest Read More »

How US turned its back on its only ally, the Kurds, in effort to appease Turkey in Syria

America has chosen to placate Turkey rather than back Kurdish anti-Isis forces. By Michael Horowitz It almost seems like someone took the US strategy, and turned it upside down. Five days ago, US jets were scrambled to protect Kurdish forces in their self-declared Northern Syria Federation from… Source: How US turned its back on its only ally, the Kurds, in effort to appease Turkey in Syria Read More »

EU to Turkey: Do you really want to join?

The EU has urged Turkey to clarify if it still wants to join the bloc, as relations between Ankara and Western allies deteriorate. By ANDREW RETTMAN The EU’s enlargement commissioner, Johannes Hahn, spoke out in Austrian newspaper Die Presse on Wednesday (24 August), saying EU concern was “justified” that Turkey had violated rule of law in its… Source: EU to Turkey: Do you really want to join? Read More »

Invite Turkey To Leave NATO: Ankara Shares Few Values Or Interests With The West

Turkey’s brief democratic moment is ending. Doug Bandow, Policy analyst, writer The rise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Development and Justice Party (AKP) in 2002 signaled the collapse of the militarized secular republic created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The recent failed coup killed the semi-liberal democracy that briefly replaced Kemalism… Source: Invite Turkey To Leave NATO: Ankara Shares Few Values Or Interests With The West Read More »

Exactly 500 Years Ago, This Battle Changed the Middle East Forever

Forget Sykes-Picot: the Battle of Marj Dabiq is what drew the modern map. Akhilesh Pillalamarri Five centuries ago, the contours of the modern Middle East were shaped through a series of Ottoman battles. The outcomes of these battles—which shaped the region’s politics, demographics and religious movements—were much more important in the long run than modern phenomena such as the… Source: Exactly 500 Years Ago, This Battle Changed the Middle East Forever | The National Interest Read More »

Civilians evacuated as Syrian Kurds bombed in Hasakah

Dozens killed, thousands evacuated after second day of Syrian government air raids on Kurdish-controlled areas of city.. Syrian government jets have continued to pound Kurdish-controlled parts of the northeastern city of Hasakah for a second day, killing at least 22 residents and forcing thousands to flee… Source: Civilians evacuated as Syrian Kurds bombed in Hasakah – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

Ten things you can’t do in Dubai

Laws in the United Arab Emirates have again been thrust into the spotlight after a British citizen in Dubai was arrested for sharing a charity post on his Facebook page. Most people know Dubai is tough on drugs; that tourists can get in trouble for drinking alcohol outside designated areas; and people who have sex in public can find themselves facing the… Source: Ten things you can’t do in Dubai – BBC News Read More »

US and Asian buyers seek to cash in on weak pound

US and Asian companies are ramping up their interest in British firms as they look to capitalise on sterling’s collapse following the EU referendum. Despite fears that Brexit uncertainty would choke off M&A activity, dealmakers have seen a growing appetite from American, Chinese and Japanese firms looking to buy British, as the pound struggles to recover from record lows… Source: US and Asian buyers seek to cash in on weak pound – The Scotsman Read More »

‘The worst place on earth’: inside Assad’s brutal Saydnaya prison

Sayd 1a

Syria’s most notorious jail has been a journalistic blank spot. Now ex-detainees and architects have built an accurate model, using ‘ear-witness’ testimony, of the president’s hellish torture house Samer al-Ahmed remembers the size of the small hatch near the bottom of his cell door because he was regularly forced to squeeze his head through… Source: ‘The worst place on earth’: inside Assad’s brutal Saydnaya prison | Art and design | The Guardian Read More »

Diaspora Jews Are Joining Palestinians in Nonviolent Resistance to the Occupation

There’s a power in using our privilege as American Jews to stand for peace and justice. By Ilana Sumka I,ve always wondered if a day would come when there would be a cause so important that I would be willing to get arrested for standing up for what Source: Diaspora Jews Are Joining Palestinians in Nonviolent Resistance to the Occupation | The Nation Read More »

Turkey Has Made it Legal to Have Sex With CHILDREN After Lowering Age of Consent to 12

The Constitutional Court has ruled to annul a provision that punishes all sexual acts against children under the age of 15 as “sexual abuse,” stirring outrage from academics and women’s rights activists who warn that the decision will lead to cases of child abuse going unpunished. The Constitutional Court discussed the issue upon an application from a district court, which complained that the current law does not discriminate between age groups in… Source: Turkey Has Made it Legal to Have ... Read More »

The Ottoman Caper Part II

A month has passed since the ill-fated coup d’état in Turkey of 15 July. By Dr Bruce Mabley Tens of thousands of suspected Gulenists have been rounded up and either charged by the justice system or relieved of their employment. However, removing Gulenists from the upper-level professions has left the Turkish economy vulnerable to future troubles and could potentially weaken the… Source: The Ottoman Caper Part II – AIIA Read More »

Turkey: New wave of arrests against journalists leave renowned author Aslı Erdoğan in prison

7 August 2017 – PEN International is very concerned about the detention of Aslı Erdoğan, a renowned novelist, columnist and human rights activist, in Turkey following a police raid into her apartment. Her arrest comes alongside more than 20 other journalists and employees from Özgür Gündem newspaper, a pro-Kurdish opposition daily, which was shut down by decree as part of the state of emergency in the country following the failed coup of 15 July 2016. Two further journalists from IMC TV, ... Read More »