Middle East

‘Never write off Saudi Arabia’

New diplomatic face of the Gulf Kingdom promises gradual change, extends olive branch to Russia and lashes out at Iran.. By BARBARA SURK   The Saudis put on a diplomatic charm offensive in the EU capital this week designed to highlight looming changes in the ultra-conservative Gulf Kingdom… Source: ‘Never write off Saudi Arabia’ – POLITICO Read More »

Turkish academics talk about living in fear: ‘It’s the final stage of a witch hunt’

After the coup attempt that failed to remove Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, the government has gone on the offensive against what it says is a vast network of plotters, which it calls a “parallel state” run by exiled cleric and Erdogan enemy Fethullah Gülen.. By Alberto Riva and Asli Pelit Some of the targets of the purge are pretty obvious, with thousands of military officers… Source: Turkish academics talk about living in fear: ‘It’s the final stage ... Read More »

Saudi Arabian clerics declare Pokémon ‘un-Islamic’

The fatwa says franchise promotes ‘global Zionism’ but does not mention Pokémon Go.. Saudi Arabia’s top clerical body has renewed a 15-year-old edict that the Pokémon game franchise is un-Islamic, Saudi media said on Wednesday, although the fatwa made no mention of the successful new Pokémon Go mobile game… Source: Saudi Arabian clerics declare Pokémon ‘un-Islamic’ Read More »

The Case for Kurdish Statehood

Why has the West been so supportive of Palestinian nationalism, yet so reluctant to support the Kurds, the largest nation in the world without a state? BY NOAH BECK , OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR The Kurds have been… Source: The Case for Kurdish Statehood Read More »

The U.S. tried to kill Erdogan, says editor in chief of Turkish daily

“The U.S. is the one who planned and applied this coup attempt.”… Source: The U.S. tried to kill Erdogan, says editor in chief of Turkish daily – The Washington Post Read More »

How the Clintons and the Rest of Washington Are Getting Rich From the Turkey Coup

Here’s one outcome of the Turkish coup attempt that you can bet on: Washington will be getting rich off it… The Podesta Group, a firm with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, registered in May to lobby for the “Alliance for Shared Values.” That comically named organization supports Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based imam that the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, blames, rightly or wrongly, for the coup… Source: How the Clintons and the Rest of Washington Are Getting Rich ... Read More »

5 things about the man Turkey says was behind the coup

Fetullah Gülen is an influential Islamic cleric and a former close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.. By BARBARA SURK Tanks were still trawling the streets of Istanbul and the parliament in Ankara was under bombardment when Turkish government officials pointed at self-exiled Islamic cleric Fetullah Gülen as the man behind the attempted coup, carried out by a faction of the military… Source: 5 things about the man Turkey says was behind the coup – POLITICO Read More »

Turkey coup attempt could destabilize ally in region reeling from terrorism

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Middle East experts say Turkish military’s apparent attempt to seize power on Friday has sent shockwaves through Nato and across the world Live updates: Tanks open fire near Turkish parliament building The attempted coup in Turkey threatens to dangerously destabilise a western ally in a region already reeling from war, terrorism and mass migration, according to experts and analysts in the region… Source: Turkey coup attempt could destabilize ally in region reeling from terrorism | World news | The Guardian Read More »

Turkey: The sick man of Europe, once again — Spengler

The outcome of tonight’s apparent coup attempt in Turkey remains unclear, but the motivation for regime change in Turkey has been building under the surface for years. Turkey faces a perfect storm of economic, political and foreign policy problems. First, Turkey’s much-heralded economic growth spurt of the 2000’s has come to a grinding stop. The Erdogan boom, which inspired predictions that Turkey might emerge as another China, resembled the Asian experience less than it did the Latin American credidt bubbles ... Read More »

Lessons from History to Defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda

Current counter-terrorism strategic communications efforts can take a much-needed morale boost from history. Long-term commitment to these efforts in support of both national security and broader foreign policy interests will be essential to foster the organisational stability and learning required to meet current and future challenges. There is still reason for optimism in the battle against extremist propaganda. One of the most pressing national security issues facing many Western governments is how to improve counter-terrorism strategic… Source: Lessons from History to ... Read More »

The Turkish-Israeli Reconciliation: A Balance Sheet

The Turkish-Israeli reconciliation – while raising legitimate moral questions – yielded terms very much in Israel’s favor, compared to where things stood recently. Legal threats have been averted, Turkish pressure over the siege of Gaza has been lifted, and the prospects for full Israeli participation in NATO activities are significantly brighter. The rapprochement should have no ill effect on Israel’s relationships with other friends and allies in the Eastern Mediterranean… Source: The Turkish-Israeli Reconciliation: A Balance Sheet | Begin-Sadat Center ... Read More »

The Istanbul attack and Turkish policy toward Syria

The terror attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on 28 June was by no means an unpredictable development. Indeed, it was the probably inevitable next stage in the deterioration of relations between the government of Turkey and the Islamic State organisation—from collusion, via tolerant indifference, to antagonism and now to full scale confrontation. Source: The Istanbul attack and Turkish policy toward Syria | The Strategist Read More »

‘Blair is world’s worst terrorist’: families of Iraq war victims react to Chilcot report

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Relatives of military personnel killed in conflict welcome findings while some say former PM must face consequences.. Tony Blair has been described as “the world’s worst terrorist” by a woman who lost her brother in the Iraq war. Sarah O’Connor broke down in tears as she answered questions on the long-awaited Chilcot report, which concluded that Blair had gone to war before “peaceful options for disarmament” had been exhausted… Source: ‘Blair is world’s worst terrorist’: families of Iraq war victims ... Read More »

Turks seek ‘more friends, fewer enemies’

Ankara’s foreign policy of ‘zero problems with neighbors’ produced ‘zero neighbors without problems.’ It’s now changing tack.. Turkey’s move to restore relations with Russia and Israel this past week marks a notable pivot in its foreign policy with repercussions for the war in Syria, the migration crisis, and the tourism and energy industries in the Mediterranean… Source: Turks seek ‘more friends, fewer enemies’ – POLITICO Read More »

30,000 Syrian children ‘starving’ on Jordan border

Nearly 70,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, are being denied food and water by Jordanian authorities.. More than 30,000 Syrian children are facing starvation in Jordan after authorities in Amman suspended life-saving food and medical aid to refugees living along its northeastern border with Syria… Source: 30,000 Syrian children ‘starving’ on Jordan border – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

Israel vows more settlements amid West Bank violence

Israeli leaders call for expansion of settlements in West Bank as two Palestinians and an Israeli killed on Friday.. Two Palestinians and an Israeli settler have been killed in the occupied West Bank, as Israeli leaders threaten to build more Jewish-only settlements in the territory… Source: Israel vows more settlements amid West Bank violence – News from Al Jazeera Read More »