Middle East

Lessons Australia could learn from other countries to strengthen peace and stability

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There has been an alarming upward trend in the number of deaths in war around the world since 2012. John Langmore The Conversation The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute concludes that in the first decade of the 21st century, the total number of deaths from organised violence worldwide stabilised at around 35,000. But, by 2014, it had multiplied to 130,000. The small decline to 118,000 in 2015 didn’t reduce the severe global anxiety about armed… Lessons Australia could… Read More »

America’s Future Is with India and Israel

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The winds of change are blowing not from Beijing, but from Delhi. Trump should seize the initiative. James Jay Carafano International Crisis Group From the Indo-Pacific to the Mediterranean, a diplomatic transformation is underway. The winds of change are blowing not from Beijing, but from Delhi. President Donald Trump has an opportunity to harness some of that power to help fill the sails of America’s global… Times are Changing The White House is expected to unveil its… America’s Future Is… Read More »

Turkey Sees Foes at Work in Gold Mines, Cafes and ‘Smurf Village’

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LONDON — Akin Ipek, one of Turkey’s richest men, was staying in the Park Tower Hotel in London when the police raided his television network in Istanbul. DAVID SEGAL The New York Times The raid was national news, so Mr. Ipek opened his laptop and watched an unnerving spectacle: an attack on his multibillion-dollar empire, in real time. It was an oddly cinematic showdown. Through a combination of shouting and persuasion, the network’s news editor convinced the officers that they ... Read More »

Yemen’s cholera epidemic is worst on record: Oxfam

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More than 360,000 suspected cholera cases have been recorded over just three months in war-ravaged Yemen, says charity. Al Jazeera and news agencies An ongoing cholera epidemic which has swept war-ravaged Yemen is the “largest ever recorded” in a single year, with more than 360,000 suspected cases in the three months since the… Since cholera began to spread in April, the epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people, while the country grapples with death, starvation, malnutrition and… Yemen’s cholera epidemic… Read More »

The EU Can’t Afford to Ignore Europe’s Migrant Crisis

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Brussels should help central Europe forge an effective funding and financing plan to help stop the conflict in Syria. Naman Jain The National Interest A lot has been happening in the midst of the European migrant crisis. Most notably, the political debate between EU member states is widening on how to best handle this significantly deteriorating crisis. Specifically, the Visegrad Group, consisting of Poland… Criticism of the Visegrad… The EU Can’t… Read More »

Turkey’s PKK Conflict Kills almost 3,000 in Two Years

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20 July 2017 marks the two-year anniversary of a collapsed ceasefire that previously held for two-and-a-half-years between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Berkay Mandıracı ICG Crisis Group’s new analysis of open-source data reveals that the ongoing cycle of violence has now killed three times as many as the 2011-12 escalation. On 20 July 2015, an Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bomb attack killed 33 and injured more than 100 mostly pro-Kurdish young activists in… Turkey’s PKK Conflict… Read More »

A coup in the House of Saud?

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The secret is out: the ascension of Mohammad bin Salman, displacing CIA favorite Mohammad bin Nayef as Crown Prince, was in fact a white coup… Pepe Escobar  Asia Times What has been an open secret across the Arab world is not a secret anymore even in the US: What happened last month in the deep recesses of the House of Saud with the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, aka MBS, was in fact a white coup. Nearly a ... Read More »

Palestinian Activism Reawakens in Jerusalem after Holy Esplanade Attack

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A deadly attack on 14 July 2017 at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade revealed the growing precariousness of the site’s Status Quo. Ofer Zalzberg ICG In this Q&A Ofer Zalzberg, Senior Analyst for Israel/Palestine, says the mobilisation of Palestinians to reverse Israeli security measures around the site could signal a revival of activism in East Jerusalem after years of decline. What do we know about the attack and how unusual was it? On Friday 14 July 2017, three Palestinian citizens of Israel attacked ... Read More »

Tasoula Hadjitofi – from refugee to icon hunter

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A refugee’s quest to reclaim her nation’s stolen heritage Tasoula Hadjitofi will discuss her experiences of war and injustice; her ongoing campaign to preserve cultural heritage worldwide and her tireless work to combat art trafficking. In 1974 Tasoula Hadjitofi and her family were forced to flee their home in Famagusta, Cyprus during the Turkish invasion. As a refugee living in the Netherlands, Tasoula devoted her life to infiltrating and exposing the shady underworld of art traffickers. It all began when ... Read More »

Will the Americans Abandon Us?

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Our Senior Analyst for Syria Noah Bonsey visits the north east of the country to meet a Syrian Kurdish organisation that has made the region relatively secure, yet knows that it still has far to go in its… Noah Bonsey ICG QAMISHLI, Syria ­– Abd al-Menaam picks me up as usual from the customs shed on the Syrian bank of the Tigris… As we drive west toward the town of Qamishli, we pass beneath a hilltop command centre bombed by ... Read More »

‘We’re Headed Toward One of the Greatest Divisions in the History of the Jewish People’

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A small, vocal group of Conservative rabbis is pushing the movement to accept marriages between Jews and non-Jews. Emma Green  The Atlantic The fight is really about the future of the religion. In late June, 19 rabbis gathered in New York City for an urgent meeting. It wasn’t secret, exactly, but it certainly wasn’t public. The Jewish leaders—all members of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, except for two—were there to decide what to do about… •‘We’re Headed Toward… Read More »

Erdoğan backs death penalty on Turkey coup attempt anniversary

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President tells crowd of thousands that Turkey will ‘cut the heads off’ traitors, a year after soldiers tried to topple government Kareem Shaheen in Ankara The Guardian The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reiterated his support for reinstating the death penalty and threatened to cut off traitors’ heads in an a… Tens of thousands of people gathered in Istanbul, marching to the Bosphorus Bridge where 36 people were killed by coup soldiers exactly a year ago, for the first of ... Read More »

A Natural Gas War Is Brewing In The Mediterranean

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Offshore gas developments in the East Mediterranean region are heating up. Cyril Widdershoven OilPrice Alongside increased exploration efforts and a possible gas pipeline deal between Turkey and Israel, geopolitical risks are increasing too. While commercial prospects are starting to look good for all parties, a real military conflict is also brewing and may come to a head if Cyprus, Greece and Turkey are not able to find a… Optimism has been high of late about the prospects of offshore Cyprus ... Read More »

Turkey’s free press on trial

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Reporter Canan Coşkun used to cover cases of corruption, assault and murder. Now it’s her fellow journalists who are facing charges. Zia Weise Politico In a small courtroom at the city’s gargantuan Palace of Justice, Canan Coşkun took the stand with her hands clasped nervously behind her back. As a journalist covering the courts for Cumhuriyet — the Turkish newspaper that has been most outspokenly critical of the government — Coşkun is no stranger to judicial… Turkey’s free press… Read More »

Inside Erdogan’s Prisons

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ISTANBUL — I have been a member of Turkish Parliament representing Istanbul for the opposition Republican People’s Party for the past six years. SAFAK PAVEY The New York Times It has forced me to become a specialist in the Turkish prison system as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (A.K.P.) government has increasingly persecuted politicians, activists, professionals and… My morning begins with reading the news; looking for court appearance dates for Inside Erdogan… Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: The Fate of Assyrian Christian Churches and Monasteries

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The Turkish government has recently seized numerous properties belonging to Assyrian (Syriac) Christians − such as churches, monasteries and cemeteries − and… Uzay Bulut Philos Project On June 23, the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos reported, ”””Inquiries by the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation revealed that dozens of churches and monasteries have””” Kuryakos Ergün, the president of the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation, told The Philos Project that the decision of allocating the churches and monasteries to the… Turkey Uncensored: The… Read More »