Middle East

Why is Turkey buying the Russian S-400 missile defence system?

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Why is Turkey buying the Russian S-400 missile defence system? TRT World and agencies Ali Topchi Turkey, which boasts the second-largest army in NATO, announced last week, on Tuesday, it had inked a deal to buy an S-400 (NATO version SA-21 Growler) missile defence system for $2-3 billion from Russia. The deal led NATO members to question Turkey’s move and what it means for their alliance with NATO. The parties did not share the details of the S-400 agreement due to its… Why is Turkey… Read More »

3 human rights defenders transferred to Silivri Prison

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Amnesty International (AI) Turkey Director İdil Eser and two other human rights activists, Özlem Dalkıran and Nalan Erkem, were transferred from Bakırköy to Silivri Prison on Monday. TM Six human rights activists, including Eser and German human rights consultant Peter Steudtner, who were detained on July 5 during a workshop at a hotel on İstanbul’s Büyükada, were put in pretrial detention by an… Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Selina Doğan, who went to visit the three human rights defenders ... Read More »

Turkey’s top judicial body reshuffles 110 judges, prosecutors

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Turkey’s top judicial authority, the Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK), has transferred 110 judges and prosecutors working in military and other courts in Turkey. Turkish Minute According to HSK decrees numbered 1037 and 1038, published on Friday night, 65 judges in military courts were transferred to positions as judges and prosecutors in civil and administrative courts. The HSK also reshuffled 40 judges and prosecutors in civil and criminal courts and five in administrative courts. The reorganization took place after ... Read More »

The good, the bad and the ugly of the Gulf crisis

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently embarked on a two-day trip to the Gulf, in the latest international effort to help resolve the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the… Sinem Cengiz Arab News The trip included Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both actors in the crisis, as well as Kuwait, the main mediator, whose role is difficult and should be appreciated. The good, the… Read More »

UN: 80 pct of Yemen children in need of immediate aid

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A vicious combination of war, cholera and hunger has left 80 percent of Yemeni children in desperate need of aid, the United Nations has said said. Sanaa Hurriyet ”Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s children need immediate humanitarian assistance,” the executive directors of three U.N. agencies said in a joint statement released at the end of a two-day visit on July 25. ”Nearly two million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished. Malnutrition makes them more susceptible to cholera. Disease creates more malnutrition. ... Read More »

Putin signs Syria base deal, cementing Russia’s presence there for half a century

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President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying a deal with the Syrian government allowing Russia to keep its air base in Syria for almost half a century, official documents show. Moscow – Reuters Hurriyet The original deal, signed in Damascus in January, sets out the terms under which Russia can use its Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province which it has used to carry out air strikes against forces opposing President Bashar al-Assad. Putin approved the agreement on July ... Read More »

Will the Kurds Get Their Independence Referendum?

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The Kurdish region faces a multiplicity of hurdles as it prepares for the “yes to independence” referendum. Seth J. Frantzman The National Interest Kurdistan Regional Government president Masoud Barzani announced on June 7 that the region had set September 25 as the date for a referendum on independence. He was joined by members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan Islamic Union, Kurdistan Islamic Movement and… New signs on billboards throughout the KRG capital of Erbil ... Read More »

Israel to Erdoğan: The days of the Ottoman Empire are over

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In response to statements made by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan that linked the problems in Palestine to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the days of the Ottoman Empire are over. Turkish Minute Erdoğan criticized Israel over the installation of metal detectors at the entrance of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem after assailants killed two Israeli police officers on July 14 and said Israel had exceeded its boundaries. Nahshon, who criticized ... Read More »

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 »