Middle East

Teacher who said ‘Don’t let children die’ will give birth in Turkish prison

Stau 7g

A one year, three month prison sentence handed down to Turkish teacher Ayşe Çelik, who called for an end to clashes between Kurdish militants and Turkish security forces in Diyarbakır during a TV program, was approved by a regional court of justice, Cumhuriyet reported on… Stockholm Center for Freedom According to the report Çelik, who said “Don’t let children die” during the “Beyaz Show” TV program, will give birth in prison as she is currently three months… On the night ... Read More »

Israel denies Turkish remarks on involvement in Kurd vote

Plau 8h

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Oct. 1 denied Turkish remarks of covert involvement in Iraqi Kurdistan’s recent independence vote, reiterating however his “sympathy” for the Kurdish people. Agence France-Presse Hurriyet On Sept. 30, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Israel’s intelligence agency played a role in the Sept. 25 referendum, citing as proof the waving of Israeli flags during celebrations for the overwhelming “yes” vote. “This shows one thing, that this administration [in northern Iraq] has a history with ... Read More »

Only a partitioned island will bring the dispute between Turkish and Greek Cypriots to an end

Plau 5e

In one of its worst strategic decisions ever, the European Union (sadly, with UK acquiescence) had agreed that Cyprus should join the EU on 1 May 2004, whether agreement had been reached with the Turkish Cypriots or not Jack Straw * Earlier this summer the 11th international effort to strike a deal between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots was rejected by the Greek-Cypriot government – as every previous one has been. Independent So, whatever its terms, will the next, and the ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia Must Prepare for the Post-Petroleum Order

Plau 6f

The jury is out on how far Mohammed bin Salman will go in steering reforms to liberate the innovation and productivity of younger Saudis Precisely because women and human-rights activists in Saudi Arabia have highlighted its past proscription as a symbol, the royal decree granting Saudi women the right to drive is no small matter. Mark P. Lagon  The National Interest And it surprisingly comes as the Saudi government has been enthusiastically embraced by a U.S. president who said—on Saudi territory—“We are not here to lecture” ... Read More »

Turkey agrees to ‘only deal with Baghdad’ over oil exports

Text 3c

In a major U-turn, Turkey has agreed to solely deal with the central Iraqi government over crude oil exports, following a contentious secession referendum held by Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, the Baghdad government says. PressTV The office of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reported Ankara’s change of mode on Thursday, following a phone call between Abadi and his Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim. Yildirim “confirmed the support of his country on all decisions” taken by the Iraqi government, said the… ... Read More »

Turkey and Germany: A Worsening Crisis

TuF 2b

The harsh measures taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since the failed coup attempt last year have led to a deepening crisis with a host of Western states, first and foremost with Germany. Yaniv Avrahm BESA Since the coup attempt, relations between Ankara and Berlin have been at an unprecedented low. However, in light of their history of close relations, the volume of stable economic trade over the years, and Turkey’s ability to stabilize the waves of immigration to ... Read More »

Trump may have to sanction Turkey for Russian deal

Rau 9i

Before their meeting Thursday, President Donald Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bragged about their friendship and claimed U.S.-Turkey relations are at an all-time high. Josh Rogin The Morning Call Trump may not be aware he might soon have to sanction Erdogan for striking a major arms deal with Vladimir Putin‘s Russia. “I think right now we are as close as we’ve ever been. And a lot of that has to do with the personal relationship,” said Trump, on ... Read More »

Kexit: How Kurdish Independence Could Reshape the Middle East

Rau 6f

Washington needs to realize that abandoning the Kurds after the defeat of ISIS in Syria is akin to turning that territory over to Assad. Matthew RJ Brodsky The National Interest As world leaders gathered in Turtle Bay, New York, for the annual United Nations General Assembly convergence, there was no shortage of international crises to address. The nuclear issues with North Korea and Iran rightfully dominated President Trump’s first speech before the UN gathering, however, Middle East challenges tend to ... Read More »

In Ireland, Israel’s Religious Right Engages with Ideas for Peace

Eni 3c

Our Israel Senior Analyst Ofer Zalzberg joins nine leaders of Israel’s national religious community as they seek ideas for peace in meetings with the architects of Northern Ireland’s peace process. Unexpectedly, he finds the trip inspires subtle shifts in their thinking – and in his own. Ofer Zalzberg ICG BELFAST, Northern Ireland – So much is stuck in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that it makes sense to question habitual premises and take a new approach. For me, that means deepening ... Read More »

How to Help Iraq’s Religious Minorities

Despl 4d

Trump should undo an Obama policy that largely blocks them from getting U.S. aid. As Islamic State heads toward defeat in Iraq, Christian and Yazidi survivors of genocide should be returning to their hometowns in Nineveh province. WSJ Rodi Said/Reuters Instead, these fragile minority communities mostly remain stranded at displacement shelters in Kurdistan without the means to rebuild their villages. Many are fleeing Iraq, and the country now risks losing these religious minorities entirely. The Trump administration is making the ... Read More »

How to Mitigate the Risks of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Referendum

Eni 4d

A century-long quest for an independent Kurdistan has encouraged Iraqi Kurds to exploit Iraq’s ongoing crises and schedule a referendum on 25 September 2017. Maria Fantappie  ICG But the referendum is more a reflection of Iraq’s disorder than the Kurds’ readiness for statehood, and the vote’s outcome could exacerbate internal and regional… On 25 September, barring a last-minute postponement, the Iraqi Kurdistan region will hold an independence referendum.  Voters will be asked whether they want “the Kurdistan region and the ... Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: A History of Censorship and Bans

Wua 2b

On April 29, the Turkish government announced that it completely blocked Wikipedia over the online encyclopedia’s refusal to delete articles and comments that suggest that Ankara is co-operating with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. Uzay Bulut Philos Project Despite multiple requests by Turkish officials, Wikipedia refused to take down the content the Turkish government objected to. In response, Turkish authorities blocked online access to Wikipedia in all languages across the country. Wikipedia continues to be blocked ... Read More »

Events in the Middle East force realism on Erdogan

Gale 2b

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have increasing difficulties with the West, but his position in the Middle East is not all that easy either. Semih Idiz  Al-Monitor His regional archenemy, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, continues to make headway, while his nemesis in Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, remains in power. The Qatar crisis caught him unaware and unsettled him. Meanwhile, he is bracing for the reign of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, who is an enemy of the Muslim ... Read More »

Russia’s S-400s Will Protect Turkey From A “Kurdish Air Force”

PuEr 6f

Many people thought that this day would never come, but it’s official – Russian President Putin will sell his Turkish NATO counterpart S-400 missiles, and there’s nothing that the US or NATO can do about… Andrew KORYBKO OrientalReview This is a profound geo-military pivot for Turkey because it solidifies Russia’s role as the country’s high-level strategic partner for decades to come, considering that Russian experts will be relied on to provide maintenance, repairs, spare parts, and upgrades to these anti-aircraft… ... Read More »

What that missile deal really means for Turkey

Arab News 1a Green br

The Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile array has been described as the most sophisticated air defense system in the world. It can track up to 80 targets at the same time, aiming two missiles at each one. Yasar Yakis It can destroy aircraft, cruise missiles, medium range missiles, drones and other airborne surveillance systems. And now Turkey has bought it from Russia. Arab News “My colleagues have already signed a deal on S-400s. A deposit has also been paid as far ... Read More »

Loup Bureau, French journalist freed from Turkey, arrives home

Lup 5e

French reporter Loup Bureau, who had been held on “terror” charges in Turkey in a case that sparked tensions between Ankara and France, arrived in Paris on Sept. 17 after being freed. PARIS – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Bureau, 27, arrived onboard an Air France jet at Charles de Gaulle Airport on a flight from Istanbul, the campaign group Reporters without Borders (RSF) said in a tweet. After his arrival, he was taken to a VIP suite where he was effusively greeted by his family and friends. ... Read More »