Middle East

The Ethnic Cleansing of Northern Cyprus

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Confessions of a Turkish-Cypriot Mass Murderer “Why is there not peace yet? How can we make peace when we have rabid murderers living among us? Instead of prosecuting them, we enable them to appear on TV and to boast about their murders…. If you do not even bring to account a murderer who says, ‘killing was my art,’ who will you bring to account?” — Şener Levent, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika. So far, these “rabid murderers” have ... Read More »

Dr Anwar Gargash: solving the Qatar crisis must involve tackling the ‘trust deficit’

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In an exclusive interview, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs says a solution to the Yemen war must be UN-led Naser Al Wasmi and Arthur MacMillan The National The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash has said there will be no backing down over a year-long boycott of Qatar, saying the onus is on Doha to change its policies. In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with The National addressing regional affairs, he said a “deficit of trust” ... Read More »

Syrian refugees in America: The forgotten psychological wounds of the stress of migration

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War in Syria and the refugee crisis have been the subject of a heated debate in United States politics, leading to a travel ban and drastic reduction in the number refugees to the U.S. this year. Arash Javanbakht The Conversation We occasionally hear about brutal deaths and starvation of civilians in Syria from the news, as a far concept happening in another world. This is a group of people who may justifiably feel betrayed by the world. But what do ... Read More »

Kurdish militia to exit Syria’s Manbij under US-Turkey deal

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WASHINGTON — An American-backed Syrian Kurdish militia said Tuesday it will leave the strategic town of Manbij under a delicate U.S.-Turkey deal that could ease tensions between the NATO allies and force a realignment of troops along the volatile Syria-Turkey frontier. Josh Lederman and Philip Issa | AP The Washington Post Illustrating the fragility of the arrangement, the United States and Turkey offered differing descriptions of what the deal entailed, how it would be carried out and when. But ultimately, the Kurdish ... Read More »

Should Europe try to save the Iran nuclear deal?

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Donald Trump is (according to Donald Trump) the master of the deal. Yet, as the world waits to see if Trump can strike a deal at the US-North Korea summit next week (12 June), another important nuclear deal is on the verge of collapse. debating europe In May 2018, the US decided to withdraw from the Iran deal, which Trump famously called “the single worst deal I’ve ever seen drawn by anybody”. Europe has been scrambling to save the deal but, despite political assurances, European ... Read More »

U.S. and Turkey almost came to blows over this Syrian town. A new deal may avert that.

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The United States and Turkey have reached agreement on the withdrawal of U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters from the northern Syrian town of Manbij, and the military forces of the two countries will begin joint patrols of the area, U.S. and Turkish officials said. by Karen DeYoung and Erin Cunningham The Washington Post The agreement is designed to defuse one of the most serious and long-running disagreements between the two NATO allies, whose troops in Syria have come perilously close to conflict ... Read More »

Somalia and the Gulf Crisis

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The quarrel between Gulf monarchies has spilled into Somalia, with the fragile state now caught between the rival interests of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. ICG The competition has already aggravated intra-Somali disputes. All sides should take a step back before these tensions mount further. What’s new? The rivalries underpinning the June 2017 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crisis – particularly between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the one hand and Qatar and, by extension, Turkey on the other ... Read More »

Jordan PM quits over tax protests, reformer named successor

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Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Monday accepted the resignation of his embattled prime minister and named a leading reformer in his place, hoping to quell the largest anti-government protests in recent years that… AMMAN – Associated Press Hurriyet The kingdom is a key military and political ally of the West in a turbulent region, and any threat to Jordan’s stability is viewed with concern, particularly by neighboring Israel and by the U.S. Prime Minister Hani Mulki’s resignation came after several days ... Read More »

How Istanbul’s man-made canal project could trigger an arms race in the Black Sea – and why China is watching closely

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The Kanal Istanbul project will not be subject to the international treaty that limits the access of warships to the strategically pivotal waters in central Europe Helene Franchineau South China Morning Post In the conservative Istanbul neighbourhood of Üsküdar, couples sit near the July 15 Martyrs bridge and sip cups of tea as oil tankers and cargo ships pass. The sight is common for the city’s residents: every day about 115 vessels cross the Bosphorus Strait. Accidents can happen in ... Read More »

Israeli army kills Palestinian nurse in Gaza border protest

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Gaza City: Israeli forces killed a Palestinian nurse on Friday as she tried to help a wounded protester at the Gaza border, according to health officials and a witness, while Israel said militants had attacked its troops with gunfire and a grenade. Nidal al-Mughrabi The Sydney Morning Herald Reuters Razan Al-Najar’s death brought to 119 the number of Palestinians killed in weekly demonstrations launched on March 30 in the Gaza Strip, an enclave controlled by the Islamist group Hamas and long ... Read More »

Ex-Israeli spy chief: Netanyahu planned Iran strike in 2011

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the order in 2011 for the military to prepare to attack Iran within 15 days, a former Mossad chief said in remarks released on Thursday. Jerusalem (AP) Hurriyet Tamir Pardo, who served as head of the Israeli intelligence agency from 2011 to 2016, told Israeli Keshet TV’s investigative show Uvda that the order was not given “for the sake of a drill,” according to excerpts of the interview released ahead of the broadcast on Thursday evening. “When he ... Read More »

The Desperation to Keep Turkey Different

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With an election looming, secularists are on the defensive to protect their way of life. Donna Abu-Nasr and Cagan Koc Bloomberg It’s the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but in Istanbul smokers huddle outside offices, couples sip beer and sex workers call out to young men from balconies. The contrast with some Arab countries that penalize people for publicly breaking the dawn-to-dusk abstention from food and drink couldn’t be more striking in and around the city’s central Taksim Square. And supporters of that Turkish way ... Read More »

The U.S. to bar sale of fighter aircraft to Turkey

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During the debates on the draft National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), both chambers of the US Congress took parallel initiatives to bar the delivery of F-35 advanced fighter aircraft to Turkey. Yaşar Yakış Ahval In the Senate Armed Services Committee, Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator Thom Tillis submitted an amendment asking the secretary of defence to prepare a plan to exclude Turkey from the F-35 programme. Tillis said the amendment was proposed as a reaction to Turkey’s detention ... Read More »

The shriveling ally

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Only yesterday, Turkey was considered a candidate for membership in the European Union, a reliable friend of the West. The Washington Times Turkey was reasonably modern, forward looking, and Western oriented. Turkey was already a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and membership in the EU would only cement its alliance with the West. Alas, over the past several years Turkey has devolved from something unique to something close to just another depressing redoubt of Middle Eastern despotism. Recep ... Read More »

Turkey-Israel Tension: What Does President Erdogan Want to Achieve?

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Turkey’s relations with Israel are determined, in no small part, by Ankara’s relations with other power blocs, its domestic and broader foreign policy. Guney Yildiz Valdai The roots of Ankara’s May 14th decision to recall its ambassadors to Washington and Tel Aviv shouldn’t therefore solely be sought in US President Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem or alternatively the killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters by Israeli Defence Forces at the Gaza border. The Turkish government’s ... Read More »

Has the US conceded to Turkey in Manbij?

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If one is to go by leaks to the media as well as official statements out of Ankara, Turkey and the United States have essentially worked out a “road map” for Washington-backed Kurdish fighters to leave the northern Syrian city of Manbij near the… Semih Idiz Al-Monitor Accordingly, once the People’s Protection Units (YPG) — which Turkey considers a terrorist organization and an existential threat to its security — evacuate Manbij, Turkish forces would move in and work with US forces already there to provide “stability and security” ... Read More »