Middle East

Ironically, Erdogan has done exactly what the failed coup wanted to do in Turkey

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Some conspiracy theorists think Erdogan himself was behind the coup – indeed, that is Gulen’s contention. Yet the reality is more straightforward: he has seized an unexpected opportunity Pete Weatherby QC The Independent If President Erdogan is to be believed, last year’s failed coup in Turkey was an attempt by his erstwhile ally, Fethullah Gulen – a conservative Islamist like him – to overthrow the Government and do away with the Constitution and National Assembly. Gulen, it should be said, ... Read More »

Merkel Wants to Apply Brakes to Turkey’s EU Aspirations, As Relationship Sours

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Berlin (CNSNews.com) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded coolly Wednesday to calls by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the European Union to end drawn-out accession talks, amid a growing conviction that Erdogan-ruled Turkey is not a suitable candidate for E.U. membership. James Carstensen Addressing officials of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, Erdogan insisted Turkey “has complied with all its commitment,” and has not moved away from a “strategic goal of E.U. membership.” “You’ve kept Turkey waiting,” ... Read More »

Merkel Just Gave In To Erdogan’s Cries Of Populism

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By threatening to end Turkey’s EU bid, the German chancellor just signaled to members of her constituency that they’re politically expendable. Stefan Ihrig HuffPost HAIFA, Israel― German election TV debates are usually rather dull affairs compared to those in the United States. This election, there is only one ― German Chancellor Angela Merkel apparently did not feel like doing more ― and it took place over the weekend, just three weeks before the vote. On Sunday, Merkel and rival Martin ... Read More »

The Kurds Are Not Children

Iraqi Kurdish demonstrators wave the Kurdish flag during a protest demanding for the independence of Kurdistan outside the United Nations offices in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region, on August 23, 2014. About 700,000 Iraqis have gathered in the Kurdish north after being driven from their homes by jihadist Islamic State (IS) fighters, the UN said as it stepped up a massive aid operation to the region. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

They have earned their independence, and the West must get out of the way By Bernard-Henri Lévy  Foreign Policy The timidity of the international community in the face of the Sept. 25 referendum on an independent Kurdistan is a trifecta of shame, absurdity, and historic miscalculation. We are talking about a people who have been deported, Arabized by force, gassed, and pushed into the mountains where, for a century, they have mounted an exemplary resistance to the tyranny their Baghdad ... Read More »

Turkey Can Forget About EU Membership

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Turkey will never become a member of the European Union, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel finally said so in public. Michael J. Totten World Affairs Journal “The fact is clear that Turkey should not become a member of the EU,” she said in an election debate with her opponent, Martin Shulz. “I’ll speak to my colleagues to see if we can reach a joint position on this so that we can end these accession talks.” The only thing surprising here ... Read More »

Lost Languages Discovered in One of the World’s Oldest Continuously Run Libraries

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The centuries-old texts were erased, and then written over, by monks at Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt Brigit Katz Smithsonian Saint Catherine’s Monastery, a sacred Christian site nestled in the shadow of Mount Sinai, is home to one of the world’s oldest continuously used libraries. Thousands of manuscripts and books are kept there – some of which contain hidden treasures. Now, as Jeff Farrell reports for the Independent, a team of researchers is using new technology to uncover texts that ... Read More »

Siege: Envoy insists Qatar will not bow down

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The daily lives of Qataris and residents have not been affected although the blockade was a surprise and in violation of international humanitarian law and all the customs of the region and of humanity as a whole, said a Qatari… The Peninsula Qatar has been able to recover swiftly by seeking alternative markets to import goods and avoid shortages because of the siege imposed by Saudi-led bloc, said Sultan Al Mahmoud (pictured), Qatar’s ambassador to… In an interview with the ... Read More »

Turkey eyes deal for Russian air defense system, irking West

US forces, accompanied by Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters, drive their armoured vehicles near the northern Syrian village of Darbasiyah, on the border with Turkey on April 28, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / DELIL SOULEIMAN

Experts skeptical Ankara will end up inking purchase of S-400 batteries, but say the message of dissatisfaction with NATO is what’s important Stuart Williams The Times of Israel ISTANBUL, Turkey (AFP) — Turkey and Russia are inching toward an accord for the first major Turkish weapons purchase from Moscow, troubling Ankara’s allies in NATO even though the deal may not ultimately materialize. According to Turkish and Russian officials, all preparations have been made for the purchase of a sophisticated S-400 ... Read More »

The Hajj and the Struggle for Islamic Hegemony

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The ethnic Sunni-Shiite rift parallels the Saudi-Iranian political rift, the Wahhabi-Muslim Brotherhood ideological rift, and the historic rift between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar BESA Tensions over Islamic hegemony arising from these rifts are likely to come to a boil at the 2017 Hajj. Wednesday, August 23, 2017, is the first day of Zhu–l-Hijjat, the Muslim month in which two important events take place: the pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the most central ... Read More »

Turkey’s Downward Spiral

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It is becoming harder by the day to make sense of the strategy behind Ankara’s domestic and foreign policy choices—assuming there is one at all. Marc Pierini Carnegie To Turkish analysts, Ankara’s policies may make sense. For Western politicians and analysts, including eternal hopefuls, summer 2017 will be remembered as a time when Turkey spiraled downward into more rule of the arbitrary, increased political inconsistencies, and aggressive postures on the international scene. It is becoming harder by the day to ... Read More »

With Referendum Approaching, Kurds Wait for More U.S. Military Aid

MOSUL, IRAQ - OCTOBER 20:  A Kurdish peshmerga tank moves forward during an assault to recapture the village of Tiskharab on October 20, 2016 near Mosul, Iraq. Kurdish and Iraqi forces, supported by numerous countries including Britain and the USA, have continued their advance towards towards Iraq's second largest city of Mosul which has been held by Islamic State militants since 2014.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

A $22 million U.S. Defense Department fund that has helped pay the salaries of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq is due to run dry in September, worsening a financial crunch as the government in Erbil struggles with billions of dollars in debt. Paul McLeary Foreign Policy The timing couldn’t be worse, as the one-year program runs out at the same time the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) plans to hold a referendum on formally leaving Iraq, a vote the United ... Read More »

Turkey ‘Searching for Ways to Reconcile With Assad’ Amid Situation in Idlib

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Lately, Turkey has been actively engaged in contacts with regional states and allies, discussing the situation in Syria. Leading political observer Zeynep Gürcanlı, from the Sözcü newspaper told Sputnik Turkey that the attempt to alter foreign policy strategy and seeking a thaw with Damascus could be behind Ankara’s recent diplomatic efforts. Sputnik “Currently, perhaps the most significant steps have been made in the country’s [Turkey’s] foreign policy in terms of departing from the traditional 16-year political strategy  of the ruling the Justice and Development Party ... Read More »

Hezbollah Has Been Active in America for Decades

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Hezbollah has suffered serious casualties in Syria, but also feels emboldened by its battlefield successes and may seek to flex its muscles globally. Colin P. Clarke The National Interest  In early June, a Bronx man named Ali Kourani was arrested and charged with casing John F. Kennedy airport in New York City for a potential Hezbollah attack. Around this same time, Samer El Debek of Dearborn, Michigan, was arrested and charged with traveling to Panama to conduct surveillance against Israeli targets and ... Read More »

Sudanese minister calls for normalisation with Tel Aviv

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The Israeli newspaper Haartez has welcomed statements made by the Sudanese Minister Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi who expressed his support for the establishment of official relations with Israel, claiming that Palestinians are to blame for selling their land in the first place. Middle East Monitor Al-Mahdi, who is Minister of Investment in Sudan, stated during an interview with a Sudanese TV channel yesterday that there should be no objection to the idea of normalising relations with Israel, pointing out that this ... Read More »

Turkey and Russia’s tomato crisis explained

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Nearly two years after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet, relations between Ankara and Moscow are largely restored. The two countries last month signed an arms deal, but tomatoes are still a thorny issue. Zeynep Şahin TRTworld Turkish and Russian delegations will meet in Turkey’s coastal city of Izmir on Friday to discuss trade and economic relations. The humble tomato is also expected to be on the table — and it’s playing an outsized role in the talks. The two ... Read More »

An Open Letter To Our Fellow Jews

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To our fellow Jews, in the United States, in Israel, and around the world: We know that, up to now, some of you have made an effort to reserve judgment on the question of whether or not President Donald Trump is an anti-Semite, and to give him the benefit of the doubt. Michael Chabon Ayelet Waldman Berkeley, California, 8/16/17 ExtraNewsFeed Some of you voted for him last November. Some of you have found employment in his service, or have involved ... Read More »