Middle East

A lost history of cultural tolerance

Arab news

Unbeknownst to many, Qur’anic calligraphy still adorns stone pillars of certain Sicilian churches. Zaid M. Belbagi Arab News The best-known example is the “Bismillah” motif engraved into a column at La Martorana Cathedral in Palermo. Such pillars were… A lost history of… Read More »

Iraqi parliament votes against flying KRG flag in Kirkuk

Kerk 2b

The Iraqi Parliament on April 1 voted against the decision of Kirkuk Provincial Council to raise the flag of Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) alongside the Iraqi flag in the… Hurriyet Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the parliament session and the… “We left the parliament session after tensions erupted over the… Iraqi parliament votes… Read More »

Why the Pentagon doesn’t want Turkey’s help in Syria

Unt 2b

Like a marriage held together for the sake of the kids, the U.S. and Turkey keep saying nice things in public, while privately fuming and… JAMIE MCINTYRE Examiner The growing rift between the two countries stems from the intractable dispute over the U.S. plan to liberate Raqqa with a loose coalition of… Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered his military to… Why the Pentagon… Read More »

One man’s quest to save the Jewish Iraqi language

Torah scrolls are exhibited at the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center in Or Yehuda, near Tel Aviv, in this October 19, 2006 picture. World Jewish groups began a global campaign on Sunday calling for recognition of Jews from Arab countries as refugees in the Middle East conflict.  REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen  (ISRAEL) - RTR1IKQX

On Friday mornings in a class on the heritage of Babylonian Jewry, Oded Amit has taught a small group of Israelis to speak Jewish Iraqi, the language of his ancestors. Jacky Hugi Al Monitor Amit, 70, was born and raised in Baghdad, and Jewish Iraqi was the language in which his mother raised him. “It’s a beautiful… One man’s quest… Read More »

Israel-Lebanon maritime dispute explained

Uka 2b

Lebanon will not yield its maritime territory to Israel, Lebanese officials… Matthew Joaquin Al Jazeera Beirut, Lebanon – Earlier this month, the new Lebanese government, led by President Michel Aoun, published a tender to explore untapped gas and… Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water Cesar Abou Khalil has said that the offshore resources could be a major economic boost for the… Israel-Lebanon maritime… Read More »

The Demise of the Anatolian Tiger

Turkish Lira 1a Reuters LLLL

Turkey’s Struggling Economy Turkey’s economy is suffering badly amid the country’s political… By Maximilian Popp Spiegel Investors have lost confidence, tourists are staying away and the lira is rapidly losing… President Erdogan hasn’t grasped the severity of the… Until recently, Haci Boydak was a… The Demise of… Read More »

The new trend of bans against Muslim countries

Muslim ban - DS

Muslims, who are the already victim of the negative image perpetrated by Western countries, faces the new rising trend of weird bans in the same countries Ergin Yaman Daily Sabah In a press conference held by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel back in February this year, the chancellor used the term “Islamist terror.” President Erdoğan took… The new trend… Read More »

Erdoğan’s power grab

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MARCH 13:  A couple walk past a large banner showing the portrait of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Taksim Square on March 13, 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkey will hold its constitutional referendum on April 16, 2017. Turks will vote on 18 proposed amendments to the Constitution of Turkey. The controversial changes seek to replace the parliamentary system and move to a presidential system which would give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan executive authority. Campaigning will officially begin on February 25 with a pro referendum rally to be held in Ankara and attended by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

What the upcoming referendum means for Turkey. Zia Weise Politico ISTANBUL — The cure-all for Turkey’s ills is close at hand — if you believe Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: a ‘yes’ result in next month’s referendum would restore security and stability, the president… Erdoğan’s power… Read More »

Land Day 2017: Israel’s relentless land grab continues

Palestine - Al Jazeera

As Israel resumes its settlement expansion with impunity, Palestinians have plenty to protest at this year’s Land Day. Rachel Borrell Al Jazeera News Today’s commemoration of Land Day is an emblematic reminder of the countless human rights violations that have characterised half a century of Palestinian land confiscation and dispossession. During the first… Land Day 2017… Read More »

The war on terror needs new strategies

Arab news

A close friend of mine lives and works in London. Maria Dubovikova Arab News Her message to me on the day of the terrorist act near Westminster was: “I’m afraid to leave the office. Everybody is alarmed… The war on… Read More »

Trump said he’d stop dragging us into war. That’s yet another fat lie

War - The Guardian

President Trump has escalated US intervention in Syria. Medea Benjamin The Guardian American strikes there now kill or injure more civilians than Russian strikes, says one report President Trump told… Trump said he’d… Read More »

Calls for support as destroyed Mosul Museum seeks to rebuild

A view of a destroyed museum, where Islamic State militants filmed themselves destroying priceless statues and sculptures in 2015, during a battle against the militants in Mosul, Iraq, March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani - RTX30KNF

When Iraqi soldiers entered the Mosul Museum on March 13, they were greeted by scenes of enormous damage caused by the Islamic State (IS). Adnan Abu Zeed Al Monitor Some items had been destroyed or burned, while others had been stolen by IS militants and sold to antiquities traders. Iraqis and the… Calls for support… Read More »

Palestinians: We Have the Right to Poison the Minds of our Children

Palestine - Gatestone

The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas wish to continue teaching children that the conflict with Israel is not over a two-state solution, but the “liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,”… Bassam Tawil Gatestone Institute The goal is for the students to believe that Israel is one big settlement that has no place in the Middle East. Along with Hamas… Palestinians: We Have… Read More »

Turkey’s main Islamic human rights organization faces internal upheaval

Protesters from human rights organisation Mazlumder hold torches during a demonstration in Istanbul January 26, 2008. Students may soon be allowed to wear the Muslim headscarf in Turkish universities, a watershed for a devout, growing middle class that has long complained of discrimination against its faith. Picture taken on January 26, 2008. To match feature TURKEY-HEADSCARF  REUTERS/Fatih Saribas  (TURKEY) - RTR1WHXV

In Turkey, there are various human rights organizations dedicated to defend oppressed groups or individuals. Mustafa Akyol Al Monitor One of them, Mazlumder, is unique, because it has explicitly Islamic credentials, unlike most others that are more secular. Yet the same… Turkey’s main Islamic… Read More »

Iraq’s new marginalised population

Iraq - Al Jazeera

Iraqi families with relatives affiliated to ISIL are struggling to find a place for themselves in their own country. Belkis Wille Al Jazeera News Across Iraq, as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) loses its territorial footholds, it is leaving behind entire populations terrorised by its fighters, but also a community of families tainted by their… Iraq’s new marginalised… Read More »

Turkey determined to test NATO

A Turkish flag (R) flies among others flags of NATO members during the North Atlantic Council (NAC) following Turkey's request for Article 4 consultations, at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 28, 2015. Turkey sought moral support for its campaign against militants in Syria and Iraq at an emergency meeting on Tuesday with its North Atlantic allies, with both NATO and Ankara playing down any idea of a call for military help from the alliance. Turkey requested urgent consultations with its 27 NATO partners in Brussels after stepping up its role in the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State with air strikes, also hitting Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in Iraq at the weekend. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir  - RTX1M3E0

Following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s March 10 meeting in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin, it was reported that Turkey was engaged in negotiations to procure the Russian-made S-400 air defense system. Fehim Tastekin Al Monitor Sergei Chemezov, CEO of the Russian state-owned Rostec, said on March 14 that Turkey had asked for credit to buy the system, but that a deal had not yet been reached. “As soon as… Turkey determined to… Read More »