Middle East

Massive Turkey-funded mosque stirs unease in secular north Cyprus

This picture shows the Hala sultan mosque in Haspolat (called Mia Milia by Greek Cypriots), in the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), on July 7, 2018.
North of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a massive Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to attend the opening ceremony on July 10 of the 3,000-capacity house of worship, with its four minarets and built in classic Ottoman style. While many have welcomed it, the mosque has sparked concern among some Turkish Cypriots over Ankara's growing influence in the north of the divided island. / AFP PHOTO / Matthieu CLAVEL

Many local residents see imposing structure as part of Erdogan’s efforts to cement control over territory. ‘It symbolizes the Islamist mentality. It’s not an innocent thing’ Dylan Collins The Times of Israel NICOSIA, Cyprus (AFP) — In the flat sunbaked fields north of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a huge Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to attend the opening ceremony, expected to take place on ... Read More »

Justice for Cyprus: The Goal should be Freedom from Occupation

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Cyprus, a member state of the European Union, has been illegally occupied by Turkey since 1974. Turkey’s false excuse for its presence on the island is the “protection of Turkish Cypriots from Greek violence.” Uzay Bulut * H Fusion     However, in 2017, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş revealed the real reason behind Turkey’s control of Cyprus:  “There is this misinformation that Turkey is interested in Cyprus because there is a Turkish society there… Kyrenia Harbour Even if no Turks lived in Cyprus, ... Read More »

Swedish activist granted Palestinian citizenship

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Palestinian resistance group Hamas condemns Israel for not allowing Benjamin Ladraa to enter Palestine World Bulletin Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas granted Palestinian citizenship Friday to Swedish activist Benjamin Ladraa, who has been walking from Sweden to Palestine to raise awareness on human rights violations. “This step is taken to appreciate Ladraa’s efforts and his position to support the Palestinian people,” Abbas said according to a report by the official Wafa news agency. Ladraa was barred by Israeli police from entering ... Read More »

Israeli intelligence firm targeted NGOs during Hungary’s election campaign

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - APRIL 08: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban leaves from the polling station on April 8, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary. Hungarians are going to the polls in the Parliamentary election today. (Photo by Laszlo Balogh/Getty Images)

People working for Black Cube secretly taped meetings that were then cited by Prime Minister Victor Orbán. Lili Bayer Politico The Israeli private intelligence firm Black Cube was involved in a campaign to discredit NGOs ahead of Hungary’s April election, according to a former Black Cube employee and a person with knowledge of the company’s inner workings. Between December 2017 and March 2018, Hungarian NGOs and individuals connected to American-Hungarian businessman George Soros were contacted by agents using false identities who… Israeli intelligence ... Read More »

Outspoken Aberdeen University academic arrested in Turkey for criticising the government

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An outspoken Aberdeen University academic has been arrested in Turkey for posting critical commentary online about the country’s leader. Kieran Beattie The Press and Journal Lawyer Hanifi Baris, who graduated from Aberdeen University’s Centre of Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law with a PhD last year, was yesterday arrested by police in Istanbul for “posting items with criminal content on Facebook and Twitter accounts”. Mr Baris, who moved to Turkey after leaving Aberdeen last year to be with his ... Read More »

NATO Is Obsolete

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“Europe is prosperous and treats America like a patsy. Let it stand on its own.” Before the United States President Donald Trump attempts real diplomacy with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Helsinki on July 16, he’ll first be subjected to another summit. Christian Whiton The National Interest That first summit is a gathering of leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These leaders continually assure the United States they are America’s best allies, even as most ... Read More »

Clothing Brands Need to Step Up and Keep Women Safe in Their Factories

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In a recent survey of experts, countries were ranked according to how safe they are for women. India came out as the most dangerous, followed by Afghanistan and Syria. Aruna Kashyap HRW Leaving aside the survey’s obvious challenges – including its attempt to use six measures to compare 10 very different countries – it paints a dire picture for women’s safety in the world. One area in which women everywhere face discrimination, inequality, harassment or violence in their everyday lives ... Read More »

Number of Yemenis fleeing Al-Hudaydah tops 121,000: UN

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More than 121,000 people have recently fled Yemen’s port city of Al-Hudaydah due to fierce attacks by Saudi-led coalition forces, according to a new UN report. AL-HUDAYDAH, Yemen – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest situation report on Al-Hudaydah released on July 4 that displacement from the Al-Hudaydah Governorate continues and… “More than 10,000 displaced households (nearly 80,000 people) have been assisted with food, emergency kits, and other life-saving support,” ... Read More »

6 US “Allies” That Are Russia’s Newest Partners

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Russia has mastered the art of making new partnerships among nations that in the 20th and much of the 21st century were and in some cases still are traditional American allies. Adam Garrie EurasiaFuture As the long dead realities of the Cold War era become dramatically re-shaped by the age of multipolarity and increased interconnectivity between global regions, it is helpful to look at some of the countries with whom Russia is a close partner or healthy friend in spite ... Read More »

“Turkish gov’t takes a page from the Gulenist playbook in Washington lobbying” – 3

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This is the third piece in a series on Turkish government and Turkish-American lobbying in the United States. Claire Sadar Ahval In the first two pieces, I discussed how both the Turkish government and its former ally turned enemy, the Gulen Movement, are courting the Trump administration, and particularly Vice President Mike Pence, through Trump-connected lobbyists. In 2017, both sides spent considerable sums on lobbying. The Gulen-connected Alliance for Shared Values spent at least $310,500 on three lobbying firms. Unsurprisingly, ... Read More »

Qatar to maintain LNG dominance despite regional embargo

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In 2017, Qatar produced 18.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (bcfd). Almost all natural gas comes from various developments on the North Field, which is considered the largest non-associated gas structure in the world. By GlobalData Energy Hydrocarbons Technology The field has a combined processing and export capacity of 77.4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG. The Qatargas and Rasgas projects are the largest contributors to production on the field and are joint ventures between Qatargas ... Read More »

Australia ends direct aid to Palestinian Authority

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Australia has ceased providing direct aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop saying the donations could increase the self-governing body’s capacity to pay Palestinians convicted of politically motivated violence. ABC Ms Bishop said funding was cut to the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program after writing to the Palestinian Authority in late May seeking assurance that Australian funding was not going to Palestinian criminals. Australia sends about $10 million in ... Read More »

The Palestinians and Nuclear Weapons

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The unresolved Israel-Palestinian conflict is one of the major factors preventing an effective region-wide prohibition of nuclear weapons. Paul R. Pillar The National Interest The significance of the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been the subject of tendentious debates. The right-wing government of Israel, not wanting to relinquish the conquered land whose relinquishment would be necessary for peace, often contends, along with its sympathizers, that peace in… The region has become preoccupied with other things, goes the argument, and even ... Read More »

How the Iran sanctions drama intersects with OPEC-plus

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Major states buying oil from Iran are unlikely to heed the US call to drop imports; key allies want a waiver to avoid sanctions; OPEC, meanwhile, will have trouble boosting output in the short-term; the puzzle is not solved, but there are dark clouds. Pepe Escobar Asia Times History may have registered stranger geoeconomic bedfellows. But in the current OPEC-plus world, the rules of the game are now de facto controlled by OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia in concert with non-OPEC Russia. Russia ... Read More »

Erdogan’s Victory Could Actually Improve U.S.-Turkish Relations

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 27:  The sun rises behind the Blue Mosque in the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul on February 22, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey. Though not the capital, Istanbul is the cultural, economic, and financial heart of Turkey with a population of over 13 million people. Situated on the Bosphorus strait, this metropolis, a former capital of the Roman Empire, spans Europe and Asia, the only city in the world to cross two continents. The city is dominated by historical monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman era, with modern nightclubs, up-market restaurants and boutique hotels helping the city become a tourist hotspot. Istanbul was awarded the status of European Capital of Culture in 2010.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Turkey’s decisive election results and shaky geopolitical situation could make it more amenable to addressing U.S. concerns about Russian weapons sales, Iranian adventurism, and other key security issues. James Jeffrey Breaking Energy At first glance, the June 24 electoral sweep by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s coalition did not go over well in the United States. In response to his renewed grasp on the executive branch and parliament, many observers expressed regrets that the West-leaning opposition did not garner more ... Read More »

The Half-Life of Sexual Abuse in a Holocaust-Survivor Family

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Helen Epstein completes her clear-eyed, fearless, taboo-breaking autobiographical trilogy By Irena Klepfisz Tablet Helen Epstein began her career as a journalist with the publication of an article in the Jerusalem Post describing Soviet tanks rolling into Prague. It was 1968 and she was 20 years old. Since then she has become well known and greatly respected not only as a journalist but as a biographer, editor, and Czech translator with a wide range of interests: music and theater, psychoanalysis, and… Among her ... Read More »