Middle East

Events in the Middle East force realism on Erdogan

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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”

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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

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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

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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 »

Yemen: About 55,000 Documented Human Rights Violation Cases in Six Months

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Geneva- The Yemeni Coalition for Monitoring Human Rights Violations has called on the UN Human Rights Council UNHRC to oblige the Saleh-Houthi coup militias to implement its resolutions. The coalition specified resolutions 17/18 of 2011 and 27/29 of… Asharq Al-Awsat  The Coalition’s executive manager Mutahhar al-Budheiji made the appeal as he presented his organization’s report on the status of human rights in Yemen in the 36th session of the UNHRC in Geneva Wednesday. He urged the UNHRC “to call on ... Read More »

Russia, Turkey Sign S-400 Deal despite Criticism and Suspicion

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference following their talks in Sochi, Russia, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

Moscow – Moscow and Ankara confirmed on Tuesday that they signed a deal in which Moscow would sell Ankara S-400 missiles. Taha Abed alWahed “Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia. ASHARQ AL-AWSAT A deposit has also been paid as far as I know,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. He stated that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin “are determined on this issue.” This is the largest deal that Turkey signs with a country ... Read More »

US-Turkey Tensions Escalate Over Russian Missile Deal

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed U.S. concerns about his government’s recent decision to buy an S-400 missile defense system from Russia In a speech Wednesday to mayors from his ruling AK Party, Erdogan said of the U.S., “They went crazy because we made the S-400 agreement. Dorian Jones VoA What were we supposed to do? Wait for you? We are taking and will take all our measures on the security front,” he added. The multibillion-dollar missile purchase has ... Read More »

Cardin: Turkey’s Purchase of Russian missile system may trigger sanctions

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Top Senate Foreign Relations Democrat warns $2.5 billion Turkey-Russia deal might violate new sanctions law that Trump opposed. Andrew Hanna Politico Turkey’s recent purchase of an advanced Russian anti-air weapons system may have violated a U.S. law that would require an automatic imposition of sanctions on the NATO member, a top Democratic lawmaker said today. The letter, sent by Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin to Trump administration officials, warns that Ankara’s purchase of Moscow’s S-400 air defense system, which finalized on ... Read More »

Greece warns ending EU talks with Turkey a mistake

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Halting accession talks with Turkey would be a strategic mistake by the European Union, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sept. 10, amid a war of words raging between Berlin and Ankara. Agence France-Presse Hurriyet  During a recent election debate, both Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democratic rival Martin Schulz endorsed ending Turkey’s EU accession talks. Ties between the two nations have become strained since last year’s failed coup attempt. Relations further deteriorated after the detention of several German citizens including Deniz Yücel, ... Read More »

The power bloc: Turkey is done with the EU, and now eyeing a Pakistan, Russia, China alliance

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Erdogan wants to join China-Russia bloc via Pakistan. Zain Khan TheDuran The power bloc A power bloc may just be formed from the friendship between Ankara, Islamabad, Russia and China. As celebrations are ongoing for the 70 years of diplomatic ties between Turkey and Pakistan, the long economic relations between Ankara and Islamabad bring China and Russia together to form a formidable four-nation bloc. The relationship between Pakistan and Turkey has dated back to several centuries and this has been ... Read More »

Turkey’s Genocide Denial: Four Narratives

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Turkey still denies the Armenian Genocide, during which 1.5 million Armenians perished. The Turkish state does not have just one policy or rhetoric concerning it. One could argue that there are four main narratives in Turkey concerning the genocide. Uzay Bulut  The Armenian Weekly Narrative One: We Did Not Slaughter Armenians; Armenians Slaughtered Us Accusing Armenians of being mass murderers and the actual perpetrators of genocide is a popular myth in Turkey. Last year, a public stage play that depicted ... Read More »

Get NATO’s Nukes Out of Turkey

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Even in this contentious era, one proposition still enjoys near-universal support: the United States should make it the highest priority to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of hostile states. Jonathan Marshall HuffPost It’s far too late to stop North Korea from getting the Bomb, despite all the militant rhetoric coming out of Washington. But we still have a chance to prevent an erratic Middle East strongman from holding the United States hostage by threatening to seize dozens ... Read More »

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 »