Middle East

The New Silk Road will go through Syria

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China and Syria have already begun discussing post-war infrastructure investment; with a ‘Matchmaking Fair for Syria… Pepe Escobar  Asia Times Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good… Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with… The New Silk… Read More »

Is Turkey the most Orwellian country?

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It’s been almost 70 years since English novelist Eric Arthur Blair, writing under the pseudonym George Orwell, penned “1984,” his famous dystopian novel which depicted life in Oceania, a state in… Michael Rubin AEIdeas The state prosecutes “thought crime” and independent thinking. The “Inner Party” strictly controls policy, even as members of the “Outer Party” fill other bureaucratic slots in order to keep the… Historical revisionism is rife and… Is Turkey the… Read More »

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Turkish President could face arrest in Sweden over ‘genocide’ lawsuit

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Complaint is country’s first to be lodged against head of state, which could see him arrested if pursued by prosecutor’s… Lucy Pasha-Robinson Independent Swedish lawmakers have filed a complaint against the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing him of genocide, crimes against humanity and war… Five MPs filed the lawsuit with Sweden’s public prosecutor for Mr Erdogan’s role in the bloody conflict between Turkish forces and Kurdish militants since… Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Read More »

London High Court rejects bid to halt British arms sales to Saudi Arabia

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LONDON: The London High Court threw out an attempt to halt UK military sales worth billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia, in a case brought by an… Sean Cronin Arab News The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) had asked the court for an order to block export licenses for British-made military exports to the Kingdom, which it claimed had been used in Yemen in…   The judges found that the UK secretary of state for international trade was “rationally entitled ... Read More »

Turkey minister barred from Austria rally for failed coup anniversary

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The Austrian authorities have barred Turkey’s economy minister from entering the country to attend a rally to mark the first anniversary of the failed coup attempt. BBC Nihat Zeybekci’s visit would represent a danger to “public order and security”, an Austrian spokesman said. The Turkish government did not comment immediately on the… Relations are already tense as Austria has criticised the Turkish government’s response to the… Turkey minister barred… Read More »

US lawmaker wants to block F-35 sales to Turkey over embassy brawl

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WASHINGTON — A Democratic lawmaker from Rhode Island is seeking to block the U.S. sale of Lockheed Martin-made F-35 fighter jets to Turkey over an attack on protesters outside the… Joe Gould and Valerie Insinna Defense News Rep. David Cicilline, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has proposed the ban as an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by the House Armed… The House is expected to take up the bill and deal with amendments ... Read More »

Saudi-Venezuelan ties to reach new heights: Envoy

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RIYADH: Bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Venezuela are set to take a leap forward with the holding of a Joint Committee Meeting in Riyadh at the end of this year, according to Joseba Achutegui, the Venezuelan ambassador to the… MOHAMMED RASOOLDEEN Arab News The envoy was speaking to Arab News on Wednesday, on the 206th anniversary of his country’s independence. Achutegui said that the… Saudi-Venezuelan ties… Read More »

Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance

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At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets and the technology for making nuclear weapons soon spread. Arms Control Association The United States conducted its first nuclear test explosion in July 1945 and dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Just four years later, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test explosion. The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), ... Read More »

What does ‘the last chance’ really mean?

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The imperial origins and neo-imperial purposes of a misleading mantra Klearchos A. Kyriakides Published in Agora Dialogue on 4 July 2017 Introduction  On 28 June 2017, the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ was ‘reconvened’ in the luxury Alpine resort of Crans Montana in Switzerland. In common with what occurred in connection with the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ held in Geneva on 12 January 2017, the ‘reconvened’ version has been accompanied by the widespread dissemination of a simple proposition: that the ‘Conference on Cyprus’ ... Read More »

March for ‘justice’ by Erdogan opponents in Turkey gains momentum and alarms government

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DUZCE, Turkey — The midday sun was roasting, their limbs were aching, and the protesters, from Turkey’s largest opposition party, still had 125 miles to march before Istanbul, their destination. Kareem Fahim The Washington Post The road had been hard: One elderly protester died of cardiac arrest, and another was hospitalized with heart spasms. But spirits were soaring as they walked through Duzce last week, holding banners that said “justice,” to protest a… March for ‘justice… Read More »

‘We’ve lost democracy’: on the road with Turkey’s justice marchers

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Thousands are walking the 280 miles from Ankara to Istanbul to protest against a government crackdown on politicians, journalists and civil servants Kareem Shaheen and Gözde Hatunoğlu in Düzce The Guardian Hıdır Aydur rested his blistered feet under the shade of a tree on the side of the highway that runs between Ankara and Istanbul. The 57-year-old, from Erzincan in Turkey’s north-east, who has diabetes, had been marching for 15 days. He is one of thousands journeying by foot from ... Read More »

What’s Behind the Syrian Chemical-Weapons Warning?

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Assad may be hoping that another chemical-weapons attack in Idlib Province could dissuade further rebel advances. Matthew RJ Brodsky The National Interest From seemingly out of nowhere, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer released a brief and ominous statement late Monday evening regarding Bashar al… The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the… What’s Behind the… Read More »

Turkey’s Coming Chaos

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President Donald Trump wasn’t wrong in May when he lauded Turkey as a “pillar in the Cold War against Communism” and “a bastion against Soviet… Michael Rubin AEI In a previous era, when land invasions were the great strategic worry, Turkey’s location — right between Eastern Europe and the Middle East — made its Incirlik Air Base an indispensable asset for the U.S… The nation also had a strong military of its own and an ideological willingness to… Turkey’s Coming… Read More »

Erdogan is Capable and Willing to Destabilize the Balkans And NATO Pretends Everything Is Fine

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And NATO Pretends Everything Is Fine “I expect Ankara to pour substantial resources into gaining religious and political influence in Southeast Europe,” one of America’s top experts on the Middle East told Faktor.bg. Daniel Pipes Daniel Pipes is an American historian, writer and commentator; he earned a doctorate at Harvard. In recent years, he established himself as one of the most prominent researchers and analysts of radical Islam. He is president of the Middle East Forum think tank and publisher ... Read More »

Russia quietly begins building third military base in Syria

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Moscow plans to oversee new ‘deconfliction zone’ in country’s south, charged among other things with clearing ISIS away from Jordanian border Sami Moubayed Asia Times Over the past few days, the Russian army has quietly started construction of a new military base in the countryside near Damascus, from scratch, tasked with manning and administering a “deconfliction zone” in the Syrian south, similar to four others agreed upon earlier in the year by Moscow, Ankara and… The first zones applied to Homs, ... Read More »

Four Steps to an EU-Turkey Reset

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During the past fifty years, relations between the European Union and Turkey have known many ups and… Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe From an EU standpoint, Turkey has become a strategic country in a host of areas: defense and security; trade, investment, and technology; and education and… Today, Turkey is formally still negotiating its accession to the EU, but developments in the past four years have resulted in multiple incompatibilities with… Although EU leaders have… Four Steps to… Read More »