Middle East

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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 »

Violence against Women: Some Inconvenient Data for the Corrupt UN

The United Nations panels lovingly practice hypocrisy all the time. In 2016, a UN debate revolved around the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which voted to blame Israel for Palestinian domestic violence. Burak Bekdil  Gatestone This year’s show was hardly different in the content of nonsense. The executive director of UN Watch, Hillel Neuer, asked Dubravka Simonovic, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, at a session on June 12: “Ms. Simonovic, in… Violence against Women… Read More »

Turkey, nexus of US incompetence

Today, eastward from the Atlantic, America faces more hostility and can count on less support than ever. Angelo M. Codevilla Asia Times Although US foreign policy is not wholly responsible for this predicament, its incompetence contributes to it. US policy toward Turkey, as ever part of Europe, of the Middle East, and of Eurasia, is the prime object lesson. The geopolitical importance of whoever controls the Black Sea straits has been obvious since the… Turkey, nexus of US… Read More »

For Turkey’s youngest Jews, ancestral tongue fading away

For the young generation of Sephardic Jews in Turkey, their ancestral tongue, Ladino, is just a few words for Grandma’s cuisine, a line or two from old songs and… Nazlan Ertan AlMonitor UNESCO considers Ladino, also known as Judeo-Spanish or Judezmo, a severely endangered language. In Turkey, it is spoken by only about 10,000 people, mostly around Istanbul and Izmir. Other Ladino-speaking communities in Greece and North Africa have also diminished, according to the… For Turkey’s youngest… Read More »

The emerging Turkish-Iranian alliance

Iran and Turkey, the two non-Arab Middle Eastern states, are among the largest and most populous in the… Manish Rai, Geopolitical Analyst  Asia Times The former occupies a strategic location on the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, while the latter controls the Bosporus Strait, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which links the… The two nations descend from the most ancient civilizations in the world and have strong national… Turkey and Iran have been mirror images of ... Read More »

The collapse of Turkish army’s health and education system

In late May, more than 1,000 soldiers from a land forces brigade in the western Turkish province of Manisa were hospitalized for food poisoning, and one of them lost his life. Author: Zülfikar Doğan Translator: Sibel Utku Bila AlMonitor The problem at the barracks, where 6,000 new conscripts are receiving training, was described as intestinal infection, but the detailed medical analyses of samples from affected soldiers have not… On June 17, a new bout of mass food poisonings occurred in… ... Read More »