Middle East

Turkey: The sick man of Europe, once again — Spengler

The outcome of tonight’s apparent coup attempt in Turkey remains unclear, but the motivation for regime change in Turkey has been building under the surface for years. Turkey faces a perfect storm of economic, political and foreign policy problems. First, Turkey’s much-heralded economic growth spurt of the 2000’s has come to a grinding stop. The Erdogan boom, which inspired predictions that Turkey might emerge as another China, resembled the Asian experience less than it did the Latin American credidt bubbles ... Read More »

Lessons from History to Defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda

Current counter-terrorism strategic communications efforts can take a much-needed morale boost from history. Long-term commitment to these efforts in support of both national security and broader foreign policy interests will be essential to foster the organisational stability and learning required to meet current and future challenges. There is still reason for optimism in the battle against extremist propaganda. One of the most pressing national security issues facing many Western governments is how to improve counter-terrorism strategic… Source: Lessons from History to ... Read More »

The Turkish-Israeli Reconciliation: A Balance Sheet

The Turkish-Israeli reconciliation – while raising legitimate moral questions – yielded terms very much in Israel’s favor, compared to where things stood recently. Legal threats have been averted, Turkish pressure over the siege of Gaza has been lifted, and the prospects for full Israeli participation in NATO activities are significantly brighter. The rapprochement should have no ill effect on Israel’s relationships with other friends and allies in the Eastern Mediterranean… Source: The Turkish-Israeli Reconciliation: A Balance Sheet | Begin-Sadat Center ... Read More »

The Istanbul attack and Turkish policy toward Syria

The terror attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on 28 June was by no means an unpredictable development. Indeed, it was the probably inevitable next stage in the deterioration of relations between the government of Turkey and the Islamic State organisation—from collusion, via tolerant indifference, to antagonism and now to full scale confrontation. Source: The Istanbul attack and Turkish policy toward Syria | The Strategist Read More »

‘Blair is world’s worst terrorist’: families of Iraq war victims react to Chilcot report

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Relatives of military personnel killed in conflict welcome findings while some say former PM must face consequences.. Tony Blair has been described as “the world’s worst terrorist” by a woman who lost her brother in the Iraq war. Sarah O’Connor broke down in tears as she answered questions on the long-awaited Chilcot report, which concluded that Blair had gone to war before “peaceful options for disarmament” had been exhausted… Source: ‘Blair is world’s worst terrorist’: families of Iraq war victims ... Read More »

Turks seek ‘more friends, fewer enemies’

Ankara’s foreign policy of ‘zero problems with neighbors’ produced ‘zero neighbors without problems.’ It’s now changing tack.. Turkey’s move to restore relations with Russia and Israel this past week marks a notable pivot in its foreign policy with repercussions for the war in Syria, the migration crisis, and the tourism and energy industries in the Mediterranean… Source: Turks seek ‘more friends, fewer enemies’ – POLITICO Read More »

30,000 Syrian children ‘starving’ on Jordan border

Nearly 70,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, are being denied food and water by Jordanian authorities.. More than 30,000 Syrian children are facing starvation in Jordan after authorities in Amman suspended life-saving food and medical aid to refugees living along its northeastern border with Syria… Source: 30,000 Syrian children ‘starving’ on Jordan border – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

Israel vows more settlements amid West Bank violence

Israeli leaders call for expansion of settlements in West Bank as two Palestinians and an Israeli killed on Friday.. Two Palestinians and an Israeli settler have been killed in the occupied West Bank, as Israeli leaders threaten to build more Jewish-only settlements in the territory… Source: Israel vows more settlements amid West Bank violence – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

Israel and Turkey reach deal to restore relations

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Deal comes six years after an Israeli raid killed Turkish activists on a flotilla seeking to deliver aid to Gaza.. Israel and Turkey have reached an agreement to normalise ties, according to Israeli and Turkish media. The highly anticipated agreement was reported on Sunday, six years after an Israeli raid that killed 10 Turkish activists as an aid flotilla sought to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip… Source: Israel and Turkey reach deal to restore relations Read More »

Pope Francis speaks of ‘genocide’ in Armenia

During his visit to Yerevan, leader of the Catholic Church describes 1915 killing as great catastrophe of last century.. Pope Francis has denounced the mass killing of Armenians a century ago by Ottoman forces as “genocide”, risking strong reaction from Turkey as he met Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan… Source: Pope Francis speaks of ‘genocide’ in Armenia – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

Israeli Intel Chief: We Don’t Want ISIS Defeated in Syria

Says ISIS Faces Difficulty, Loss Would Put Israel in ‘Hard Position’ by Jason Ditz In a speech at the Herzliya Conference, Israel’s military intelligence chief, Major General Herzi Halevy, took Israel’s long-standing position that it “prefers ISIS” over the Syrian government to a whole ‘nother level, declaring openly that Israel does not want to see ISIS defeated in the war… Source: Israeli Intel Chief: We Don’t Want ISIS Defeated in Syria — News from Antiwar.com Read More »

Palestinians say they are negotiating sea border with Egypt

Palestinians say they have started negotiations with Egypt to determine the boundaries of their undersea territory that could be exploited for resources as a first step to determining the sea borders of a Palestinian state. Source: Palestinians say they are negotiating sea border with Egypt | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR Read More »

Dead Sea drying: A new low-point for Earth

The Dead Sea, the salty lake located at the lowest point on Earth, is gradually shrinking under the heat of the Middle Eastern sun. For those who live on its shores it’s a slow-motion crisis – but finding extra water to sustain the sea will be a huge challenge. If there’s one thing everyone knows about the Dead Sea it is that you can’t sink in it. It is eight or nine times saltier than the oceans of the world ... Read More »

What Does Davutoğlu’s Departure Mean for the AKParty and Turkey at Large?

“Unusual” is no longer a sufficient word to describe the nature of political developments in Turkey. The AKParty has changed its chairman along with a major reshuffle of the composition of the party’s main decision-making bodies. Moreover, the new party chairman, who automatically became the new premier, has put in place a new government with significant changes to the cabinet. All this has happened in a very short period of time and with very little fuss… Source: What Does Davutoğlu’s ... Read More »

Fear and Loathing in the Levant: Turkey Changes its Syria Policy and Strategy

Turkey’s strategic position in northern Aleppo and the Manbij pocket has collapsed, forcing the Turkish government to recalibrate its Syria policy. This shift in Turkish policy began in June 2015, when Turkish officials began to speak openly about the need for a safe zone between the Euphrates River and the opposition held city of Azaz. This policy proposal differed from Turkey’s previous insistence on a comprehensive no-fly-zone over all of Syria, enforced with American, Turkish, and other allied aircraft. This ... Read More »

As victims pile up, the binary options industry parties in Cyprus

Passing the buck, blaming the clients, and dancing gangster-style: Behind the scenes at the scandal-wracked industry’s annual festive get-together.. LIMASSOL, Cyprus — The first person I met at the IFX Expo, an annual summit for the binary options and forex industry held at the Palais des Sports in this industrial Mediterranean port, was a prim Russian woman in her thirties who had recently taken a job with a binary options company in Israel… Source: As victims pile up, the binary ... Read More »