Middle East

Syria’s secret library

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When a place has been besieged for years and hunger stalks the streets, you might have thought people would have little interest in books. Mike Thomson BBC But enthusiasts have stocked an underground library in Syria with volumes rescued from bombed buildings – and users dodge shells and bullets to reach it. Down a flight of steep steps, as… Syria’s secret… Read More »

Gülen and the claim of ‘moderate’ Islam

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“At a time when Western democracies are searching for moderate Muslim voices, I and my friends in the Hizmet [Service] movement have taken a clear stance against extremist violence, from the Sept. 11 attacks by al-Qaeda to brutal executions by the Islamic State [of Iraq and the Levant – ISIL] to the… Source: Gülen and the claim of ‘moderate’ Islam – MURAT YETKİN Read More »

Yemen rebels reject UN peace plan

Yemen rebels on July 31 rejected a peace plan proposed by the United Nations which had already been accepted by the government, saying that any settlement must first tackle a unity administration. “What was presented by the (UN) envoy was no more than just ideas for a solution to the security aspect, subject to debate like other proposals,” a statement from the rebel delegation in Kuwait said… Source: Yemen rebels reject UN peace plan – MIDEAST Read More »

Israel Knesset’s Education, Culture, and Sports Committee Recognizes Armenian Genocide

Urges Israeli Government to Also Formally Recognize the Crime JERUSALEM, Israel (A.W.)—Israel’s Knesset’s (Parliament) Education, Culture, and Sports Committee announced on Aug. 1 that it recognized the Armenian Genocide and urged the government to formally acknowledge the crime as such. “It is our moral obligation to recognize the Armenian genocide,” said committee chair Yakov Margi… Source: Israel Knesset’s Education, Culture, and Sports Committee Recognizes Armenian Genocide | Armenian Weekly Read More »

Turkey admits some post-coup crackdown dismissals may be ‘unfair’

Turkey has admitted there may have been some “unfair” treatment in its post-coup crackdown as it voiced anger with Germany for barring President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from addressing a rally in Cologne. Retaliating after a military attempt to unseat him, Mr Erdogan has launched a purge that has seen tens of thousands people suspended from their jobs and almost 19,000 detained… Source: Turkey admits some post-coup crackdown dismissals may be ‘unfair’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Read More »

Militant group Al-Nusra Front breaks off Al-Qaeda ties

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Syrian Al-Nusra Front vows to now continue fighting as ‘Conquest of Damascus Front’ By Mohamad Misto ANKARA Syrian militant group Al-Nusra Front has terminated all ties with Al Qaeda, the group’s leader told a Qatar-based television network Thursday… Source: Militant group Al-Nusra Front breaks off Al-Qaeda ties Read More »

How gay rights advance democracy in the Middle East

The crackdown against the LGBT community is part of Erdogan’s grander ambition to Islamize Turkish society… Source: How gay rights advance democracy in the Middle East | afr.com Read More »

Is Erdogan seeing Gulenists or ghosts?

The attempted military coup in Turkey ended in total failure. Within 24 hours, the AKP government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regained control. Within hours it initiated a purge against the organizers. But the government’s crackdown was not limited to the ranks of the military, a faction of which were the instigators of the coup. Source: Is Erdogan seeing Gulenists or ghosts? Read More »

Turkey president Erdogan: Women are not equal to men

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women cannot be treated as equal to men, and accuses feminists of rejecting motherhood.. “You cannot put women and men on an equal footing,” he told a meeting in Istanbul. “It is against nature.” Source: Turkey president Erdogan: Women are not equal to men – BBC News Read More »

‘Never write off Saudi Arabia’

New diplomatic face of the Gulf Kingdom promises gradual change, extends olive branch to Russia and lashes out at Iran.. By BARBARA SURK   The Saudis put on a diplomatic charm offensive in the EU capital this week designed to highlight looming changes in the ultra-conservative Gulf Kingdom… Source: ‘Never write off Saudi Arabia’ – POLITICO Read More »

Turkish academics talk about living in fear: ‘It’s the final stage of a witch hunt’

After the coup attempt that failed to remove Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, the government has gone on the offensive against what it says is a vast network of plotters, which it calls a “parallel state” run by exiled cleric and Erdogan enemy Fethullah Gülen.. By Alberto Riva and Asli Pelit Some of the targets of the purge are pretty obvious, with thousands of military officers… Source: Turkish academics talk about living in fear: ‘It’s the final stage ... Read More »

Saudi Arabian clerics declare Pokémon ‘un-Islamic’

The fatwa says franchise promotes ‘global Zionism’ but does not mention Pokémon Go.. Saudi Arabia’s top clerical body has renewed a 15-year-old edict that the Pokémon game franchise is un-Islamic, Saudi media said on Wednesday, although the fatwa made no mention of the successful new Pokémon Go mobile game… Source: Saudi Arabian clerics declare Pokémon ‘un-Islamic’ Read More »

The Case for Kurdish Statehood

Why has the West been so supportive of Palestinian nationalism, yet so reluctant to support the Kurds, the largest nation in the world without a state? BY NOAH BECK , OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR The Kurds have been… Source: The Case for Kurdish Statehood Read More »

The U.S. tried to kill Erdogan, says editor in chief of Turkish daily

“The U.S. is the one who planned and applied this coup attempt.”… Source: The U.S. tried to kill Erdogan, says editor in chief of Turkish daily – The Washington Post Read More »

How the Clintons and the Rest of Washington Are Getting Rich From the Turkey Coup

Here’s one outcome of the Turkish coup attempt that you can bet on: Washington will be getting rich off it… The Podesta Group, a firm with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, registered in May to lobby for the “Alliance for Shared Values.” That comically named organization supports Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based imam that the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, blames, rightly or wrongly, for the coup… Source: How the Clintons and the Rest of Washington Are Getting Rich ... Read More »

5 things about the man Turkey says was behind the coup

Fetullah Gülen is an influential Islamic cleric and a former close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.. By BARBARA SURK Tanks were still trawling the streets of Istanbul and the parliament in Ankara was under bombardment when Turkish government officials pointed at self-exiled Islamic cleric Fetullah Gülen as the man behind the attempted coup, carried out by a faction of the military… Source: 5 things about the man Turkey says was behind the coup – POLITICO Read More »