Politics

Secret probe shows Erdoğan planned purge of Turkey’s military long ago

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan secretly launched an investigation to build a case for a purge in Turkey’s military as early as 2014 and enlisted the help of unsavory characters who… Abdullah Bozkurt Nordic Monitor According to secret documents obtained by Nordic Monitor, a number of former officers who were dismissed from the military in recent years for sexual misconduct were called in to give a statement by a… In exchange for filing criminal complaints against critics of ... Read More »

The Hustling, Sweating, Flawed Greatness of Richard Holbrooke

The legendary diplomat was a deeply imperfect specimen of the human condition. Yet at his most statesmanlike moments, he could be extraordinary. Michael O’Donnell Washington Monthly The late American diplomat Richard Holbrooke (1941–2010) had a knack, that is to say a weakness, for self-promotion. He lobbied for the Nobel Peace Prize. He hinted broadly that he could serve as secretary of state. When one of his old friends died, Holbrooke petitioned the man’s widow to be included among the eulogists. ... Read More »

I Will Not Stay Silent. Our Leaders Are Failing Human Rights.

I spent four years defending human rights at the U.N. — and they’ve never been more at risk. By Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein The New York Times In the video Op-Ed above, a former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, argues that world leaders are weak, shortsighted and mediocre, and no longer willing or able to defend human rights. Abuses used to be called out and stopped, and human rights offenders had something to fear. Today, they ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #10

This is Crisis Group’s tenth update on recent developments in Yemen, focusing on al-Dhale in the south. ICG A ceasefire in Hodeida notwithstanding, violence is on the rise on other key front lines and could undermine prospects for a future peace process. Fighting between Huthi (Ansar Allah) and United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed forces is intensifying in the southern governorate of al-Dhale. Battles have cut off key transit routes connecting the southern port city of Aden, the Huthi-held capital of Sanaa ... Read More »

Germany’s refugee intake begins to boost economy as settlers soothe country’s worker shortage

To maintain economic well-being, country ‘needs about half a million immigrants every year’ In his native Syria, Mohammed Kassim worked as an electrician. Luisa Beck, Griff Witte The Inependent But having learned the trade informally, he lacked the credentials to show for it. Now, in his adopted homeland, the 30-year-old is receiving the training he never had and he is getting paid to do it by a company dangling the promise of a job that could vault him from struggling refugee ... Read More »

The European Union Can Barely Hold Itself Together—and Putin Knows It | Opinion

Brexit and similar populist movements in Europe have prompted Brussels to question itself and its policies. Theodore Karasik Newsweek Whatever happens to these insurgencies, there must be a wholesale re-examination of how the EU treats states and economies dependent on it —both inside and outside its borders. Since the founding of the European Union, it has almost by default become associated with international solidarity, open trade, and rights for citizens. This is a natural consequence of any union between countries ... Read More »

Turkey is playing both Russia and US

During the past week the Western press has reported Russian and Syrian bombing of north-western Idlib province and the flight of thousands of civilians from targeted villages. Michael Jansen Gulf Today Writers complain that Moscow and Damascus have been violating the “de-confliction” deal reached last year between Russia and Turkey with the aim of halting an all-out military operation against… Those who have reported the situation in this way are indulging in promulgating “fake news.” Russian and Syrian government forces ... Read More »

In pictures: The art fuelling Sudan’s revolution

Murals have been mushrooming on the walls around the military headquarters in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, as thousands keep up a vigil to see a return to civilian rule. By Mohanad Hashim BBC Africa, Khartoum Crowds converged on the area on 6 April and five days later, long-time leader Omar al-Bashir was ousted and arrested by the military after nearly 30 years in power. Muwfaq, a student at the nearby University of Khartoum, says the piece he is painting shows how ... Read More »

After Intense Fighting in Gaza, Israel and Palestinians Observe Ceasefire

JERUSALEM — Fighting between Israel and Gaza escalated rapidly on Sunday in the worst combat since the last full-blown war in 2014, with Palestinian rocket and missile attacks killing four Israeli civilians and… By David M. Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner The New York Times Gaza officials said the two-day death toll for Palestinians had reached 22. At least nine militants and as many civilians were killed on Sunday alone. The civilians included a pregnant woman, a 12-year-old boy and 4-month-old ... Read More »

Inside Facebook’s European election war room

The social network has created a team in Dublin to counter wrongdoing, but political ads and misinformation are still reaching voters. Mark Scott Politico DUBLIN — In a sparsely decorated office in the center of the Irish capital, dozens of Facebook staffers are working to protect the upcoming European election. The group of twentysomething coders, engineers and content specialists sit hunched over multiple screens, scanning the platform for potential illegal behavior. Wall-mounted television monitors keep them up to date on the latest ... Read More »

Thai King Vajiralongkorn to be crowned in three-day ceremony

Thailand has begun three days of coronation ceremonies for King Maha Vajiralongkorn. BBC King Vajiralongkorn inherited the throne in 2016 when his long-reigning father Bhumibol Adulyadej died. Days ago in a surprise announcement the palace said the king had married his long-term partner and royal consort who would now be Queen Suthida. Thailand has a constitutional monarchy, but the royal family is highly revered by Thais and wields considerable power. Thailand also has strict laws, called lese majeste, which ban ... Read More »

Europe’s Glorious Years of Peace and Prosperity

The Munich Security Conference was a depressing gathering this February. By Michael A. McFaul The New York Times THE GLOBAL AGE Europe, 1950-2017 By Ian Kershaw Throughout the Cold War and for decades thereafter, Wehrkunde (as the conference was known when it started in 1963) was the premier event for Europeans and Americans committed to NATO, trans-Atlantic ties and the West. For decades, Senator John McCain led the American congressional delegation. In his last address to the conference in 2017, ... Read More »

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un need the European Union

Much ink has been spilled analyzing the surprising turn of events at the US-North Korea Hanoi summit in late February. Tereza Novotná and Alessandro Ford Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Accounts differ as to what happened, or which side overstepped first with its demands. At a late-night post-summit press briefing, North Korea sought to make its position abundantly clear: It would give up the nuclear production facilities in the Yongbyon complex in… The United States, on the other hand, has ... Read More »

Turkey’s deal with Sudan on intelligence and military affairs in limbo

Cooperation between Turkey and Sudan in intelligence and military affairs, spearheaded by ousted Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, was thrown into limbo when Islamist Turkish… Abdullah Bozkurt Nordic Monitor Having invested so much stock in al-Bashir, Erdoğan was frustrated to see that his credit may not be as good with the transitional government. Speaking at a ruling Justice and… He nonetheless vowed to continue supporting his brothers in Sudan. Erdoğan and his people point fingers at Egypt and Saudi Arabia in ... Read More »

Searching for the European spirit

The European Parliament will be held from May 23rd to 26th across the European Union (EU). Tara Varma ORF EU’s democratic foundations may be endangered not just by the rise of anti-European parties but also by the faltering efforts at renewing the European project. The European Parliament will be held from May 23rd to 26th across the European Union (EU). The Parliament is the only EU body elected by direct universal suffrage, thus constituting one of the EU’s main democratic ... Read More »

Might China Withdraw From the UN Law Of The Sea Treaty?

The move would come with serious costs – but Beijing might come to think the gains are worth it. Mark J. Valencia The Diplomat The early April passage of the French frigate Vendémiaire through the Taiwan Strait, amid a significant increase of such passages by U.S. warships despite China’s objections, gives Beijing one more reason to… Withdrawing would have serious costs as well as benefits and both need to be considered. The idea of withdrawing from UNCLOS (“denouncing it” in ... Read More »