Turkey Forges Ahead on Defense Ambitions

Turkey’s NATO membership means that it has access to the same technologies as its allied partners. While the nation is involved in a number of large-scale projects—the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) being a… Beth Stevenson ΑΙΝ This is the result of a push from the government for Turkey to bolster its defense manufacturing capability. Progress is being made in many areas, but there is a still a reliance on guidance from partner nations that have a… This can both ... Read More »

England’s history of defaulting on European lenders shows repercussions of not paying Brexit bill

Boris Johnson’s threat to withhold payment of the UK’s £39 billion Brexit divorce bill until the EU gives Britain better exit terms has been the source of much debate over whether or not it constitutes a… Authors: The Conversation Technically, the UK would argue that this is not a debt, as normally described when referring to sovereign defaults. Nevertheless, if the EU did consider it such a default, then the consequences would be very clear. They could include a hit ... Read More »

Turkey’s risky route in Idlib

As the Syrian regime’s offensive against Idlib continues, Turkey has to pull off two contradictory missions in Syria’s last rebel stronghold: Save Tell Rifaat and Idlib at the same time. Fehim Tastekin Al Monitor Russia and the Syrian regime launched air and ground operations against rebels in Idlib on April 28. While Turkey tries to prevent the operation from becoming an all-out war, it has been baffled by three major developments. First, the Turkish army and its allied militias have turned toward ... Read More »

Chagos Islands: UK refusal to hand back archipelago disregards international law and echoes era of colonialism

A nation’s military and geo-strategic interests cannot, under international law, prevail over the sovereign rights of other states. Elena Katselli The Conversation State sovereignty, self-determination and decolonisation are fundamental legal principles the UK should honour as it refuses, despite widespread international condemnation, to hand back control of the Chagos Islands in the… Indeed, Britain’s expressed policy that it will protect its interests at any cost, even at the expense of international law and fundamental human rights, has unwelcome echoes of colonialism and ... Read More »

Turkish spy agency develops phone app to help ex-pats inform on dissidents

Turkey’s spy agency has developed a smart phone application to enable pro-government Turks living in Germany inform on their compatriots who speak out against the ruling Justice and… Joseph Fitsanakis IntelNews The existence of the phone application was revealed in the annual report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s primary counterintelligence agency. The report covers terrorist and foreign intelligence activity that took place in 2018 in Baden-Württemberg, a state in southwest Germany that borders ... Read More »

‘It has transformed my life’: the restaurant where all staff have a disability

Universo Santi in the southern Spanish city of Jerez is dedicated to helping people with disabilities join the mainstream workforce Stephen Burgen The Guardian The first thing that strikes you is the calm, the light, the modern art on the walls – and then of course the food. It’s only later that you realise there is something different, and a little special, about Universo Santi, a restaurant in the southern Spanish city of Jerez. “People don’t come here because the ... Read More »

Radicalization Problem of Turkish Society as Domestic and Foreign Policy Makers

Turkey virtually drifted away from NATO. In essence, this is not related to security identity. Dr. Mehmet Efe Caman POLITURCO On the contrary, it is about the changing perception of interests. The sociological and domestic policy changes in Turkey ignited a new self-identity recognition. Every self-identity is built on the “other”. The Turks determined their own self-identities based on nationality at the beginning of the 20th century. They were partly forced to do this because of realpolitik reasons. Because, the ... Read More »

Open Letter To UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

His Excellency António Guterres Secretary-General United Nations United Nations Secretariat New York, NY 10017 U.S.A. Re: Maritime Boundary Disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean: Crises and Opportunities Excellency: I write to request your urgent intervention in defusing a looming crisis directly affecting the vital interests of all coastal States in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as, indirectly, those of dozens of others in Europe, Asia and Africa. Specifically, your assistance is required to help resolve the inter-related maritime boundary disputes among the ... Read More »

Iran urges Europe to normalize economic ties

Iran said on June 9 Europe was in no position to criticize Tehran for its military capabilities and it called on European leaders to normalize trade ties with the Islamic Republic despite U.S. sanctions, or face consequences. LONDON- Reuters President Donald Trump last year withdrew the United States from world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reposed sweeping sanctions. Trump condemned the accord, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed for not being permanent and for not covering Iran‘s ballistic missile programme or its role in conflicts ... Read More »

With Friends Like Turkey, Who Needs Enemies?

Turkey, America’s erstwhile NATO ally, is now arming America’s enemies in Libya, a flagrant violation of the 2011 United Nations arms embargo. Richard Miniter Human Events The clearest evidence of Turkey’s violation of U.N. embargoes came in the hold of a Turkish-crewed ship named “Amazon.” It delivered some 20 Turkish-made armored vehicles, known as “MRAPs,” the military news website South Front reported. A local blogger photographed the armored vehicles on the dock. Turkey supports Libya’s Government of National Accord holed up ... Read More »

Big Brother’s Long Shadow – Frank McNally on Orwell’s 1984 at 70

Orwell’s 1947 essay ‘Towards European Unity’ is still relevant today Frank McNally The Irish Times Published 70 years ago today, George Orwell’s 1984 contains what has been dubbed “one of the strangest coincidences in literature”. This is because the novel’s villain is a man called “O’Brien” – we never learn his first name – a state agent who befriends the hero, posing as a fellow dissident, before having him arrested for thought-crime. But a decade before the book was written, ... Read More »

‘He is innocent’: Assange ally Ola Bini imprisoned in Ecuador takes case to UN

A close friend of Julian Assange was arrested in Ecuador in April and remains behind bars without charge. SBS Supporters of a Julian Assange ally who is imprisoned in Ecuador without charge have called his ongoing detention “illegal” and want the United Nations to investigate the case. Swedish national Ola Bini, 36, was arrested while trying to leave Ecuador for Japan on 11 April – the day the country withdrew its offer of asylum to Mr Assange, who had taken ... Read More »

Rory Stewart shakes up Tory leadership race

Outsider candidate takes a break from his quixotic campaign for British prime minister to talk Brexit, politics and poetry. Charlie Cooper Politico LONDON — Rory Stewart is running to be prime minister of the United Kingdom but he’s happy to make time for poetry. Having spent days trying to meet him on his quixotic Conservative leadership campaign tour, it’s only when POLITICO suggests talking Brexit through the lens of poetry that we get his full attention. The U.K.’s international development ... Read More »

Facial recognition tech is arsenic in the water of democracy, says Liberty

Human rights group calls on England and Wales to ban police use of AFR in public spaces Ian Sample The Guardian Automated facial recognition poses one of the greatest threats to individual freedom and should be banned from use in public spaces, according to the director of the campaign group Liberty. Martha Spurrier, a human rights lawyer, said the technology had such fundamental problems that, despite police enthusiasm for the equipment, its use on the streets should not be permitted. ... Read More »

Five Star struggles to form or join an EU Parliament group

If attempts to rebuild the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group with the Brexit Party fail, 14 Five Star MEPs are likely to slip back into the black-hole of non-attached members, as… By Gerardo Fortuna | “All the options are still on the table,” vice-president of the European Parliament and Five Star lawmaker Fabio Massimo Castaldo told reporters on Thursday (6 June), when asked about the… However, not all options are getting equal consideration, as Castaldo himself ruled out the ... Read More »

How to Wear a Kippah in Germany

A government official’s warning that Jews in traditional dress might not be safe has sparked a new debate about how to protect the community. Noah Gordon Berlin Observer Berlin Policy Journal Is it unsafe for Jewish men to wear the traditional kippah (or yarmulke) cap in public in modern Germany? Or should Germans of all religions wear it proudly, as a sign of solidarity? The fact that the German government official tasked with combating anti-Semitism represented both positions within a ... Read More »