Europe

Turkey may choose isolation over Western allies – analyst

A wave of “anti-Western hostility” and “rampant nationalism” in Turkey has magnified the risk of a decisive break with its traditional allies in the West, even though it has not lined up any alternatives, according to an article Nicholas Danforth, a senior analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Ahval Danforth describes in the piece how the fear of “losing Turkey”, a constant refrain since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, is now dangerously close ... Read More »

Turkey Is Out of Control. Time for the U.S. to Say So.

There’s a real danger of a clash between U.S. and Turkish forces. The administration should make clear that it won’t tolerate any more bad behavior—now. By ERIC EDELMAN and JAKE SULLIVAN Politico Following Turkey’s incursion into Syria, the once unthinkable prospect of a direct clash between Turkish and American soldiers has become alarmingly real. Turkey’s current fight, against U.S.-backed Kurdish troops in the northwestern Syria territory of Afrin, is destabilizing enough. But the real risk will come if Turkish President ... Read More »

The UK’s Hidden Hand in Julian Assange’s Detention

It now emerges that the last four years of Julian Assange’s effective imprisonment in the Ecuadorean embassy in London have been entirely unnecessary. Jonathan Cook CounterPunch In fact, they depended on a legal charade. Behind the scenes, Sweden wanted to drop the extradition case against Assange back in 2013. Why was this not made public? Because Britain persuaded Sweden to pretend that they still wished to pursue the case. In other words, for more than four years Assange has been holed up ... Read More »

Guide to the classics: Sappho, a poet in fragments

For those who have read the fragmented remains of the Greek poet, Sappho the loss of most of her poetic corpus is something to regret. Marguerite Johnson The Conversation With a mere two complete poems extant from nine books of verse, much is left to the imagination in the reconstruction of the output (and life) of this most mysterious of ancient poets. In a world dominated by male voices whose view of life, the universe and everything was the loudest and most ... Read More »

The Female Quran Experts Fighting Radical Islam in Morocco

“The women scholars here are even more important than men.” DINA TEMPLE-RASTON The Atlantic Morocco is in a region vulnerable to terrorist recruitment, but it hasn’t had a significant attack on its own soil since 2011, when terrorists bombed a Marrakesh café. Yet ethnic Moroccans have been at the center of ISIS attacks in Europe. The only alleged survivor of the 2015 Paris rampage is a Frenchman of Moroccan origin; his trial began last week. The men behind the Brussels ... Read More »

Archaeologists trace lost settlements of Glencoe destroyed after 1692 massacre

Archaeologists are to trace the lost settlements of the Glencoe Massacre for the first time and place the human story of the atrocity back into one of Scotland’s most visited landscapes. Alison Campsie The Scotsman National Trust for Scotland has carried out initial survey work at three former settlements which fall within its property at the glen with more detailed studies due to follow. Glencoe was the scene of one of Scotland’s most infamous murders of the clan era when ... Read More »

Turkey’s ‘New Nationalism’ Amid Shifting Politics

Further Analysis of Polling Results By Max Hoffman, Michael Werz, and John Halpin  Center for American Progress Introduction and summary From the outside, Turkey has the hallmarks of a consolidating authoritarian regime. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan exercises near absolute control through the parliamentary majority of his Justice and Development Party (AKP), his influence over a politicized judiciary, and a stranglehold on news media and political dissent. President Erdoğan was further granted expansive emergency powers by Turkish Parliament in the wake of the July 15, ... Read More »

Turkey and the Law of the Sea: some facts

IN HIS interview with “Kathimerini” on February 4, 2018, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu asserted certain positions on the Law of the Sea in relation to Cyprus, which cannot remain unanswered. Andrew Jacovides * Cyprus Mail The legal position of Cyprus on the Law of the Sea is solidly based on the provisions of UNCLOS III of December 10 1982, in which the Republic actively participated. Article 121, Regime of Islands, expressly provides in Paragraph 2 that “the territorial sea, contiguous ... Read More »

Tillerson’s Turkey visit: Will it help mend ties?

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Turkey twice during his first year in office, but his third trip due next week may well be the most important. Rosiland Jordan Al Jazeera Turkish-US relations were strained during former President Barack Obama‘s tenure. Some observers say they’ve only become worse during President Donald Trump‘s administration – and they fear the NATO allies could clash militarily in Syria. Tillerson’s mission is to reduce the tensions. Like Obama before him, Trump is backing ... Read More »

Erdoğan hits the bottle

As the ruling Islamists put up taxes on booze, some Turks turn to home brew. By Zia Weise Politico ISTANBUL — Kerem lives within walking distance of Turkey’s oldest beer factory, but he refuses to drink a drop of domestic bestsellers Efes and Bomonti. Instead, the 29-year-old sales manager has turned his flat into a micro-brewery — joining a growing number of Turks who make their own booze to avoid soaring alcohol taxes imposed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s conservative government. ... Read More »

The U.K. Is Down Since Brexit. Guess Who’s Up.

Greece is growing faster than the U.K. and is outperforming it in financial markets Matthew A. Winkler Bloomberg When British voters decided in June 2016 to exit the European Union, investors who had anticipated the opposite result stampeded out of sterling and the currency plummeted a record 8.05 percent to a 31-year low. Almost 20 months later, the pound has mostly recovered, providing some satisfaction to commentators who’d predicted that Brexit would prove more distressing to the… So much for wishful thinking. ... Read More »

Macron’s opening European gambit

French president’s race to reform the EU starts with Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade By MAÏA DE LA BAUME Politico Emmanuel Macron’s point man in his campaign to conquer Brussels is a former European parliamentary assistant who looks like he’s barely out of high school. Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade has been tasked with laying the groundwork for the French president’s next big political test: The European Union’s 2019 changing of the political guard — which starts with the election for European Parliament and culminates with ... Read More »

Rohingyan refugee pleads for Australia’s permission to speak to EU

Habiburahman asked to address European parliament about persecution, but cannot leave Australia Ben Doherty The Guardian A Rohingyan refugee living in Australia is pleading with the Australian government to grant him a travel document allowing him to speak at the European parliament about the persecution of his people. Habiburahman – who goes by only one name – arrived in Australia from Myanmar, which was then known as Burma, by boat in 2009. But he has spent 18 years as a ... Read More »

New Eni Discovery ‘Confirms’ Extension of Zohr Like Play in Cyprus EEZ

Eni has made a ‘promising’ gas discovery offshore Cyprus, which it says confirms the extension of a ‘Zohr like’ play in the country’s exclusive economic zone. RigΖone The Calypso 1 well, located in block 6, was drilled in 6,800 feet of water depth and reached a final total depth of 12,555 feet. Calypso 1 encountered an ‘extended’ gas column in rocks of Miocene and Cretaceous age, with the Cretaceous sequence showing ‘excellent reservoir characteristics’, Eni said in a company statement. Detailed ... Read More »

Brexit: ‘no deal would cut Scottish GDP by 9%’

A ‘no deal’ Brexit would cut Scottish economic output by 9%, according to leaked UK Government analysis. Russell Jackson  The Scotsman The predicted hit to Scotland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal has been detailed in regional breakdowns that emerged on Wednesday. The figure is worse than the 8.5 per cent cut to GDP predicted by a Scottish Government study last month. At the time, the Scottish Government figure was described as “completely over-the-top scaremongering” by the ... Read More »

Julian Assange loses challenge to UK arrest warrant, court to rule on new bid next week

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost one legal bid to have a UK arrest warrant against him quashed but immediately launched another, to have the British authorities halt any action against him on public interest grounds. ABC Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she would give her decision on February 13. A ruling in Mr Assange’s favour could pave the way for him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been holed up for more than five years. Mr ... Read More »