Middle East

Could Different Borders Have Saved the Middle East?

THERE probably aren’t many things that the Islamic State, Jon Stewart and the president of Iraqi Kurdistan agree on, but there is one: the pernicious influence of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret plan for dividing up the Middle East signed by France and Britain, 100 years ago this week. It has become conventional wisdom to argue, as Vice President… Source: Could Different Borders Have Saved the Middle East? – The New York Times Read More »

Kurdish militants reportedly shoot down Turkish security forces helicopter

ISTANBUL — They were used to stalk Russian helicopters in Afghanistan, and the United States has worked hard to keep them out of chaotic Syria. But now Kurdish guerrillas battling Turkey’s security forces may now have shoulder-fired missiles — an acquisition analysts say will seriously challenge Turkish air power and potentially intensify fighting in the region… Source: Kurdish militants reportedly shoot down Turkish security forces helicopter – The Washington Post Read More »

UN Condemns Persistent Torture in Turkey, Saudi Arabia

GENEVA—A U.N. committee that monitors implementation of the Convention against Torture has condemned what it calls the ongoing practice of torture and ill-treatment in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The committee just issued its concluding observations on these and other countries. In its examination of Turkey, the U.N. Committee Against Torture did not find torture to be widespread or systematic. Nevertheless, it noted torture continues to be practiced… Source: UN Condemns Persistent Torture in Turkey, Saudi Arabia Read More »

How Turkey Became A De Facto Dictatorship

The forced resignation of Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu suggests only one thing—President Erdogan, who is totally absorbed by his lust for power, will tolerate no one in his government to deviate from any of his political positions. Prime Minister Davutoğlu was no exception. Although the Turkish constitution grants the Prime Minister executive powers while leaving the role of the president largely ceremonial, this is not what Erdogan had in mind when he asked then-Foreign Minister Davutoğlu to form a ... Read More »

Grim Legacy of VD for Cyprus: Non Implementation of Self-Determination Created Tragedy: Should the UN Legitimize the Travesty?

Today marks the anniversary of the defeat of Nazism. The 9th of May 1945, Victory Day, marks the date Nazi Germany, bent on subjugating the whole world, was utterly defeated by the Allied Powers. The latter through their commitments signed under both the Atlantic (1941) and the UN Charter (1945) undertook, inter alia, to… Source: Grim Legacy of VD for Cyprus: Non Implementation of Self-Determination Created Tragedy: Should the UN Legitimize the Travesty? | INTERSECURITYFORUM Read More »

Why Turkey’s Historic Churches Are Being Turned Into Mosques

Christians in Turkey have become a tiny minority. The few remaining Christian churches in Anatolia are also on the path to total annihilation. Christians in Turkey have – throughout the centuries — been turned into a tiny, dwindling minority. The remaining few Christian churches in Anatolia are also on the path to total annihilation. Hagia Sophia in Trabzon: Church-mosque-museum and… Source: Why Turkey’s Historic Churches Are Being Turned Into Mosques Read More »

Muslim Leaders Wage Theological Battle, Stoking ISIS’ Anger

As the military and political battle against the Islamic State escalates, Muslim imams and scholars in the West are fighting on another front — through theology. Imam Suhaib Webb, a Muslim leader in Washington, has held live monthly video chats to refute the religious claims of the Islamic State, also known asISIS or ISIL. In a dig at the extremists, he broadcast from ice cream parlors and called his talks “ISIS and ice cream.”… Source: Muslim Leaders Wage Theological Battle, ... Read More »

In Turkey we can’t even laugh at our politicians any more

Under President Erdoğan our nation is divided. The prime minister has stepped down, and free speech and secularism are under threat.. Amid the political turmoil in Turkey this week, culminating in the prime minister’s announcement that he’ll stand down within days, it was Oscar Wilde who became the subject of a heated debate in the Turkish… Source: In Turkey we can’t even laugh at our politicians any more | Elif Shafak | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Turkey’s ‘good cop’ is off the case

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu says he will leave office, raising new questions about EU’s migration pact with Ankara.. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pulled yet another block out of the already precarious Jenga tower that is the EU-Turkey agreement on migration, moving to oust the politician who has been Brussels’ most trusted partner in Ankara… Source: Turkey’s ‘good cop’ is off the case – POLITICO Read More »

Forgotten something Mr Cameron? PM in U-turn after backing Turkey to join the EU

DAVID Cameron has performed an astonishing U-turn on Turkey’s membership of the EU, and voters could be forgiven for wondering what he REALLY thinks.. Yesterday the Prime Minister rubbished the notion of Turkey becoming a member of the 28-nation bloc in a bid to boost the support for Britain remaining a member of the EU… Source: Forgotten something Mr Cameron? PM in U-turn after backing Turkey to join the EU | UK | News | Daily Express Read More »

‘NOT ON THE CARDS’ Cameron says Turkey will not join EU

DAVID Cameron has rubbished claims that Turkey could join the European Union.. The Prime Minister shot down the notion that Turkey will become an EU member, saying it is “not remotely on the cards”. Cameron bluntly savaged Turkey’s chances of joining the 28-nation bloc in a bid to boost the support for Remain in the referendum on June 23… Source: ‘NOT ON THE CARDS’ Cameron says Turkey will not join EU | UK | News | Daily Express Read More »

Yemen foes resume face-to-face peace talks, says UN

Yemen’s warring parties resumed face-to-face peace talks on May 4, after a three-day break triggered by a walkout by the government delegation, the United Nations said. It is only the second round of face-to-face talks in the hard-won negotiations to end a devastating conflict that has killed more than 6,400 people and displaced 2.8 million since March last year… Source: Yemen foes resume face-to-face peace talks, says UN – MIDEAST Read More »

EU backs Turkey visa deal, but says conditions must be met

The European Commission has given conditional backing for Turkish people to get visa-free travel inside Europe’s passport-free Schengen area. It says Turkey has made good progress on key conditions, but work remains to be done “as a matter of urgency”. The change could take effect from July, but first it… Source: EU backs Turkey visa deal, but says conditions must be met – BBC News Read More »

Women of Palestine in their Israeli jails

Filmmaker Mai Masri ups the ante in telling the story of Palestinian women in Israeli prisons. In his now legendary painting, Women of Algiers in their Apartment/Femmes d’Alger dans leur appartement (1834, oil on canvas), Eugene Delacroix captured something so provocative, so elemental, about Arab and Muslim women at the height of the… Source: Women of Palestine in their Israeli jails – Al Jazeera English Read More »

Germany to start trials over Syrian war crimes, as refugee influx brings suspects into country

Germany will this week start its first war crimes trial over Syrian atrocities, as a mass refugee influx brings suspects into the country. Aria L., a 21-year-old German national and suspected jihadist, posted on Facebook photos of himself posing next to two decapitated heads in Syria — and his case is not the only one from the war-torn country to occupy German justice… Source: Germany to start trials over Syrian war crimes, as refugee influx brings suspects into country – ... Read More »

Tony Blair courted Chinese leaders for Saudi prince’s oil firm

Tony Blair obtained a “blessing” from Chinese leaders for a company owned by a Saudi prince to do business in China as part of an arrangement that paid the former UK prime minister’s firm £41,000 a month and a 2% commission on any multimillion-pound contracts he helped to secure… Source: Tony Blair courted Chinese leaders for Saudi prince’s oil firm | Politics | The Guardian Read More »