Middle East

‘Turkey’s Decision on S-400 Purchase Final, Irreversible’ – Former Envoy to US

Washington has been struggling to convince Ankara to abandon the deal to buy S-400 defense systems from Moscow, with Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell… Sputnik Sputnik discussed the reasons behind the harsh reaction from Washington towards Ankara in relation to its acquisition of Russian S-400s with Amur Hajiyev, the head of the center for… He expressed the opinion that the US is attempting to maintain its influence on Turkey, since the latest developments demonstrate that Washington’s grip is lessening. Hajiyev said Ankara… ‘Turkey’s Decision on… Read More »

Turkey’s election should be a warning for Western democracy

Adnan R. Khan in Istanbul: Erdogan’s brand of populism still wins, and it’s an example of what happens in a country that has no political centre. Adnan R. Khan MACLEAN’s Sunday was supposed to be a historic moment in Turkey. For the first time in its democratic history, Turkey held presidential and parliamentary elections concurrently; for the first time, political parties were allowed to run as alliances; for the first time in 16 years, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced a… ... Read More »

Aid agencies warn cholera and catastrophe loom in Yemen

As fighting rages for control of the key port of Hodeidah, there are fears that the harbor will be closed, cutting off vital supplies to millions Jonathan Gorvett Asia Times With fighting continuing in and around the key port city of Hodeidah, aid agencies warned this week that disruption caused by the battle could trigger another cholera epidemic in Yemen – and spell disaster for the millions in the country now dependent on imported… “If the harbour is closed, it ... Read More »

Saudis arrest another women’s right activist

The arrest of Hatoon al-Fassi is part of Riyadh’s crackdown on activists in the kingdom. AlJazeera Saudi Arabia has arrested Hatoon al-Fassi, a Saudi women’s rights activist and writer, as part of its crackdown on activists in the kingdom, a human rights group said. ALQST, a UK-based rights group focusing on Saudi Arabia, confirmed to Al Jazeera on Wednesday al-Fassi’s arrest. Considered a leading figure in women’s rights in the region, and the kingdom, in particular, al-Fassi has long been fighting for the… ... Read More »

Why the World is Not Becoming Multipolar

In Russia, the concept of multipolarity is usually associated with Yevgeny Primakov. Indeed, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation marked the start of the transition to multipolarity as a key trend in contemporary international life back in 1996.[i] Andrey Kortunov RIAC During his visit to New Delhi as Prime Minister in late 1998, Primakov proposed a plan of trilateral cooperation between Russia, China, and India (RIC) as a practical mechanism for promoting global multipolarity. Sergey Lavrov ... Read More »

Turkey’s future just got a whole lot scarier

In a region where democracy is scarce, it just got scarcer — with Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan claiming victory in last weekend’s presidential election and vowing to “rapidly” usher in a new era of presidential authoritarian rule. By Post Editorial Board New York Post Turks will suffer. Since a 2016 coup attempt, Erdogan has operated under a state of emergency, jailing journalists, political foes and members of the military. One of his foes, Selahattin Demirtas, of the pro-Kurdish People’s ... Read More »

Israeli Company Sells State-of-the-Art Tank Defense System to US Army

The Israeli defense company Rafael announced Tuesday that it has sold its state-of-the-art ASPRO-A tank defense system to the US Army. Benjamin Kerstein The Algemeiner Known as Ma’il Ruach (“Windbreaker”) in Israel, the ASPRO-A will be provided by Rafael in collaboration with DRS Leonardo for the price of $193 million. The systems will be built in both Israel and the US. According to Israel’s Channel 2, ASPRO-A is an active defense system for tanks and armored personnel carriers. It is ... Read More »

Israel Is Losing the Social Media War

Why military supremacy is no longer enough for a Jewish state fighting on asymmetric fronts against nonstate actors with the ability to shape public perceptions and war narratives David Patrikarakos Tablet Global outrage over last month’s peak to the so-called Great March of Return on the Gaza-Israel border was instant and understandable. Over 50 people died and hundreds more were injured on a single day. What happened was as viscerally unpleasant as civil strife gets. It was brutal. More violence ... Read More »

Turkey’s snap election yields surprises on all sides – what next?

It was another surreal night in Turkish politics. That the elections were suddenly brought forward by more than a year was a surprise in itself – but the standout surprise of the campaign was the sudden rise of opposition candidate Muharrem Ince. Alpaslan Ozerdem The Conversation To everybody’s amazement, during a campaign lasting only 50 days, Ince transformed himself from an also-ran into a serious contender. He managed to pull support from all sections of society to his large rallies ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia’s $121 billion reason to allow women to drive

Allowing Saudi women to drive could help the kingdom reap as much income as selling shares in Saudi Aramco. Bloomberg The Sydney Morning Herald The move, which went into effect on Sunday, could add as much as $US90 billion ($121 billion) to economic output by 2030, with the benefits extending beyond that date, according to Bloomberg Economics. Selling as much as 5 percent stake in Saudi Arabian Oil Co. — at the most optimistic valuation — could generate about $US100 ... Read More »

Turks Have Voted Away Their Democracy

Erdoğan’s election victory advances his vision of absolute control. Diego Cupolo The Atlantic First they ignored him. Then they laughed at him. Then they jailed him. Then he became perhaps Turkey’s most powerful leader in 80 years. Last night, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan extended his 16-year dominance over Turkey with a victory in the first round of the country’s snap elections, winning 52.5 percent of the vote. In the eyes of his roughly 26 million supporters, it was a resounding victory ... Read More »

Corbyn: Labour Government Will Recognize State Of Palestine

“The next Labour government will recognise Palestine as a state as one step towards a genuine two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Corbyn wrote on Twitter during a visit to Jordan. Samuel Thrope JPost Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said Saturday that a UK government under his leadership would recognize the state of Palestine. “The next Labour government will recognise Palestine as a state as one step towards a genuine two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict,” Corbyn ... Read More »

The Fate of Turkey’s Democracy Lies With the Kurds

Ahead of tomorrow’s elections, Ankara is expected to tamper with the vote and make life difficult for members of the embattled minority group. Diego Cupolo The Atlantic DIYARBAKIR, Turkey—This past Sunday, four Kurdish candidates running for office in Turkey’s June 24 elections rolled into the rural town of Hani to rally their supporters. The candidates, along with their campaign team, had been speaking from atop their bus to a crowd of some 150 people for about 10 minutes before a ... Read More »

Refugee crisis: the immediate and lasting impacts of powerful images

Recent images and footage of migrant children housed in wire cages near the United States’ southern border have fuelled global outrage. Authors: The Conversation President Donald Trump has now signed an executive order to end the separation of immigrant families at the US-Mexico border. Trump apparently bent to public pressure from many sides, including the feelings of his wife Melania Trump. But apart from driving policy in the short term, do confronting images create change in public perception and willingness ... Read More »

An island nation in the Mediterranean Sea is running dry

Countries in the eastern Mediterranean are increasingly vulnerable to drought as the changing climate brings higher temperatures and less precipitation. NBC2 MARONI, Cyprus — The salty water of the Mediterranean in plain view from Charis Christoforou’s olive farm is no help to the cracked, white earth suffering from a third year of drought. A shortage of rain combined with clouds of dust carried over from the water-starved Middle East has slashed Christoforou’s olive production to a quarter of what it ... Read More »

The real reason Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on women driving: economic necessity

After years of campaigning by women activists, on June 24 the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia will be lifted. Martin Hvidt The Conversation It is the most visible of a bundle of recent initiatives taken by the Saudi king and the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, to strengthen the role of women in Saudi society. These include more public sector job openings for women, an apparent relaxation of women’s strict dress code, the extension of suffrage to women ... Read More »