Middle East

Isis kidnaps dozens of women and children as it makes desperate last stand in Syria

Around 90 women and their children were among the hundreds of civilians captured from a camp for displaced people in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Richard Hall Independent Isis fighters have kidnapped dozens of women and children in the eastern Syrianprovince of Deir ez-Zor, where the group is making a desperate last stand. The captives were among some 250 civilians taken from the al-Bahra displacement camp, near the town of Hajin, after Isis fighters stormed the area on ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan drops bombshell twist in the Khashoggi case as Trump appears to side with Saudis

While US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was meeting with Saudi Arabia’s leaders on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dropped a bombshell of a new twist in the investigation into the… Alex Lockie Insider According to Erdogan, Turkish investigators who searched the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul found surfaces there newly painted over. Previous news reports have cited anonymous Turkish officials suggesting that a hit team of 15 Saudis killed and dismembered Khashoggi, a… “My hope is that we can ... Read More »

Yemen on brink of ‘world’s worst famine in 100 years’ if war continues

UN warns that famine could overwhelm country in next three months, with 13 million people at risk of starvation. Hannah Summers The Guardian Yemen could be facing the worst famine in 100 years if airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition are not halted, the UN has warned. If war continues, famine could engulf the country in the next three months, with 12 to 13 million civilians at risk of starvation, according to Lise Grande, the agency’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. She told ... Read More »

Why did Turkey Choose the S-400?

Turkey has chosen the S-400 over the Patriot. The S-400 is considered to be one of the most advanced systems in the world but it is incompatible with NATO systems. What does this mean for Turkey? Debalina Ghoshal Defence IQ Why didn’t Turkey Choose the Patriot?  For years, Patriot air and missile defence systems have proved their mettle as a defence against enemy threats. They are combat-proven and, hence, have found a market for themselves worldwide. NATO countries use Patriot ... Read More »

Washington Think Tanks Still Divided On Whether To Return Saudi Donations Over Journalist’s Disappearance

The Middle East Institute, a prominent Washington think tank, said it would no longer seek donations from Saudi Arabia, but the Center for Strategic and International Studies said it was undecided. Emily Tamkin BuzzFeedNews The Center for Strategic and International Studies, one of Washington’s most prominent think tanks on international affairs, still has not decided whether to return funding from Saudi Arabia in the… But another influential research center, the Middle East Institute, said it would stop taking Saudi donations ... Read More »

World has been slow to wake up to Saudi depravity

It’s reassuring to see that the Western world still has the capacity to be outraged at the abuse of human rights. Specifically, a government that appears to have murdered a journalist. Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Turkey two weeks ago. He was a critic of the Saudi dictator and living outside his home country for his safety. By setting foot in a Saudi diplomatic property to pick up marriage papers ... Read More »

Turkey Is Not Exactly a Model Citizen, Either

Releasing one prisoner, and helping investigate the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, doesn’t excuse other Turkish transgressions. Eli Lake Bloomberg One irony of the crisis over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is the opportunity it has provided Turkey to polish its image. It’s not just that a Turkish court on Friday finally released the American pastor Andrew Brunson, who had been detained for nearly two years. The Turkish authorities have blown the whistle on the Saudis, leaking surveillance footage and dossiers of ... Read More »

Turkey’s Future is at Stake: Forgotten Children of Turkey

Nowadays, protecting and even improving the rights of the children are among the key requirements of being a democratic country. Deniz Zengin PoliTurco It is an incontestable right for the children, who are a part of the social life, to take part as individuals in the community. The convention on the rights of the children, which contains the most extensive regulation about legitimatizing and protecting the rights of the children in international law, is based on the fact that the ... Read More »

My Fiancé Jamal Khashoggi Was a Lonely Patriot

His ideas will reverberate from Turkey to Saudi Arabia and beyond. Oppression never lasts forever. Tyrants eventually pay for their sins. Hatice Cengiz The New York Times Jamal Khashoggi and I met at a conference in Istanbul in May. I was familiar with his work because I am interested in the Middle East and the Gulf region. We spoke for about half an hour about politics. Jamal talked about the extraordinary transformation taking place in Saudi Arabia, his native country, ... Read More »

Commentary: Saudi First foreign policy comes back to bite Trump

Mounting evidence that Saudi Arabia is behind the disappearance of regime critic Jamal Khashoggi has laid bare the risks of a US Middle East policy aligned closely with Riyadh. Julian Pecquet Al-Monitor From the war in Yemen to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Washington has invested heavily in a relationship built largely on the personal bond between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and presidential son-in-law and… With Prince Mohammed widely suspected of having ordered Khashoggi’s murder inside a diplomatic facility on NATO ... Read More »

Turkey Frees U.S. Pastor in Move Long Sought by Trump and Pence

A Turkish court set free U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson after holding him in prison for almost two years, removing a key source of tension between Turkey and the United States. By Cagan Koc, Onur Ant, and Nick Wadhams Bloomberg The court in Izmir convicted Brunson, 50, an evangelical pastor from North Carolina, and sentenced him to three years, 1 month and 15 days in jail, but lifted all judicial controls and released him after accounting for penalty reductions and time served. Brunson had ... Read More »

PACE expresses ‘deep concern’ over Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear plan

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Thursday expressed “deep concern” on the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in an earthquake-prone region of Turkey, only 85 kilometers from the… TM At a session on Thursday, PACE discussed a series of steps governments should take to improve the safety of nuclear power stations in Europe and minimize the risk of accidents or terrorist attacks. In a resolution it adopted, the assembly expressed its deep concern regarding ... Read More »

Secret deal with Turkey paves way for American pastor’s release

North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson is expected to be released in coming days after two years of detention in Turkey. Carol E. Lee and Courtney Kube NBC news WASHINGTON — The White House expects North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson to be released by the Turkish government and returned to the U.S. in the coming days, two years after he… Under an agreement senior Trump administration officials recently reached with Turkey, Brunson is supposed to be released after certain charges against ... Read More »

Award of Honorary Doctoral Degree to Prof. Van Coufoudakis – Acceptance Speech

Ceremony for the Award of Honorary Doctoral Degree to Prof. Van Coufoudakis University of Nicosia Honorary Degree Acceptance Speech October 11 2018 Honored Guests, President Kartakoulis, Rector Pouyioutas, Dean Emilianides, my old friend Andreas Theophanous, members of the faculty, dear friends.  I am told that “modesty is a Greek virtue”. It is in this spirit that I accept the honor bestowed on me tonight. This award has special meaning given my thirty year association with Intercollege. The  founders of Intercollege were ... Read More »

Why Jamal Khashoggi’s ruthless killing is a global issue

Saudi crown prince turned from a US opportunity into a Western liability I wasn’t planning to write about the barbaric murder of my friend, Jamal Khashoggi. Taha Ozhan Middle East Eye We were supposed to be sharing a panel at a conference two weeks from now. The Saudi journalist, who disappeared a week ago while inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, has been executed by a hit squad with Islamic State-like barbarity. Saudi officials have strongly denied any involvement in his ... Read More »

Migration: new map of Europe reveals real frontiers for refugees

Since the EU declared a “refugee crisis” in 2015 that was followed by an unprecedented number of deaths in the Mediterranean, maps explaining the routes of migrants to and within Europe have been used widely in newspapers and social media. Martina Tazzioli The Conversation Some of these maps came out of refugee projects, while others are produced by global organisations, NGOs and agencies such as Frontex, the European Border and Coastguard Agency, and the International Organisation for… The Balkan route, ... Read More »