Middle East

A Turning Point for Turkey’s Opposition?

The AKP’s losses in key major cities in Turkey’s local elections provide opposition parties the opportunity to hold the ruling party accountable. A.Kadir Yildirim Carnegie After an unusually quiet campaign season in Turkey, the March 31, 2019 local elections delivered one of the most stunning results in recent memory. While securing a majority of the votes nationwide, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost major ground. Interestingly, from a historical perspective, the AKP outperformed ... Read More »

Understanding Israel’s Role in The F-35 Dispute Between the US and Turkey

The United States has just cut off its nose to spite its face by announcing that Washington will halt delivery of equipment related to the F-35 fighter jet to Turkey. Adam Garrie EurasiaFuture This makes life more difficult for both Turkey and the US as Turkey played a key role in the development of the F-35. Is this about Russia or is it about Israel?  Throughout 2018, the US threatened to halt delivery of the F-35s to Turkey due to ... Read More »

Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas

An Open Letter addressed to the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the President of the European Commission Klearchos A. Kyriakides Assistant Professor, Cyprus Campus, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan Cyprus) 2 April 2019 Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas Published by Agora Dialogue on 2 April 2019 Read More »

Erdogan tried to make local Turkish elections about national security, but it didn’t work

Votes are still being counted in local elections that took place across Turkey on Sunday, but so far it appears that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s party has lost key cities and towns. Authors: The Conversation That includes the Turkish capital Ankara, which has been run by Islamist mayors for the last 25 years. When Erdoğan won Turkey’s presidential election in June last year, he effectively became an autocrat with few checks and balances. Since then, parliament has lost its significance ... Read More »

Kastelorizo Updates

I predicted at “Kastelorizo – Mediterranean Flashpoint?” that the issue of a Greek exclusive economic zone would turn the tiny island of the Anatolian coast into a crisis point. Daniel Pipes This blog notes some developments on the EEZ topic that bear on that issue. For starters, the Hellas Frappe blog reports on a indirect Greek proclamation of its EEZ, at the behest of Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos. This was done via a verbal statement of its continental shelf coordinates ... Read More »

The Critical Role of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Greek-Turkish Dispute

The legal regime for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is enshrined in the Unites Nations Law Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNLOS) on December 10, 1982. Theodore C. Kariotis Part V of that Convention (more precisely, articles 55 to 75) provides for an EEZ “extending 200 nautical miles seaward from the coast.” If all coastal states thus exercised their jurisdiction over their own EEZs, some 38 million square nautical miles would become their “economic patrimony.” The oceans represent ... Read More »

‘The world stands disgraced’ – Israeli shelling of school kills at least 15

• UN condemns IDF attack on sleeping children as violation of international law • Strike on crowded market in Shujai’iya during ceasefire kills 17 • Death toll now more than 1,300 after three weeks of fighting Harriet Sherwoodin Jerusalem and Hazem Baloushain Jabaliya The Guardian United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law after a school in Gaza being used to shelter Palestinian families was shelled on Wednesday. ... Read More »

Trump’s Green Light to Israel: First the Golan, Then the West Bank?

Nazareth. When President Donald Trump moved the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem last year, effectively sabotaging any hope of establishing a viable Palestinian state, he tore up the international rulebook. Jonathan Cook CounterPunch Last week, he trampled all over its remaining tattered pages. He did so, of course, via Twitter. Referring to a large piece of territory Israel seized from Syria in 1967, Trump wrote: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty ... Read More »

After Iraqi Kurdistan’s Thwarted Independence Bid

Backlash to the 2017 independence referendum bolstered family rule within Iraq’s two main Kurdish parties. ICG Internal democracy has eroded; ties between the parties have frayed. Only strong institutions in Erbil and renewed inter-party cooperation can help Iraqi Kurdistan to reach a sustainable settlement with Baghdad on outstanding issues.  What’s new?  Elections in 2018 confirmed that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) remain the dominant forces in Iraqi Kurdish politics. But fallout from the 2017 ... Read More »

Energy and security in the Eastern Mediterranean

The discovery of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean’s Levant Basin has created new regional security dynamics. Petros Petrikkos Global Risk Insights The quest for power and influence hinders energy and economic cooperation. The growing ‘battle’ for the creation of a pipeline is not easily sustained due to the region’s unstable landscape. Research on the Levant Basin dates back to 2010 when the Leviathan block was first discovered by Ratio Oil. Following this, companies like US-owned Noble Energy and French giant ... Read More »

Stopping an Unwanted War in Gaza

As in 2014, Hamas and Israel appear close to a conflagration that neither party desires – though now a shaky ceasefire seems to have taken hold. Tareq Baconi Crisis Group’s Israel/Palestine analyst Tareq Baconi explains how the parties got to the brink and how they can step back. What happened? In the early morning of 25 March a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv, destroying a family house and wounding seven Israelis, including ... Read More »

Erdogan Is Weak. And Invincible.

Turkey’s president has rarely been so unpopular. He’s likely to dominate this week’s local elections anyway. Steven A. Cook FP No one ever prospered by predicting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s political demise, but on the eve of Turkey’s local elections this weekend, he and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) seem weaker than ever. If he were not feeling political pressure, he would not be featuring the grotesque video of the Christchurch mosque massacre at campaign rallies, nor would ... Read More »

Hagia Sophia might be reverted to a mosque, Erdoğan says

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday voiced the possibility of reverting the Hagia Sophia, which has been used as a museum since 1935 and is considered one of the world’s wonders, to a mosque. Daily Sabah “This is not unlikely. We might even change its name to Ayasofya Mosque,” Erdoğan said during a live interview with Turkish broadcaster TGRT. “This is not a strange proposal,” he said regarding the calls to convert the historical building to serve the purpose it ... Read More »

‘Nothing changed at all’ for ISIL sexual violence victims: Nobel laureate Nadia Murad

Despite finding widespread support globally, Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad has said she feels disappointed that none of the ISIL militants who raped and tortured Yazidiwomen have been… İpek İzci – ISTANBUL Hurriyet “I got e-mails from all over the world. Some people encourage me, some say that they embrace me and my people, some others offer help. I have been exhausted in the last two years. I work hard in the advocacy of vulnerable people, but nothing has changed at all. That makes me very upset,” she told daily ... Read More »

What can we learn from the jews of the united states?

In the 1950s, the Jews of the United States supplied a large percentage of the annual budget of the State of Israel. David Golinkin JPost In recent years, we have seen growing tension between the State of Israel and the Jews of the United States regarding topics such as conversion and the Kotel. We have learned in Pirkei Avot 4:1: “Who is wise? He who learns from all people, as it is written: ‘I have learned from all my teachers’” ... Read More »

World’s tallest building lit up with image of Jacinda Ardern

The world’s tallest building has been lit up with a giant image of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern embracing a woman at the Kilbirnie mosque in Wellington. Joel MacManus The Sydney Morning Herald The Burj Khalifa, an 829-metre-tall skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, beamed out a photo taken by Wellington photographer Hagen Hopkins, as well as the Arabic word “salam” and its English translation, “peace”. Sheik Mohammed, the prime minister and vice-president of the UAE, and ruler of ... Read More »