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November 28, 2015
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Tag: Turkey

Why Did Turkey Dare Shoot Down a Russian Plane? The Proxy War in Syria

The Turkish government decision to down a Russian jet operating in the north of the Syrian province of Latakia is breathtaking in its boldness.

Posted on Nov 25, 2015 READ MORE

Tensions Flare as Vladimir Putin Calls Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet ‘Stab in the Back’

A volatile situation hangs in the balance as Moscow and Ankara express mutual disgust and worries reverberate over the regional and global implications of the latest incident along the Syrian border.

Posted on Nov 24, 2015 READ MORE

Russia Bombs Near Turkey as U.S. Forces Prepare to Arrive in Syria ‘Very Soon’ (Video)

Turkey’s government was very unhappy Monday about developments in Syria.

Posted on Nov 24, 2015 READ MORE

U.S.-Russia Diplomatic Rift Narrows as Presidents Talk Cooperation on Syria

President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin appear ready to cooperate militarily as the bitter rift over Ukraine gives way to a common interest in combating Islamic State.

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 READ MORE

What Would President Obama’s Critics Do About Islamic State?

As Paris mourns its dead, critics of President Obama’s caution in the fight against Islamic State are full of sound and fury. But those who throw around such words as “weak” and “feckless” should tell us if they support the logical alternative: sending in tens of thousands of U.S. troops.

Posted on Nov 16, 2015 READ MORE

A Strangeness in My Mind

In telling the story of a Turkish boy who moves from a village to the country’s largest city and spends the next 40 years as a peddler, Orhan Pamuk does for Istanbul something like what James Joyce did for Dublin.

Posted on Nov 6, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: ‘Stunning’: Turkish President Erdogan Tightens Grip in Election Amid Violence and Fear

Turkey’s Islamist Justice and Development Party has regained its parliamentary majority, helping President Erdogan strengthen a hold on power that critics say has become increasingly authoritarian and divisive. Patrick Cockburn, The Independent’s Middle East correspondent, comments.

Posted on Nov 2, 2015 READ MORE

Putting U.S. Boots on the Ground in Syria Risks Conflict With Turkey, Not Russia (Video)

The White House announcement Friday that the U.S. will keep “less than 50” special-ops troops at a headquarters of the Kurdish YPG in northeast Syria for purposes of training and strategic counseling raised concerns in some quarters that Russia might inadvertently bomb American troops.

Posted on Nov 2, 2015 READ MORE

Missed Chance to ‘End Dictatorship’ as Erdogan Claims Victory in Turkey

“I’m horrified,” said one young voter in Istanbul. “I don’t want to live in this country anymore because I don’t know what is awaiting us.”

Posted on Nov 1, 2015 READ MORE

What If They Gave a War and Everyone Came?

What if the U.S. had not invaded Iraq in 2003? How would things be different in the Middle East today? Let’s take a big-picture tour of the Middle East and try to answer those questions.

Posted on Oct 24, 2015 READ MORE

Will the U.S. Arming of Kurdish-Led Northeast Rebels in Syria Provoke Turkey? (Video)

Not only is the U.S. supply of weapons to rebels in the northwest in danger of fueling a proxy war with the Russian Federation, but Washington’s supply of weaponry to the Democratic Forces of Syria sets up a proxy struggle with its own NATO ally, Turkey.

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 READ MORE

Syria Air Traffic Control

Posted on Oct 11, 2015 READ MORE

U.S. to Ax $500 Million Scheme to Train Syrian Rebels

As the Russian military intervenes directly to support the Syrian government, the U.S. will end a $500 million program to train and equip “moderate” Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State.

Posted on Oct 9, 2015 READ MORE

Why the U.S. Owns the Rise of Islamic State and the Syria Disaster

Over the past three decades, U.S. covert operations and wars have entered repeatedly and powerfully into the chain of causality leading to Islamic State’s present power.

Posted on Oct 8, 2015 READ MORE

Will This Photo of a Drowned Syrian Child Change the World’s Approach to the Refugee Crisis?

A heartbreaking photograph has gone viral and provoked a much-needed discussion on the moral obligation of wealthy countries to help those in need.

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 READ MORE

Nearly $1 Trillion Left Emerging Markets in Single Year in ‘Capital Flight’ Phenomenon

Reports that huge sums of investment money have flowed out of countries with emerging markets suggest that countries once billed as “stars of the post-crash economy are now waning.”

Posted on Aug 21, 2015 READ MORE

Defying Saudis and Iran, Muslim Thinkers Call for Action on Climate Change at Istanbul Conference

Attendees from 20 countries at this week’s International Islamic Climate Change Symposium in Istanbul produced—and 60 of them signed—a declaration warning of the dangers of climate change and urging urgent action to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 READ MORE

Police in Training (and the Rest of Us) Could Benefit Greatly From This One Thing Cops Are Blocking

Police reform cannot be accomplished effectively without research into policing, but cops won’t cooperate; 1 in 2 British youths identifies as something other than heterosexual; meanwhile, an accord between Hamas and Israel may be taking shape. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Aug 18, 2015 READ MORE

Another Bush Legacy in Iraq: Barzani Asks PKK to Leave (Video)

On Sunday morning, Kurdish separatist guerrillas launched a suicide-bombing strike on Turkish forces in Angri province using a tractor laden with explosives.

Posted on Aug 4, 2015 READ MORE

Turkey’s New ‘War on Terror’ Mainly Targets Kurds (Video)

What was at first announced as a new Turkish turn toward attacks on Daesh (Islamic State) on Friday has quickly become largely a campaign against Kurds instead.

Posted on Jul 27, 2015 READ MORE

Turkey Ends Two-Year Cease-Fire With Attacks on Kurdish Militant Camps in Northern Iraq

Turkey’s air force is attacking Islamic State targets in Syria and Kurdistan Worker’s Party militants in northern Iraq, according to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Posted on Jul 25, 2015 READ MORE

Terrorist Kills 31 at Socialist Rally for Kobane in Turkey (Video)

On Monday, a young woman aged 18 detonated a suicide bomb belt at a socialist youth rally in Suruç, Turkey, just 10 miles from the border with Syria.

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 READ MORE

Why a U.S. Alliance With al-Qaida Is a Crazy Idea

With U.S. Middle East strategy in tatters, some experts are advocating that the U.S. ally with al-Qaida against Islamic State. Here’s why such a cold-blooded plan is pure folly—and what we should call for instead.

Posted on Jun 30, 2015 READ MORE

The Truth Behind the Turkish Police Attack on Istanbul’s Gay Pride Parade

Did the heavy-handed police action signal a new culture war, or was it a form of revenge over the recent election results in which President Erdogan got less power than he’d expected?

Posted on Jun 29, 2015 READ MORE

Can Leftist Kurdish Militia Kill Off Islamic State?

The intrepid Liz Sly of The Washington Post gets the story of the attempt of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units and their Arab allies, the Euphrates Volcano, to cut Islamic State off and kill it.

Posted on Jun 15, 2015 READ MORE

The Rise of a New Left in Turkey?

The rise of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) made waves in socially conservative Turkey by championing gay rights, women’s rights and leftist causes like labor and a “normalization” of the Turkish majority’s relationship with the Kurdish population.

Posted on Jun 12, 2015 READ MORE

How Turkey’s President Erdogan Damaged the AKP Brand

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) decisively lost its majority on Sunday, falling to only about 40 percent of the vote. The results are a major setback for President Tayyip Erdogan, who had wanted the kind of majority that would have allowed him unilaterally to change the Turkish Constitution.

Posted on Jun 8, 2015 READ MORE

On the Eve of the Turkish Election, Leftist Women Literally Turn Their Backs on Erdogan via Twitter

In Turkey, left-of-center and Kurdish women took to Twitter on Wednesday to post pictures of themselves turning their backs to President Tayyip Erdogan. And Erdogan responded with a statement that some said had derogatory sexual overtones.

Posted on Jun 4, 2015 READ MORE

France’s President Hollande: ‘No Survivors’ in Germanwings Crash

French leader François Hollande announced Tuesday that there were no survivors in the crash of Germanwings flight 4U9525, which went down that morning in a remote area of the Alps in southern France.

Posted on Mar 24, 2015 READ MORE

Middle East Reacts to Murder of 3 Muslim-American Students in North Carolina

If American mass media seemed reluctant to cover the murder of three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill as a hate crime, the same was not true in the Middle East, where strong opinions were aroused.

Posted on Feb 14, 2015 READ MORE

Putin, Blocked by Europe, Turns to Turkey for Gas Pipeline

Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its heavy interference in Ukraine have had a significant consequence for Russia’s hydrocarbon industry.

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 READ MORE

Turkey Day

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE

John Oliver on the Most Ridiculous Thanksgiving Tradition

Why does the president pardon one turkey every year anyway?

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE

Congressional Turkeys

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 READ MORE

Stefano Tinti /

Turkey’s President Says Women Should Stick to Making Babies

Speaking to a conference on women and justice Sunday, possibly having teleported from the 1930s, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said women are simply not equal to men.

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 READ MORE

Behold the Yaybahar: An Acoustic Instrument That Creates Synthesized Sounds

Here’s a musical interlude for your Wednesday afternoon.

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 READ MORE

Campaign Ads at Work

Posted on Nov 1, 2014 READ MORE

U.S. Jets Airdropped Supplies for Kurds Fighting in Kobane Against Turkey’s Wishes

In a step that over-ruled America’s Turkish NATO ally, U.S. jets dropped food, first aid and weaponry into the besieged Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane on Monday morning.

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 READ MORE

Shells Land in Turkey as Kurds Fight Off Islamic State Forces in Kobane

Kurdish forces at Kobane (Ayn al-Arab) on Saturday fought off an assault by Islamic State that sought to cut the city off from Turkey and completely surround it, according to an Al-Jazeera reporter on the scene.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 READ MORE

Turkish President Says IS May Claim Border Town in Syria

According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Islamic State forces were closing in on capturing the Syrian town of Kobani on Tuesday. This development was of particular concern to Erdogan, as Kobani is close to the border between Syria and his own country.

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 READ MORE

Top 7 Surprising Reasons Turkey Is Entering War on Islamic State

The Turkish parliament voted by a large margin Thursday to allow Turkish troops to make incursions into neighboring countries if necessary to defeat the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Posted on Oct 4, 2014 READ MORE


The Mideast Horrors Grow

Cutting off the heads of aid workers and journalists is nothing in comparison with the degradation and dehumanization being inflicted on the pathetic people of the Middle East by all sides.

Posted on Sep 23, 2014 READ MORE

Egypt Offered Palestinians 1,600 Square Kilometers Near Gaza

In response to the Palestinian refugee crisis, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said he was willing to cede some of his country’s land, but Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the offer; some Ukrainian soldiers are alarmingly wearing Nazi symbols on their helmets; meanwhile, Turkey refuses to join the coalition against Islamic State. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 READ MORE

Must Muslim Americans Condemn IS? Must Turkish Jews Condemn Gaza War?

During the recent war in the Gaza Strip, a controversy broke out in Turkey about whether Turkish Jews were required to condemn Israel’s actions, as some pro-Palestinian Turks suggested.

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 READ MORE

ISIL Enemies

Posted on Sep 11, 2014 READ MORE

One in 4 Europeans Fighting With ISIS Are British

Reports that an estimated 2,000 Europeans have joined jihadists fighting for territory in Syria and Iraq are a reminder that feelings of loyalty are not givens and can be diverted away from one’s place of origin.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE

Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed: The Underrated Saudi Connection

By continuing contradictory policies in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. has ensured that ISIS can reinforce its fighters in those countries and vice versa. So far, Washington has been successful in escaping blame for the rise of ISIS by putting all the blame on the Iraqi government. In fact, it has created a situation in which ISIS can survive and may well flourish.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE

Twenty-First-Century Energy Wars

The world is aflame with new or intensifying conflicts that appear to be independent events, driven by their own unique and idiosyncratic circumstances. But look more closely and they share several key characteristics—notably, a witch’s brew of ethnic, religious, and national antagonisms that have been stirred to the boiling point by a fixation on energy.

Posted on Jul 10, 2014 READ MORE

U.N. Chief Warns Iraq Crisis Could Spill Across Borders

The Islamist militant onslaught in Iraq raises the specter of a sectarian conflict spilling across the embattled nation’s borders, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Tuesday.

Posted on Jun 17, 2014 READ MORE

(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Mass Protests, Strikes in Turkey Over Erdogan’s Neoliberal Response to Miner Deaths

Turkey’s Public Workers Union Confederation announced a one-day strike to demand better worker safety, and political protests have broken out Friday in a number of Turkish cities over deaths of nearly 300 miners.

Posted on May 17, 2014 READ MORE

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