Tag Archives: Turkey

Saudi Arabia’s ‘strategic plan’ to take Turkey down

Saudi Arabia has begun implementing a “strategic plan” to confront the Turkish government, after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman decided he was being “too patient” with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

The plan is detailed in a confidential report based on open- and closed-source intelligence prepared by the kingdom’s ally, the United Arab Emirates.

The intelligence report is one of a monthly series written by the Emirates Policy Centre, a think tank with close links to the Emirati government and security services.

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Posted by on August 7, 2019 in Middle East


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In Istanbul’s New Mayor, Erdogan Faces a New Threat

No matter where Ekrem Imamoglu goes these days, his fans await him: Women with headscarves who want to touch him, teenagers asking for a selfie. That’s the case in Istanbul, where Imamoglu was elected mayor last Sunday by an overwhelming margin, but it’s also true of conservative strongholds like the city of Trabzon on the Black Sea.

Videos recorded in Trabzon shortly before Imamoglu’s election as mayor of Istanbul, show people celebrating him like a savior. They swing flags with this portrait, yelling: “President Ekrem!” His election song blasts from the speakers: “Her sey cok güzel olacak!” All will be good. The Imamoglu hype has swept across all of Turkey.

Up until a few months ago, Imamoglu, 49 years old, was the largely unknown mayor of Beylikdüzü, a drab district on the edge of Istanbul. But now that he has beaten President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate twice at the ballot box, he has emerged as the great hope of proponents of democracy in Turkey.

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Posted by on July 17, 2019 in Middle East



الفاشية في تركيا لا تنتهي بالانتخابات

في السادس من مايو 2019، ألغى النظام التركي نتائج الانتخابات المحلية التي أجريت في الحادي والثلاثين من مارس والتي فاز فيها أحد أحزاب المعارضة بالسيطرة على حكومة بلدية إسطنبول.
يحكم تركيا نظام يعيش في خوف وجودي منذ عام 2013، عندما هددت انتفاضات حديقة غيزي في الصيف وفضيحة فساد في شتاء ذلك العام سلطة رجب طيب أردوغان وحزب العدالة والتنمية الذي يتزعمه.
ومنذ ذلك الحين، خضعت تركيا لانقلاب مستمر يهدف إلى تعزيز السيطرة الكاملة، وكان السادس من مايو أحدث تكرار لهذه العملية. الهدف هو إنهاء الحكم المحلي وتدمير حتى أصغر بذرة من الحكم الذاتي التي يمكن أن تتشكل خارج محور صاحب السلطة المطلقة.
وتماماً مثلما تم استخدام محاولة الانقلاب في يوليو 2016 كذريعة لترسيخ النظام وتدمير المعارضة وإنشاء نظام رئاسي شديد المركزية، أصبحت انتخابات الحادي والثلاثين من مارس أداة لإخضاع الحكومات المحلية للسلطة المركزية.
من الواضح أن تركيا دخلت حقبة جديدة من الفاشية، وثمة دروس عاجلة يجب استخلاصها من الحادي والثلاثين من مارس والسادس من مايو.
في الرابع والعشرين من مارس، كتبت: “لقد تم تحسين توازن النظام بشكل لا رجعة فيه من خلال احتجاجات حديقة غيزي في عام 2013 وفضيحة الفساد الحكومي في نهاية العام نفسه، لقد كان 2013 عام الحكام الذين أعماهم الغضب.

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Posted by on May 14, 2019 in Middle East



Erdogan did not reveal Turkey’s entire hand about Khashoggi killing to keep his leverage over Saudi Arabia

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a skilful politician who knows how to maximise his advantages and this was very much on display in his speech to the Turkish parliament.

He contemptuously dismissed the official Saudi story that the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was the accidental outcome of a botched interrogation by a “rogue” Saudi intelligence team.

It was always naive to imagine that Mr Erdogan would tell all that Turkey knows about the murder and the Saudi role in it because such information – particularly the alleged audio recording of the killing – is invaluable in giving Turkey leverage over Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser degree, the US.

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Posted by on October 24, 2018 in Middle East


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As Isis is defeated, the Trump administration is opening the door to a new round of Middle East wars by targeting Iran as the source of all evil

The shadowy figures of Kurdish fighters can be just made out on film as they ambush and kill three pro-Turkish fighters in a night time attack in Afrin in northern Syria. The Kurdish enclave was invaded and occupied by the Turkish army and their Syrian armed opposition allies earlier in the year. Sporadic guerrilla warfare has been going on ever since.

This skirmish took place a few days after an attack on a military parade by gunmen a thousand miles away from Afrin in Ahvaz in southwest Iran that killed 25 people. Film shows soldiers and civilians running in panic as they are sprayed with bullets, leaving 25 dead, including 11 conscripts and a four-year-old child. The killings were claimed by both Isis and Arab separatists from the province of Khuzestan whom the Iranians accused of acting as catspaws for the US, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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Posted by on October 2, 2018 in Middle East


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The ceasefire agreed by Russia and Turkey proves how far Putin has come out on top in Syria

A ceasefire seldom gets a good press. If it succeeds in ending violence or defusing a crisis, the media swiftly becomes bored and loses interest. But if the fighting goes on, then those who have called the ceasefire are condemned as heartless hypocrites who either never intended to bring the killing to an end or are culpably failing to do so.

Pundits are predictably sceptical about the agreement reached by Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi on Monday to head off an imminent offensive by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces directed against rebels in Idlib province. This is the last enclave of the armed opposition in western Syria which has lost its strongholds in Aleppo, Damascus and Daraa over the past two years.

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Posted by on September 22, 2018 in Europe, Middle East


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Even as Turkey pulls away, the west must hold Turkish people close

Growing up in Turkey, every weekend I would gather with friends and family to watch a western. John Wayne spoke fluent Turkish back then, Clint Eastwood uttered his laconic replies in an Istanbul dialect. Those cowboy towns with their bleak landscapes might just as well have been somewhere in Anatolia, they were so familiar. When the US television series Dallas first came to Turkey it created a ripple of excitement that lasted for years. There would be no one on the streets in the evenings when it was being screened. We were a nation hooked on the saga of the Ewing family. My grandmother put a curse on JR, the scheming, sneaky oil tycoon – we all hated him with a passion. But we never saw him as an “American” or a “westerner”.



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Posted by on September 17, 2018 in Middle East



Could Turkey Trigger the Next Global Financial Crisis?

All eyes are on the Turkish lira, the currency of Turkey. Its decline has been precipitous—it has already lost over 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar this year. For Turkey, which has relied upon the inflow of foreign credit, this poses terrible risks. Enormous debt coupled with a vicious attack for political reasons on the Turkish economy by the U.S. government has set Turkey toward the precipice. Will Turkey’s descent take Europe with it and then, certainly, other middle-income countries? Is this the harbinger of a new global financial crisis that would be far more dangerous than the one in 2007-08?

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Posted by on August 23, 2018 in Middle East



A US trade war with Turkey over a little known pastor? Dont believe a word of it

It needs a stroke of genius to soften the heart for poor old Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Those of us who have always believed that Erdogan is a bit off his rocker must still be appalled that a US president infinitely more cracked than the Turkish variety is trying to impoverish Nato’s second largest military ally. True, Erdogan locked up 50,000 Turks – including an American pastor, of whom more later – after the attempted coup against him two years ago, but hasn’t Egypt’s president/field marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi broken this record by banging up 60,000 supposed Islamists in his own country’s prisons? And what about Haider al-Abadi’s mass hangings in Iraq? Or that nasty little post-death crucifixion in Saudi Arabia this week, not to mention that horrid war in Yemen where kids seem to get killed all the time? Or the Israeli habit of shooting down scores of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza? Or that chump in North Korea who appeals to Trump’s sense of humour?

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Posted by on August 16, 2018 in Middle East, North America


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The Turkey-Erdogan crisis is the first geopolitical disaster in a while that isn’t actually Trump’s fault

It may well appear that little goes wrong in the world today without the malign involvement of Donald Trump. But it would be unfair to lay the blame on the current economic crisis in Turkey wholly at the door of the US president.

It is indeed the case that the sanctions imposed by Washington over the imprisonment of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical missionary and US national, by Turkish authorities have exacerbated the problem. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Trump of stabbing him in the back, told Turks not to buy American products like Apple iPhones and blamed “foreign attacks” for his country’s woes.

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Posted by on August 16, 2018 in Middle East