Turkey

Eid-ul-Adha 2017: Glimpses from around the world

Eid-ul-Adha

Eid-ul-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, is the second most revered festival in the Muslim world, which is celebrated to mark the end of the “Annual Pilgrimage” or “Hajj” each year. Muslims from around the world, perform their religious obligation to sacrifice animals in the way of God (Allah). Millions of Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Adha...

Russia-Turkey-Iran triangle gains traction

triangle

M K Bhadrakumar |  The geopolitics of the Middle East is witnessing a tectonic shift with the emergence of a Turkish-Iranian axis that would have seemed unbelievable until recently. The 3-day visit by Iran’s chief of general staff General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri to Turkey last week was the first such event in Iran-Turkey relations since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. During Bagheri’s...

The Turkish-Chinese Strategic Partnership Is Stronger Than Ever Before

ever

Andrew Korybko | The Turkish Foreign Minister trumpeted his country’s strategic relations with China after a meeting with his counterpart on the sidelines of last weekend’s ASEAN Summit. As reported by Reuters, he said that – quote – “We take China's security as our security…We absolutely will not allow in Turkey any activities targeting or opposing China. Additionally, we will take measures...

The Gulf crisis: Qatar’s 2022 World Cup moves into the firing line

Qatar

James M. Dorsey | A French investigation into possible corruption in business deals related to Qatar’s winning of World Cup hosting rights moved the 2022 tournament a step closer to becoming enmeshed in the two- month-old Gulf crisis. Taken together with the almost simultaneous announcement of the milestone transfer to Qatar-owned French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) of Brazilian star Neymar, the two events highlight Qatar’s...

Refugee or migrant? Sometimes the line is blurred

refugee

A dozen years before the influx of refugees and migrants to Europe’s shores would force policymakers to take heed, Michael Winterbottom’s 2002 docudrama In this World brought the inside story of international migration to the big screen. The Two Afghan boys In charting the risky, clandestine journey to Europe of two Afghans – the teenage Jamal and 30-something Ineyatullah from the Shamshatoo Refugee Camp in...

Turkey marks first anniversary of the failed military coup

A year ago, on the same date, Turkey witnessed a disastrous military coup. Some junior military leadership, over their disagreements with the incumbent president and the government, executed a military revolt against the Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government with tanks, warplanes, and helicopters. The coup plotters declared their seizure of power on the state broadcaster, bombed the country's parliament and other...

Petro-Islam: The Genesis of Islamic Radicalism and Jihadism

Petro-Islam

Nauman Sadiq | The phenomena of Islamic radicalism all over the world is directly linked to Islamic madrassahs (religious seminaries) that are generously funded by the Gulf’s petrodollars. These madrassahs attract children from the most impoverished backgrounds in the Third World Islamic countries, because they offer the kind of incentives and facilities which even the government-funded public schools cannot provide:...

The rise and fall of secularism in modern Turkey

The Rise and Fall of Secularism in Modern Turkey

Yasir M’alik | Secularism has been a dominant belief system in the republic of Turkey since 1928, the times when it was constitutionally recognized and enforced under the patronage of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (the founder of the Republic). Within the first three decades, state-driven secular reforms were introduced to reverse the remnants of the Ottomanism to intentionally alter the whole framework...

Waiting for Nasser in the Persian Gulf

persian

M. K. Bhadrakumar | Do not be surprised if Arab politics reminds you of Meryl Streep feuding with Dustin Hoffman in the 1979 American drama film Kramer vs. Kramer. The Sheikhs can tear each other apart with harsh words but eventually veer around to a patch-up – something like Joanna (Streep) turning at the elevator and asking her former husband ‘How...

US-Russia ceasefire deal on Syria holding – for now

ceasefire

M. K. Bhadrakumar | The ceasefire brokered between Russia, US and Jordan in southwestern Syria seems to be holding for the time being. The Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he saw a new level of pragmatism in the US approach to Syria. President Donald Trump put his weight behind the ceasefire deal, posting on Twitter on Sunday, “Now it is...

Iraq: No end in sight

Iraq

News Analysis | Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Mosul to congratulate the army for driving the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group out of most of the city. ''I've come to Mosul today to follow up on our victories and on the eradication of ISIL, which we are close to achieving," Abadi said on Sunday. Despite the celebrations,...

Myths on Pakistan’s role in Saudi-led military alliance

Pakistan

Jan Achakzai | Apparently, an organized social media campaign is in full swing against Pakistan's principled stance to join Saudi Arabia led security alliance. It seems that the aim of this campaign is to divide Pakistanis and put pressure on Islamabad to revisit its principal decision of joining the Saudi-led alliance in the post-Trump Riyadh summit the Middle East. Gen...

Terrorism as pretext for intervention in the energy-rich Middle East

terrorism

Nauman Sadiq | In order to understand the hype surrounding the phenomena of Islamic radicalism and terrorism, we need to understand the prevailing global economic order and its prognosis. What the pragmatic economists have forecasted about free market capitalism has turned out to be true; whether we like it or not. A kind of global economic entropy has set into...

All the UAE’s men: Gulf crisis opens door to power shift in Palestine

palestine

James M. Dorsey | With attention in the Middle East focused on the Gulf crisis, the United Arab Emirates is elsewhere seeking to reshape the region in ways that could alter its power dynamics. The UAE’s latest effort concentrates on clipping the wings of Hamas and installing its own man in the Gaza Strip in a move that would likely...

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: The revival of Ottoman Empire?

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: the revival of Ottoman Empire?

Ahsan Hamid Durrani | For the world he may seem an autocrat in the guise of democratically elected presidency; for western media he might be a tyrant who oppresses dissent and critique; through the lens of left wingers he might be an ultraconservative Islamist leader, and from the bastions of human rights’ perspective he might be a ruthless politician; but...

Has Russia entered NATO’s bedroom?

Has Russia entered NATO's bedroom?

M. K. Bhadrakumar | Can we say a “terrible beauty” is born in the NATO’s underbelly — to borrow the words from the Irish-English poet Y. B. Yeats?  Moscow disclosed on Thursday that Russia’s contract with Turkey on the delivery of S-400 long-range air defense missile systems has been finalized. The Russian Presidential Adviser for Military and Technical Cooperation Vladimir...

Politics, not religion, is the source of Sunni-Shiite conflict

Sunni

Nauman Sadiq l Lately, it has become a habit of Orientalist apologists of Western imperialism to offer reductive historical and theological explanations of Sunni-Shi’a conflict in the Middle East region in order to cover up the blowback of ill-conceived Western military interventions and proxy wars that have reignited the flames of the internecine conflict in the Islamic World. Some self-anointed “Arabists”...

Another setback for US in the neo Middle East

setback

M. K. Bhadrakumar | The bloc of four Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia that imposed an embargo against Qatar on June 5 has finally presented their charter of demands. An AP dispatch, here, lists the 13 demands. The most striking demands include Doha reducing ties with Iran, severing relationships with Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood, closing a Turkish military base...

The Ummah : The fresh Princes of Bel Arabia and Muhammad Bin Salman

ummah

Haider Mehdi | King Salman, by elevating his son, the 31 years Mohammed Bin Salman, or MBS, as Crown Prince, may actually have signed MBS’s death warrant, leading to the downfall of the Al Saud regime! Whether this will remain undisputed or challenged overtly or covertly, by others, Royal, non-royal and the highly militant jihadists, is a question mark. There are...

Ideological foundations and organizational structure of Islamic State

working

Nauman Sadiq | The fight against the much-dreaded ISIS is on with varying degrees of resolving and success.It becomes important to trace the ideological antecedents of this group. Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in August 2011 to April 2013, the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front were a single organization that chose the banner of “Jabhat al-Nusra.” Although the current...

A battle for influence between two monarchies

influence

Yasir Malik | Qatar, a tiny oil-rich nation, an ally of the USA and European powers having a wealth fund of $335 billion is the largest producer of natural gas in the Middle East. It has been subjected to intended diplomatic and economic isolation by Saudi-led bloc, following some alleged allegations of supporting Muslim Brotherhood (Egypt), Hamas (Palestine) and an alleged...

Gulf crisis and the future of Middle East

Gulf

Ahsan Hamid Durrani | An energy-rich part of the world engulfed in perpetual turbulence, political instability, violent extremism, economic debilitation, sectarian divide characterized by ruthless proxy wars, berserk revolutions, ethnic hostilities, and a fertile ground for realpolitik; the Middle East, in the aftermath of ‘Arab Spring’, has become a quagmire and the solution to its perplexed problems, an elusive dream....

The Kurds Are Ethnically Cleansing Arabs From Raqqa, And The World Is Silent

ethnic

Andrew Korybko | The global media -- to their credit – are focusing on the brutality of the US-backed Raqqa campaign, though they’re avoiding any serious reporting about how and why the Kurds are ethnically cleansing Arabs from Raqqa. According to available reliable information, in early June ISIL terrorists entered into collusion with the command of the Kurdish armed units, which are...

Is there any Kurdish-Daesh-Saudi connection in Syria and Iran?

Daesh

Andrew Korybko | There are technically several stories here which all merge into a single one about how the Kurds are connected to Daesh, but before proceeding, I want to be very clear here that when I use the word “Kurds”, I’m specifically and only referring to Kurdish militant groups, not peaceful law-abiding Kurds, which are in fact the vast...

Realignments in the Middle East: Which is the stronger bloc?

Realignments

M. K. Bhadrakumar | Almost a week has passed since the terrorist strikes in Tehran but Iran has not retaliated with any “surgical strike” against Saudi Arabia – and, typically, there isn’t going to be any. The political leadership pointed the accusing finger at Saudi Arabia, the US, and Israel. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said that the terror strikes “will...

Qatar: Another reason for the rift between NATO allies?

NATO allies

Mehmet Ersoy | On Wednesday, June 7, the Turkish media wrote that Parliament voted to deploy 5,000 troops in the Turkish military base in Qatar – Ankara’s only base in the Middle East. Doha is believed to be Turkey’s traditional ally, and it would be surprising if the Turkish authorities pledged their support to Saudi Arabia and its U.S.-led partners. Read more: Turkish...

Turkish troops march for Qatar’s support: Escalation in the Gulf crisis?

Turkish troops

James M. Dorsey | Turkey’s Parliament is this week fast tracking the dispatch of up to 3,000 troops to Qatar, home to the country’s military base in the Middle East. Certain to stiffen Qatar’s resolve to resist Saudi and UAE-led pressure to force it to change policies, the Turkish move comes amid hints that the kingdom and its allies may...

New Turkish Army in Syria: What are the objectives this time?

Turkish Army

Mehmet Ersoy | On Tuesday, May 30, Inside Syria media center wrote that Ankara was creating a new formation of the fractured units of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Turkey used to view the FSA as its trump card in Syria – the militants should have opposed the Syrian troops, fight ISIS and, what’s most important for Ankara, confront the Kurds who...

Erdogan uses high-handed tactics to suppress protesting Turks in the US

high-handed

News Analysis | Supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, including his government security forces and several armed individuals, violently charged a group of protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington on Tuesday night in what the police characterized as “a brutal attack.” A demonstration outside the Turkish Embassy in northwest Washington led to nine people being injured, and two arrested...

Fraying US-Turkey relations over US support of Syrian Kurds

US Turkey

Sophie Mangal | According to Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on May 12, 2017, that the U.S. support of the Syrian Kurds harms the strategic relations between the two countries. He explained his position on the issue by the fact that such terrorist organization as the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) is extremely dangerous for Turkey. By...