July 25, 2020

Massive Demonstrations Shake Turkey

barry-rubin

More than 1000 people have been injured in several days of protests in Istanbul against Turkey’s Islamist regime, involving more than 90 demonstrations, the biggest anti-Islamist protest in a decade. Hundreds more were hurt in conflicts with police in Ankara, the capital. The demonstration began as an environmental protest about the destruction of a famous Istanbul park but had spread to Ankara, too. The movement began in Taksim Square, Istanbul’s most famous. The police responded toughly … [Read more...]

No, Boston Will Not Change Anything

barry-rubin

The film “Casablanca” was an alarm bell for America back in 1941. I thought about an exchange from that script in regard to Boston: Major Strasser: Are you one of those people who cannot imagine the Germans in your beloved Paris? Rick: It’s not particularly my beloved Paris. Heinz: Can you imagine us in London? Rick: Ask me when you get there. Major Strasser: How about New York? Rick: Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try … [Read more...]

Did Israel `Apologize’ to Turkey? Well, No, Not Exactly

barry-rubin

Israel apologizes to Turkey, reads every headline. That simply isn’t true in the sense it is taken to imply. To understand what happened one must examine the long negotiations on this issue. The issue began when several ships were sent to break the Israeli sanctions on the Gaza Strip in May 2010. These sanctions were put on by Israel—Egypt, then under the government of President Husni Mubarak, had its own restrictions—against a radical Islamist regime in the Gaza Strip that openly … [Read more...]

As Obama Continues Israel Visit, His Themes Are Reinforced

barry-rubin

As President Barack Obama continued his visit to Israel, the themes remained the same as the ones I covered with theprior post. The two main public events were a speech by Obama to Israeli university students, and a joint press conference with Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas. In his speech, Obama spoke at great length about Israel’s history, concerns, and related matters to try to show that he “gets it” when it comes to Israel. The phrases were in many cases similar to … [Read more...]

How Revolutions Work: Turkey, America, and the Arab World

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    [The Executioner removes the Mad Hatter's hat in preparation for beheading him]  The Mad Hatter: "I'd like to keep it on."  Executioner: "Suit yourself. As long as I can get at your neck." --Lewis Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland"    A fascinating article on Islamism in Turkey that also reflects on the situation in Arabic-speaking countries has been written by Soner Cagaptay, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Turkish research … [Read more...]

The Kurds are for the Kurds

jonathan-spyer

  Weekly Standard, 9/3. In northeast Syria, from the border with Iraq to the disputed town of Seri Kaniyah, a de facto Kurdish autonomous region has emerged. The area, known to the Kurds as western Kurdistan, is ruled by the Democratic Union party (PYD). This is the Syrian franchise of the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK), which has been waging a military campaign against Turkey since 1984. The Kurds’ creation and successful defense of this area has largely been ignored in media … [Read more...]

War over the Ruins

jonathan-spyer

Jerusalem Post, 8/3. The Syrian civil war bursts its banks This week, 48 Syrian soldiers who were reported as having ‘sought refuge’ in Iraq were ambushed and killed on Iraqi soil. At least 9, and possibly as many as 19 Iraqi soldiers who were reported as being in escort of the convoy of Syrian defectors also died in the ambush. This incident lays bare the extent to which the Syrian civil war has now burst its banks. The expansion follows the lines of local and regional sectarian … [Read more...]