Geography Archives: Turkey

  • Syria: Testing Time

      Syria remains relatively calm as efforts to destabilise its government through orchestrated attacks by rebels fail. Life in the Syrian capital, Damascus, seems to be continuing as normal.  The streets and the mosques are crowded after the devout break their Ramazan fast in the evening.  The security presence is minimal.  In fact, there are […]

  • George Monbiot and the Guardian on “Genocide Denial” and “Revisionism”

    On Tuesday, June 14, the Guardian of London published “Left and Libertarian Right Cohabit in the Weird World of the Genocide Belittlers.”1  In this nearly 1,100-word commentary, the British writer George Monbiot attacked the two of us (among others) as “genocide deniers” and “revisionists” for our writings on the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.  Monbiot also […]

  • Who Defends Syria’s Sovereignty?

    NPR’s “The Diane Rehm Show” is an excellent barometer.  Each day Ms. Rehm interviews figures from the commanding heights of the Washington establishment.  Elected officials, Pentagon officers, foundation grunts, academics, media personalities and reporters, and the diplomatic corps all pass through her studio. Syria was the focus of Ms. Rehm’s first hour on 17 August. […]

  • Regarding the Situation in Syria: “We Do Not Share the US and EU Point of View concerning President Bashar al-Assad”

    Comment by Press and Information Department of Russian Foreign Ministry on a Question from Interfax News Agency Regarding the Situation in Syria Question: Please comment on the calls of US President Barack Obama and EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. Answer: Our position on the […]

  • Syrians Tweet Back to Obama

    After US President Barack Obama declared on 18 August 2011: “For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” . . . Haneen Khaddour (18 August 2011): “Here we go again #american intervention.  No one wants you in #syria” Sate (18 August 2011): “Ya’ aha Obama.  So […]

  • Turkish and Kurdish Labourers and Traders Must Refuse to Be Pitted Against the Black People

    To the attention of the Press and the Public: As it is known, last Saturday a protest took place outside Tottenham police station in order to attain answers or explanations as to how and why Mark Duggan, a father of four, was killed by the police on Thursday 4th August.  The events were unleashed as […]

  • Middle East News Roundup: Arab Spring, Royal Summer, Islamist Autumn

    Egypt Amin Saikal (ABC, 29 July 2011): “The Islamist parties [in Egypt] now stand a good chance to win an absolute majority in the parliamentary elections in November, and also contest successfully the presidential election. . . .  According to an Aljazeera public opinion survey, released on July 7, 2011, nearly 50 per cent of […]

  • The Politics of Iran’s Space Program

    Iran’s recent successful launch of a second satellite into orbit has drawn considerable attention around the world. As in the past, Iran’s announcement of the launch of its domestically built satellite into space received mixed reactions in the West. Some mainstream U.S. media treated the announcement with skepticism and ridicule. “Before you cancel that European vacation or start building a bomb shelter, it’s worth taking Iran’s boasts with a grain of salt,” one commentator wrote in Wired. “While Iran has cooked up some indigenous weaponry over the years, its desire to puff out its chest and pronounce immunity from the effects of international sanctions has led to some absurd exaggerations and outright lies.”

  • On the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

    2 July 2011 To the final subject: the current situation.  To the Lebanese people, I say to them the following: don’t worry about civil strife.  Those who talk about civil strife in Lebanon actually want that to come about.  There will be no Sunni-Shiite strife and no civil war in Lebanon.  Everyone should be assured […]

  • Bernard-Henri Lévy’s “SOS Syrie” Conference: Zionists, Muslim Brothers, and Other Leaders of “Change in Syria”

    Bernard-Henri Lévy, well known for his devotion to humanitarian military interventions, organized a conference to “stop the massacre” in Syria, “SOS Syrie,” in Paris on the fourth of July.  There is no doubt that BHL is eager to replicate his Libyan success in Syria.  Given the clear Russian opposition to any military intervention in Syria, […]

  • Oil and the Iranian-Saudi “Cold War”

    One of last month’s most interesting developments in Persian Gulf power politics played out not in the Middle East, but in Vienna, Paris, and Washington.  For these Western cities were the venues for an important series of exchanges that revealed much about the changing balance of power among the Middle East’s major oil producers, including […]

  • Greece: Guarding Israel from Freedom Flotilla

    “@USBOATTOGAZA  Iceland Parliamentarian visits boat to show solidarity.  ‘Greece sold its economy to western banks and its politics to Israel.’” — Medea Benjamin, 2 July 2011 Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist.  Cf. Fulya Özerkan, “Gov’t Pressure on İHH Divides Group before Flotilla Decision” (Hürriyet Daily News, 16 June 2011); Semih İdiz, “Why the Mavi […]

  • Sabotage of MV Saoirse in Turkey: ‘An Act of International Terrorism’

      The Irish-owned ship, the MV Saoirse, that was meant to take part in Freedom Flotilla 2 has been sabotaged in a dangerous manner in the Turkish coastal town of Göcek, where it had been at berth for the past few weeks.  Visual evidence of the undership sabotage, which was carried out by divers, will […]

  • The Road to Syrian Democracy: A New Political Party Law to End One-Party Rule

    A new political party law has been drafted in Syria and is now posted online for public debate.  It is due for ratification by parliament next August.  If it passes, the law would effectively end one-party rule in Syria, which started when the Baathists came to power, through military coup, back in March 1963.  In […]

  • US and Syrian Muslim Brotherhood

      I can report to you that the US government has been in contact with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.  In a recent conference held in London, US and British official representatives met with the former (and still actual) leader of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, ‘Ali Al-Bayanuni. As’ad AbuKhalil is a professor of political science at […]

  • Turkey Cools Down Tempers over Syria

    As Monday dawned, Turkey kept its fingers crossed in keen anticipation of the nationwide address by President Bashar al-Assad on the situation in Syria.  Ankara sent an open message ahead of Assad’s speech that if he failed to announce reforms even in a third attempt, he would “miss a big chance” to preserve power. Turkey […]

  • On a Collision Course with the Muslim Brotherhood

      Much of the commentary in the Arabic media in recent days has focused on the realignments taking place across the Middle East as a result of the various Arab uprisings. Ammar Nehmeh, an occasional columnist at the Beirut-based leftist daily As-Safir, wrote that forces that traditionally resist U.S. policy in the region, and that […]

  • Russia, Turkey, and the US Push for Regime Change in Syria

    Seldom it is that the Russian Foreign Ministry chooses a Sunday to issue a formal statement.  Evidently, something of extreme gravity arose for Moscow to speak out urgently.  The provocation was the appearance of a United States guided missile cruiser in the Black Sea for naval exercises with Ukraine.  The USS Monterrey cruiser equipped with […]

  • Interview with Jean Bricmont: NATO Powers’ Push for Syria Intervention Proves “There’s No Limit to How Crazy They Can Be”

      Jean Bricmont: There’s no limit to how crazy they can be.  They haven’t finished the war with Libya, which was supposed to last days, not weeks, not months.  Now it’s been months, they say another three months.  So they haven’t even finished Libya yet, and they are maybe going to go to another war […]

  • Syrian Opposition’s “Day of the Clans”

      Today, with the declaration of “Day of the Clans,” it becomes obligatory for one to distance oneself from the dominant reactionary forces within the Syrian opposition.  It is clear that the same reactionary forces that have been at the heart of the Iraqi opposition under occupation are there in the Syrian opposition.  What about […]