Turkey’s failed coup provides for new opportunities

Much is still unclear about the motives behind the failed coup, but one thing is clear: it has widened the gaps that already existed in society. In the middle of Taksim square a group of around fifty men has gathered in front of the iconic independence monument. Bright red flags tied around their shoulders, fists pumping in the air. The sun is burning hot, leaving … Continue reading Turkey’s failed coup provides for new opportunities

Istanbul terror attacks expose Turkey’s misplaced priorities

Tuesday’s terror attack on Istanbul’s Atatürk airport is but the latest incident in a long string of attacks that have rocked Turkey in the past year. The attack, which cost the lives of more than 40 people and left scores more wounded, serves as a stark reminder that Turkey’s “war on terror” is all but a complete failure. In the wake of the attacks, Turkish … Continue reading Istanbul terror attacks expose Turkey’s misplaced priorities

Istanbul bombing: Turkish PM tries to put blame on Kurds

A suicide bomber blew himself up in central Istanbul. With no-one claiming the attack, the Turkish government eagerly used it for their own propaganda. On Tuesday, January 12 a big explosion took place in the heart of Istanbul’s tourist district of Sultanahmet. The explosion was caused by a suicide bomber who blew himself up next to a group of mainly German tourists, instantly killing ten … Continue reading Istanbul bombing: Turkish PM tries to put blame on Kurds

Targeting the Islamic State group’s oil trade won’t end terror

Coalition air strikes targeting the Islamic State group’s oil trade are pointless as long as it has other sources of income and regional borders remain porous. It appears that the so-called Islamic State group (IS, or ISIS/ISIL) is following the tradition of so many Middle Eastern regimes in relying heavily on oil revenues to maintain its oppressive rule. A report by the Financial Times shows that oil remains the … Continue reading Targeting the Islamic State group’s oil trade won’t end terror

Desperate EU begs Turkey’s help in dealing with refugee crisis

After the Paris attacks, European countries are desperate to stem the flow of refugees. Turkey’s aid is requested, but will this do any good? The AKP’s electoral victory in Turkey was received with a sigh of relief by European governments. The victory restored the 13-year long tradition of single-party rule, after a brief hiatus following the June elections. According to the European Commission, the general … Continue reading Desperate EU begs Turkey’s help in dealing with refugee crisis

Kurdish struggle continues, with a smile and a shrug

After the AKP booked an unexpected victory in Turkey’s elections, the country’s Kurdish population looks ahead, determined to continue the struggle. Just days before last week’s elections in Turkey, the people of the small village of Kocaköy, at an hour’s drive from Diyarbakir, had gathered to commemorate the death of one of their sons. Renaz Karaz had been his nom de guerre, but his mother … Continue reading Kurdish struggle continues, with a smile and a shrug

Kurds fight ISIS as Russia enters Syrian war

The Syrian Kurds are seen as IS’ most formidable enemy. Now that Russia has joined the Syrian war, its competing with the US for the Kurds’ attention. Last weekend, the US announced it had dropped 50 tons of ammunition to rebel groups in northern Syria. Despite it’s public announcements proclaiming the contrary, most, if not all, of the ammunition ended up in the hands of … Continue reading Kurds fight ISIS as Russia enters Syrian war

Turkey’s radicalizing youth dominates escalating conflict

Politicized youth organizations on both ends of the political spectrum in Turkey are becoming more vocal, violent and popular. When the decades-old conflict between the Turkish state and the Kurdish guerrillas of the PKK escalated again in July – two years after the start of the peace talks between the two parties – many were disappointed, but few were surprised. The breakdown of the peace … Continue reading Turkey’s radicalizing youth dominates escalating conflict

Armenian Heritage Under Threat: The Occupation of Camp Armen

As soon as the news broke that Camp Armen was under threat calls for solidarity were shared, leading to a Gezi-like occupation of the site. For almost 32 years it had been quiet, dead quiet, at Camp Armen, the old Armenian orphanage in Istanbul’s wealthy, beach side neighborhood of Tuzla. The joy and laughter of the Armenian children who built the school with their own … Continue reading Armenian Heritage Under Threat: The Occupation of Camp Armen

Water: a source of life and conflict in the Land of Two Rivers

Mesopotamia, the ‘Land of Two Rivers’, cradle of modern civilization and currently home to probably as many conflicts as there are ethnic groups, religious factions and nation states. Rebels fighting states; Sunnis battling Shias; Turks clashing with Kurds; jihadists massacring local villagers; environmental activists against national governments and states competing with one another for the region’s natural resources. Where oil is widely considered as one … Continue reading Water: a source of life and conflict in the Land of Two Rivers