Despite its leaders’ efforts to broker an agreement, Turkey seems to be accepting the possibility of an attack on Iran as a last resort. Now its priority is to prepare for that eventuality, so that a military conflict does not take it by surprise. By Aylin Gurzel FAMAGUSTA – Turkey has tried to broker negotiations between Iran and the West over Iran’s nuclear program. But, with talks repeatedly failing to generate any substantive progress, Turkey’s leaders are beginning to consider how a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would affect their country’s interests. When Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to…Read More... | 5 Comments
AKCAKALE, TURKEY -- It has been nearly a week since a Syrian mortar shell landed on a Turkish home just across the border, killing five members of the same family. The incident brought a swift response from Turkey, and a promise by the government in Ankara that it would not hesitate to strike back, which it has done nearly every day since. But a growing role for Turkey in the Syrian conflict may also mean some tricky navigation through political and diplomatic waters. Turkey continued sending additional tanks and troops to its border with Syria, enforcing those already there,…Read More... | 4 Comments
Diplomacy is a tricky thing, especially when it rides the emotional coattails of genocide. Six years ago, then (and still) Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Jerusalem on a rare and official visit. He met with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (now in a coma) and President Moshe Katsav (now in a prison). He also visited Jerusalem's Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, where -- on behalf of the first Muslim-majority country to recognize the Holocaust (back in 1949) -- he laid a wreath to show that Ankara, too, honors the six million Jews killed during WWII. But Erdogan's act was as…Read More... | 6 Comments
Less than six months after an international flotilla failed to break the Gaza blockade, and for the most part failed to get out the door due in part to a strong international pressure campaign launched by Israel and its supporters, another vessel - the "Flotilla of Freedom 2" is said to depart Turkey on Sunday. Not much has been publicized about this latest effort. Organizers told journalists they were hoping to prevent a repeat of thwarted efforts earlier this year. Still, in hopes of documenting any possible confrontation, select international media have been invited to travel with the vessel as it…Read More... | 27 Comments
For the first time since Hamas won elections in 2006, an Arab Islamist party has successfully contested a national election. Its success may serve as an inspiration for other movement, like Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, to do well in their vote. And though the party is trying to distance itself from either counterparts, many Tunisians are worried it’ll drag them in that direction. They were banned under the authoritative government of then-President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. But now, Tunisia’s newly-formed Islamist party, Ennahda, has risen like a phoenix, much to the chagrin of many. On Monday night, projections from Sunday’s…Read More... | 4 Comments
It’s true, as of today a military escalation is unlikely. At least, that’s what all the experts and all the analysts are saying. Yet I can’t help but feel the Middle East has never been so close to war as it is today. And I don’t say this lightly. As one who has lived in this region my whole life, I have seen how situations can deteriorate so rapidly, before you even manage to blink. All it takes is the “right” timing for a terror attack, a lethal response, a movement of tanks misinterpreted, the repositioning of anti-aircraft batteries to…Read More... | 28 Comments
Turkey’s response to the UN’s Palmer Report investigating the 2010 flotilla debacle was like a roar in the jungle of Middle East and global politics that had been building for at least two years now. Turkey had leveraged the report even prior to its publication as the deadline for an ultimatum to Israel: apologize or face punishment. The UN commission returned a relatively balanced verdict of blame; Israel predictably failed to apologize, and Turkey wasted no time: it dramatically downgraded Israel’s diplomatic relations, with promises of further measures, and brashly swept aside the report itself. It’s hard to ignore the…Read More... | 23 Comments
The Israeli Prime Minister has sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart calling for a renewed state of positive relations between the two countries. It follows secretly held talks by the governments of Netanyahu and Erdogan to renew their strained relations, which sunk to an unprecedented low one year ago. The restaurant is called 'Istanbul,' as indicated by the sign on its exterior. But it’s located in heart of central Tel Aviv. Essentially, it is Turkey’s biggest city exported to Israel. Inside at midday, locals pour in for a taste of Turkish kebab, Israeli-style. It’s kosher, so no yoghurt on…Read More... | 4 Comments
Rabbi David Wolpe of Los Angeles’ Conservative synagogue Sinai Temple once said during a Friday night sermon, “People don’t think about you as much as you think people think about you.” It might thus come as a shock to some readers that amid the campaign rallies leading up to Turkey’s parliamentary elections on June 12th, not a single Palestinian flag was waved among the crowds, nor was an anti-Israel banner held or slogan chanted. Turkey’s economy, its constitution, the rights of its women, and the rise of nationalism were on the agenda. Israel and Palestine were not. Riding back to…Read More... | 7 Comments
IHH’s deputy chairman, Huseyin Oruc: "This siege is illegal. It was illegal and it was right of all of the peoples, all the NGOs, all the civilians to go to Gaza” Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of an Israeli raid on a group of ships in the Mediterranean that left nine Turkish nationals dead. The ships, known as the Freedom Flotilla, were bound for Gaza and said to be containing $20 million dollars worth of aid for the Palestinian territory. But with Gaza’s shores blocked by Israel, many predicted - correctly- that a confrontation was inevitable. On this one…Read More... | 14 Comments
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Last Metro to Taksim
Yuval Ben-Ami reports from Istanbul.
Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
A series of striking infographics.
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Is a binational identity possible in Israel? http://t.co/yFmq5vBPGV
The unwitting common ground in the debate over binationalism in Israel http://t.co/qDoWMqR8fO by Jeremiah Haber
VID: Former female Israeli soldiers break their silence http://t.co/2H7V47Cj9I by @MairavZ
Israeli MK's 'sexy' pose goes viral on Facebook http://t.co/vktM2Rk4OH by @AmiKaufman
The soldiers' stories that Israel lacks the courage to hear http://t.co/rlleFPDVVq By Larry Derfner, cc @ShovrimShtika