• New border crossing to create direct Iraq-Turkey link / Amberin Zaman

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reiterated their commitment to creating a second border crossing linking their two countries today following wide-ranging talks in Ankara. Speaking at a news conference, both leaders underlined the importance of what Abadi called a “direct link” with Turkey. It would be established in addition to an existing border gate that has been run by the Kurdistan Regional Government since the fall of Saddam Hussain in 2003.



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  • New border crossing to create direct Iraq-Turkey link / Amberin ZamanNew border crossing to create direct Iraq-Turkey link / Amberin Zaman

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reiterated their commitment to creating a second border crossing linking their two countries today following wide-ranging talks in Ankara. Speaking at a news conference, both leaders underlined the importance of what Abadi called a “direct link” with Turkey. It would be established in addition to an existing border gate that has been run by the Kurdistan Regional Government since the fall of Saddam Hussain in 2003.

    03:14 PM
  • After Russia, Turkey now expands military cooperation with China / Metin GurcanAfter Russia, Turkey now expands military cooperation with China / Metin Gurcan

    When the Chinese military attache stationed in Turkey said on July 28 that cooperation between the Turkish and Chinese militaries will produce “fruitful results,” his words didn’t escape the notice of defense circles. Speaking at a ceremony marking the 91st anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China, held at the Chinese Embassy in Ankara, Brig. Gen. Chen Qingsong also congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his election victory in the June 24 polls and said his re-election will help to strengthen the ties between the two countries. The attendance of several high-level diplomats and politicians and Turkish Armed Forces commanders at the ceremony was also remarkable.

    03:48 PM
  • Explosions at arms depot dent peshmerga's confidence in leadership / Fazel HawramyExplosions at arms depot dent peshmerga's confidence in leadership / Fazel Hawramy

    Abdullah was driving back to Sulaimaniyah from Erbil in the evening of July 2 to avoid the sweltering heat wave that had brought life to standstill during the day. As he approached the hills of Tasluja to the west of the city just after 9:30, he saw a fire raging. Soon he heard deafening explosions that sent what appeared to be missiles and mortar shells into the air, lighting up the sky and sending Tasluja's bewildered residents running for their lives. Abdullah, not his real name, knew that a weapons and ammunition depot was on fire.

    03:46 PM
  • Why Syria's Kurds are inclined to negotiate with Damascus / Mohammad BassikiWhy Syria's Kurds are inclined to negotiate with Damascus / Mohammad Bassiki

    As the Syrian regime continues to make advances in the country's south and expand the area it controls, government forces have deployed soldiers along the border with Jordan near Daraa province and the Golan Heights in Quneitra. Meanwhile, signs indicate that there is rapprochement between Damascus and the opposition's political and military components in northern and eastern Syria (east of the Euphrates River), where the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are in control.

    03:52 PM
  • Kurds discouraged by hard-liners in Turkey's new Cabinet / Mahmut BozarslanKurds discouraged by hard-liners in Turkey's new Cabinet / Mahmut Bozarslan

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul told journalists in 2009, “Some great things are going to happen on the Kurdish problem soon.”

    04:23 PM
  • Abadi, Maliki seek alliance with Iraq's Kurds / Omar SattarAbadi, Maliki seek alliance with Iraq's Kurds / Omar Sattar

    Even as Iraqis continue to take to the streets to protest unemployment and poor services, and although the judiciary-appointed commission has yet to announce the official results of the ballot recount for the recent parliamentary elections, the winning blocs are nevertheless proceeding with consultations to form the next government.

    03:13 PM
  • Erdogan inching closer to going nuclear / Abdullah BozkurtErdogan inching closer to going nuclear / Abdullah Bozkurt

    On July 2, 2018, immediately after a questionable win in national and presidential elections, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a law-decree establishing the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (Nukleer Duzenleme Kurumu, or NDK). The agency, demanded of Turkey by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for years, is supposed to be an independent body for verifying Turkey’s international commitments. Yet an examination of the decree and the changes approved reveal the agency has turned out to be totally subordinate to Erdogan’s whims, which leads to further speculation as to how he wants to pursue nuclear capabilities.

    03:53 PM
  • Syria's Assad seeks support of tribes against US, others / Mohammad BassikiSyria's Assad seeks support of tribes against US, others / Mohammad Bassiki

    As the Syrian regime, backed by Russia, is on the verge of taking control of the remaining opposition-held areas in southern Syria, Damascus is trying to mobilize Syrian tribes against foreign forces, including those of the United States, in the country's east.

    03:49 PM
  • Why the world doesn’t make new countries anymore / Joshua KeatingWhy the world doesn’t make new countries anymore / Joshua Keating

    On Sept. 25, 2017, Iraqi Kurdistan held its long-awaited referendum on independence. The region had been semi-independent since the end of the first Gulf War but had long sought to become a full-fledged, internationally recognized state. The Kurds had attempted independence, and been thwarted in those attempts, numerous times before, from the aftermath of World War I, through the Cold War, to the first Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. But ISIS’s invasion of Iraq in 2014, and the subsequent collapse of Iraq’s state institutions, had made Kurdistan’s dream look more feasible than ever: It was a lot harder for Iraq to make the case for its territorial integrity when it literally didn’t control much of its own territory.

    09:34 AM
  • What's behind nationalist gains in Turkey’s Kurdish regions? / Sibel HurtasWhat's behind nationalist gains in Turkey’s Kurdish regions? / Sibel Hurtas

    The most controversial results in Turkey’s June 24 elections came from the predominantly Kurdish provinces in the country’s southeast. The Nationalist Action Party (MHP), whose hard-line nationalist rhetoric hardly appeals to the Kurds, saw a three-fold increase in its votes in the region, while the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the torchbearer of the Kurdish political movement, suffered a decline.

    03:51 PM
  • No change expected in Kurdish policies / Barcin YinancNo change expected in Kurdish policies / Barcin Yinanc

    Since the June 2015 general elections, after which a ceasefire between the government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) ended, the Kurdish issue has been confined to an all-out military, political and psychological campaign against the PKK inside and outside Turkey. That campaign has also been waged against what the government sees as the PKK’s political affiliations.

    06:33 PM
  • Iraq may soon be without a government, as clock runs out / Ali MamouriIraq may soon be without a government, as clock runs out / Ali Mamouri

    The term of Iraq's current parliament ends June 30, but a mandated manual recount of votes cast in the May 12 election hasn't even begun, and disputes are deepening among some political blocs. This could create a constitutional vacuum, which would worsen an already-bad situation.

    02:41 PM
  • As conditions shift in Syria, Kurds open to talks with Damascus / Fehim TastekinAs conditions shift in Syria, Kurds open to talks with Damascus / Fehim Tastekin

    Actions by the United States, Turkey and Russia could be driving Kurds into the awkward embrace of the Syrian regime.

    05:07 PM
  • Pro-Kurdish opposition party election workers held as Turkey vote approaches / Amberin ZamanPro-Kurdish opposition party election workers held as Turkey vote approaches / Amberin Zaman

    With only days left before landmark elections in Turkey, pressure is intensifying on the one party that could swing the outcome, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). More than 50 party members and canvassers were detained in separate early morning raids in the eastern province of Erzurum, the southeastern province of Sirnak and in the western provinces of Bursa and Izmir, the opposition daily Evrensel reported. Among those detained were senior figures from the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the the HDP’s sister organization in the mainly Kurdish southeastern region.

    02:34 PM
  • No Turkish party free to speak up for captives held by PKK / Amberin ZamanNo Turkish party free to speak up for captives held by PKK / Amberin Zaman

    As Turkey keeps up attacks against Kurdish rebels in their stronghold in the Qandil Mountains straddling Iran and Iraq, the plight of Turkish soldiers, intelligence operatives and various other Turkish citizens being held by the militants has received scant attention and there is growing worry among their families they might get caught in the middle.

    04:08 PM
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