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Showing posts from March 11, 2016

Turkey’s Path to Dictatorship

Throttling Turkey’s democracy, President Erdogan seized an opposition newspaper that dared reveal his clandestine arming of jihadists seeking to overthrow neighboring Syria, as Alon Ben-Meir explains.



By Alon Ben-Meir

Only a few months after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raided the offices of the Koza Ipek Media Group, the Turkish police assaulted early this month the offices of Feza Publications, which owns two newspapers (including Zaman) and two TV stations, without any warning.

There is little else more injurious to any democracy than closing down news outlets and choking off freedom of speech. To take such an extreme measure based on concocted accusations that such media outlets are aiding terrorism and conspiring against the state is nothing short of scandalous, and shows his fear of public criticism despite his bravado.


Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

President Erdogan, however, seems completely dismissive of any potential repercussions, as he was emboldened by his past r…

Taking Aim at Russia’s ‘Underbelly’

While loudly complaining about “Russian aggression,” the U.S. government escalates plans for encircling Russia in a modern “Great Game,” writes Jonathan Marshall.

By Jonathan Marshall

Two hundred years after the “Great Game” for domination of Central Asia began with the Russo-Persian Treaty of 1813, Washington is maneuvering to increase its military presence on Russia’s underbelly, this time through a “counterterrorism partnership” with Tajikistan and its neighbors.

Last month, the Pentagon announced plans for $50 million in new military aid to Central Asia — with a focus on Tajikistan — to “counter the Taliban, ISIL [an acronym for Islamic State], and other regionally-based terrorist groups, and to promote stability in the region.” The aid will also help the U.S. military get its feet in the door by enabling “interoperability and collaboration” with local partner armed forces.



The program comes at a time when the United States and NATO are trying to counter Moscow by providing billions o…