Near & Middle East

An image remains in my mind that encapsulates Turkey’s second election day this year. Especially within the pro-government AK Parti (AKP) strongholds of Istanbul, such as Beykoz. As we sat in the café of the regional elections centre, watching television, and waiting for the vote count to slowly arrive, every time a Turkish or Kurdish member of the left-wing HDP (People’s Democratic Party) delegation rose from their seat, the police in the room would laugh. (More…)

After our journeys in South Africa and Abyssinia, it was suggested to my husband that a survey of the Hadhramout by an independent traveller would be useful to the Government; so in the winter of 1893 – 94 we determined to do our best to penetrate into this unknown district.  (More…)

The AKP’s growing neoliberal authoritarianism can be viewed most succinctly within the period between 2015’s two elections. Suruç’s re-opening of Kurdish guerrillas’ conflict with the state was used by the AKP as an opportunity to punish Kurdish citizens for their subversion of voting norms.  (More…)

Several Turkish and Kurdish cities are successful recruiting grounds for ISIS, in particular the capital Ankara and the majority-Kurdish city Adıyaman. Despite the AKP government heavily publicising their raids and arrests of alleged ISIS members, lax border controls are obvious.  (More…)

As the US-led coalition (France, United Kingdom, the unofficial assistance of Russia) expands its war against Islamic State, it is worth revisiting the work of Albert Camus. (More…)

I’m absorbing the Kurdish equivalent of propaganda when the background noise changes from People’s Democratic Party (HDP) ads to the orchestral movements of poorly-acted dramas.  (More…)

In the very interesting account which Mrs. Devereux Roy has given of the present condition of Algeria, she says that France “is now about to embark upon a radical change of policy in regard to her African colonies.”  (More…)

Why ISIS as the standard-bearer of Sunni resistance? It is not the result of some lusting for barbarism on the part of the region’s Sunnis. It is not even because of the fearsome barbarity with which the Islamic State enforces its edicts (although that helps). Nor is it because its military and security structures are designed and run on Baathist lines (though that helps too). (More…)

The Holy Land has been the scene of war since the dawn of History. Long before Belgium became the cockpit of Europe, Palestine was the cock-pit of the known world. Here, on the high road between Asia and Africa, were fought the great wars of Egyptians and Assyrians, Israelites and Canaanites, Greeks and Romans, Saracens and Crusaders. (More…)

Iranian revolutionary sociologist Ali Shariati took care to differentiate between martyrs and shaheed. Shariati believed that martyrs “die for the sake of god,” while shaheed are “always alive and present.”  (More…)

The new Zionism, which has been called the political one, differs, however, from the old, the religious, the Messianic one, in this,—that it disavows all mysticism, no longer identifies itself with Messianism, and does not expect the return to Palestine to be brought about by a miracle, but desires to prepare the way by its own efforts. (More…)

The country to which the name of Palestine is given by moderns is that portion of the Turkish empire in Asia which is comprehended within the 31st and 34th degrees north latitude, and extends from the Mediterranean to the Syrian Desert, eastward of the river Jordan and the Dead Sea. (More…)