I apologize for not posting over the last few days. I went away for the week with my wife and a friend on a tour of the northern Aegean Sea. It was beautiful. The water was probably the clearest I’ve ever seen. I do have to admit it was a little on the cold side though. Anyway, now on to a few a stories of the day.
Also…while I was away I started reading Island of The World, a book my wife had highly recommended. I’ve still got a ways to go but have absolutely loved it thus far. Check out her review here: klizbarker.wordpress.com
For Ankara, it’s time for deeds not words on Syria – Hurriyet Daily News http://bit.ly/pCeydY
A story that continues to be of interest to me is the uprisings in Syria. Having begun to study more and more about Turkish politics and foreign relations this has provided one of the most difficult challenges that the Ankara government could possibly face. Over the past few years Turkey has made a concerted effort to improve their relationships with Syria. This has been one of the models for the “Zero-Problem with Neighbors” policy and yet now next door there are riots and killings taking place on a daily basis. Turkey has come out with public statements, private diplomatic visits and yet there seems to have been no change. This provides a crucial test case for Turkey to play a role as a peacemaking leader in the region. Will it be able to turn it’s talk into actions? Read the whole story here.
How the U.S. and the world can help Iraq – The Washington Post http://wapo.st/puh5G2
Great article from a former Prime Minister of Iraq. With all the attention that has been given to the Middle East over the past few months in many ways Iraq has been somewhat forgotten. The US intervention that began in 2003 is still continuing. Yet the reality (as described in this article) is far from the promises that were originally made. As the Arab world moves towards democratic rule Iraq should be standing as a model of Arab democracy, albeit that it came about from foreign intervention rather than a popular uprising. This article gives some practical suggestions for things that the U.S. and other foreign countries can do to help bring freedom and hope to the people of Iraq. Read the whole story here.
BBC News – Gaza flotilla row: New low in Turkish ties with Israel http://bbc.in/oZfc7M
A continuing story in Turkey has been the reaction to 9 Turkish citizens killed on the Mavi Marmara by Israeli soldiers. This has led to the souring of a relationship that had grown cold already. While Turkey and Israel in the past had enjoyed relatively good relations they had begun to cool. This incident has only worsened the situation. The publication of a UN report on the incident has served to keep the wound fresh in the minds of those involved. Neither side seems quick to flex on the issue and until there is a need for a restoration of the relationship it will probably remain distant. Read the whole story here.