Turkey’s bonds are showing the strain of the nation’s ethnic ties to Tatars in southern Ukraine, embroiled in an escalating crisis with Russia, the source of more than half the Mediterranean country’s gas.
Western leaders from President Barack Obama to Chancellor Angela Merkel are telling Russia not to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty. Vladimir Putin’s response as he prepares for military conflict: What about ours?
The president of France is getting ready to sign a bill making it a crime in his country to deny that a century ago, the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against Armenians. As President Nicolas Sarkozy’s own party proposed the legislation, we suspect that he will sign it. But it’s never too late to drop a bad idea.
The hope that Turkey might provide a model for modernizing Muslim countries -- combining Islam, democracy and market economics -- is being tested. A bitter quarrel between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his former allies continues to escalate. Financial markets are running scared, punishing the country’s stocks and currency. The fight doesn’t just threaten Erdogan’s government; it also calls into question vital Turkish institutions, including the rule of law.
More than 200,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees have moved into Iraqi Kurdistan. They have crossed an international border to be sure, yet it is, in the Kurdish world view, a passage from one part of their homeland to another. The Kurds disregard these frontiers, imposed on the Fertile Crescent almost a century ago by Anglo-French power.
Gorge Mardyan and his family of four have lost most of their possessions. Gorge left his job as a printer and they have fled their large home in Aleppo, Syria, for a cramped one-room apartment in the disputed South Caucasus region. Yet they feel lucky. They hope they are out of danger.