What is Huda-Par?

Armed fighting has broken out again in southeast Turkey between the Kurdish PKK and Huda-Par, resulting in two deaths. Given that the AKP government is supposed to be negotiating peace with the PKK, we may well ask who or what is Huda-Par, which appears to be a far-right Islamist organization, one of many armed factions of various stripes that make up the Turkish fringe. But they’re more than that and evidence of another dangerous game being played blind in Ankara.

Analysis and Summary: Turkey at a Tipping Point

The December 2014 edition of Current History has a collection of articles on the Middle East by prominent scholars that give excellent analyses and updates for different countries in the region. Here’s my take on Turkey.

The Salafi Switcheroo

It appears certain that Turkey has provided military and medical assistance to ISIS (now Islamic State or IS) fighters in the past couple of years, allowing them refuge in and easy transit through Turkey to Syria. The Turkish IHH organization played a prominent role in this.

Islamic State Member Threatens Istanbul

One IS member threatens on camera that if the apostate Turkish government doesn’t turn the Euphrates water back on, which Turkey has blocked with its dam, IS will come to Istanbul and turn it on from there. He is quite explicit that this is a threat. Hello, Ankara?

Islamic State in Turkey

The biggest danger to the region — including Turkey — and arguably the world at the moment is not Russia’s expansionism or the Israel-Gaza conflagration, but Islamic State (IS), formerly ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

The Ballot Queen and The People’s Cake

The situation in Turkey is so fluid and unpredictable, that all possibilities are on the table right now. PM Erdogan has been campaigning for months to become president, without actually announcing his candidacy. The opposition has floated a few candidates without any campaigning.

That Day (December 17)

Clear minute-by-minute timeline of December 17, 2013, the day the corruption scandal broke, from the early morning arrests of dozens of people in PM Erdogan’s circle to frantic attempts by Erdogan and others to hide vast quantities of money and beat the rap. Incorporates video footage and wiretap recordings gathered as evidence in the corruption […]

April 15: Blood Moon over Istanbul

Take a Deep Breath. It’s Spring.

The view outside my office window in Stockholm yesterday:

How to Get Past the Twitter Ban

Here’s some useful information about how to get back on Twitter, which has just been banned in Turkey.