How did ‘Teflon Tayyip’ win? | Al Monitor

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan became Turkey’s first popularly elected head of state, mustering 51.8% of the vote, or 20.7 million votes, in the first round of the presidential elections on Aug. 10, according to preliminary results. With 55.6 million eligible voters, the turnout stood at 74.3%, below the country’s traditional average.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the joint candidate of the two largest opposition forces, the center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the rightist Nationalist Action Party (MHP), won 38.5% of the vote, or 15.4 million votes, according to the preliminary results. The figure signifies a glaring debacle for Ihsanoglu and the two opposition parties that supposedly backed him, for the CHP and the MHP’s combined vote in the March 30 local elections amounted to 43%, or about 20 million votes. [Read more]

‘Turkey to adopt balanced foreign policy during Erdoğan’s presidency’ | Today’s Zaman

The “new Turkey” mentioned by president-elect and incumbent Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his victory speech after winning Turkey’s first presidential election by popular vote should follow a “more balanced” foreign policy in which the country will seek to mend its problematic relationships rather than pursuing an aggressive foreign policy, analysts agree.

Erdoğan won the Aug. 10 presidential election, gathering 51.8 percent of the popular vote, and delivered a message of reconciliation in his victory speech. [Read more]

Attitudes and Expressions from a Gaza Refugee Camp | truthdig

At U.N schools-cum-shelters for displaced Gazans, exhausted refugees speak of grief, anger—and some—appreciable pride for the resolve with which fighters led by Hamas respond violently to Israel’s blockade against the movement of people and supplies in and out of the territory and the assault of the last month.

From a concrete courtyard in Jabaliya where side-by-side stalls are adorned with “colorful cloths,” “shoes are removed on entry,” and radio news about truces and ceasefires hold the attention of inhabitants, The New York Times reports: [Read more]

Obama signals he wants Iraqi leader Maliki out. What happens now? | Vox

The Iraqi political system is in crisis, with the country’s parliament electing a new prime minister to replace Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is so far refusing to leave office. It’s not clear whether or how Maliki, who has taken an increasingly authoritarian turn during his eight years as Iraq’s leader, might try to cling to power. The Obama administration has said very clearly that it’s ready for the next Iraqi government. Here’s what we know so far about the crisis and where it could lead Iraq next. [Read more]

Iraq’s Rot Starts at the Top | New York Times

IRAQ’S situation is desperate. What makes it worse is that its political class, and many American officials, continue to push a cure that would be worse than the disease: a breakup of Iraq along sectarian lines.

If the past 11 years have proved anything, it is that a lack of representation and inclusiveness in Iraq’s government and institutions is not the problem. What we have learned since 2003 is that merely ensuring that there are ministers from each of Iraq’s main communities — Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and minorities like the Chaldeans and Turkmen — will not ensure that they will represent those communities’ interests, let alone the national interest. Any American influence left in Iraq should focus on rebuilding the credibility of national institutions. [Read more]

If Genocide Won’t Unite Iraq, Nothing Will | FrontPage Mag

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Obama’s Iraq policy in 2014 is his 2007 policy all over again. The minimal attacks on Al Qaeda are paired with the expectation that Iraqis will unite to achieve a political solution.

But what if they don’t?

In 2007, Obama had claimed that American withdrawals would pressure Iraqis into a political solution. He was wrong. The withdrawals not only failed to move Iraq toward a political solution, but they gave Maliki and his Iranian allies the power they needed to marginalize the Kurds and the Sunnis. [Read more]

Find a way to make mediation work in Libya | Gulf News

The implosion of Libya with inter-militia wars has almost snuffed out the hope that dawned in 2011 after the ouster of Gaddafi. This should be of deep concern to the world, says the media. Instead of deserting it at a time like this, nations should find a way to make mediation work.

The Washington Post attributes Libya’s mess to the West’s expert mishandling of the situation. Says its editorial, “Three years after US and Nato forces helped liberate Libya from the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi, the country is beginning to look a lot like another nation where an abrupt US disengagement following a civil war led to chaos: Afghanistan in the 1990s. [Read more]

Gaza’s children: ‘Israel is creating a new generation of enemies’ | The Guardian

She seemed to represent the collective suffering of Gaza’s children: a little girl, eyes cast down, a tear edging beneath her lashes, blood smeared over her face, anguish written into her face.

Her picture was taken in the aftermath of the shelling of what was supposed to be a refuge from war, a UN school in Jabaliya. “The world stands disgraced,” declared a shocked UN chief after 15 people died and more than 100 were injured. [Read more]

‘IDF does not know of any infiltration tunnels crossing from Lebanon into Israel’ | Jerusalem Post

The IDF does not know of any infiltration tunnels crossing from Lebanon into Israel, Head of the Northern Command Major General Yair Golan said Sunday.

Speaking to a forum of front line communities in Kfar Vradim in the North, Golan said that the tunnels do not pose a strategic threat on the northern border but that the IDF is prepared to handle the issue, even as they do not know of any such tunnels. [Read more]

ISIS brutally subdues rebellion in Syria, beheading and crucifying tribesmen who resisted their rule | National Post

Islamic militants have crushed a tribal uprising against their rule in eastern Syria after three days of clashes in a string of villages near the border with Iraq, beheading and crucifying opponents along the way, activists said Monday.

The fighters from the Al-Qaeda breakaway Islamic State group control huge swaths of territory in eastern and northern Syria and are fighting rival rebels, Kurdish militias and the Syrian army for more territory. [Read more]

 

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