Bielefeld Workshop co-organized by ?Changing Turkey?: TURKEY-EU RELATIONS: AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE? by Changing Turkey We would like to invite you to our workshop/conference and the screening of the film ?Coffee Futures? by Dr. Zeynep Gursel from the University of Michigan. The film screening is sponsored by the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology and … Read more

Report: Difficult Times for the Israeli Civil Society

Difficult Times for the Israeli Civil Society
Source: Heinrich Boll Stiftung Israel

The number of attacks by the nationalist camp against Israeli human rights organizations and other non-governmental organizations has risen significantly in the past six months. The work of these organizations has always been disputed by certain parts of the Israeli society. In a state which is in conflict with its neighbors ? a conflict  that frequently adopts violent and warlike traits, such disputes is are to be expected. Furthermore, a non-negligible part of the actors considers the conflict as an existential one.

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A newly released video: Israeli Attack on the Mavi Marmara, May 31st 2010

Despite the Israeli government?s thorough efforts to confiscate all footage taken during the attack, Iara Lee was able to retain some of her recordings. Above is 15 minutes of footage from the moments leading up to and during the Israeli commandos? assault on the Mavi Marmara. *** Turkey denies break with Europe from BBC News … Read more

Foreign policy roundup: Turkey is not a piece of cake anymore

I have stated several times that Turkey has started a new foreign policy which is riskier but more attractive than the old obedient silent ally policy. I sincerely wish for its success.  EU hesitancy certainly helped the change. Before this new line of policy started, many Turks had already lost hope in the EU front. It is not easy for a nation to wait for more than 50 years for a membership. It is a great humiliation and Turkey is not the only reason for that.

Current Turkish leaders’ Islamic origins certainly gave them the courage to continue. Even if previous leaders thought to have more assertive foreign policy, that hardcore secularist line had little ties with the public but dependent on Western powers in terms of lifestyles and ideological background, social capital etc.

“Moving Eastward” is a mistaken thinking. I believe new FP is an attempt of neo-Ottomanism. I believe Turkish elites are trying to gather power from Middle East to negotiate in better terms with the major Western policy makers…

and for the critics of being isolated, was Turkey ever not isolated? always in fight with her neighbours, dependent on mostly US to survive. Is that being not isolated?

In the mean time, with the existing leaders in both countries Israel and Turkey relations are doomed to end and US-Turkey relations will be worse… US Foreign Policy Establishment is too conservative to change and has forgotten diplomacy for ages and doesn’t want to see that being a superior war machine is not enough, something proved hundreds of times…

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On Wiseman rejecting “privileged partnership”

Wiseman Commission Rejects “Privileged Partnership”

from Turkish Politics in Action by Ragan Updegraff

Former president of Spain Felipe Gónzalez / AFP Photo from Hurriyet Daily News

The 12-member wise man commission French president Nikolas Sarkozy endeavored to setup in 2007 in part to frustrate Turkey’s accession track has instead concluded that walking away from Turkey’s accession process or granting it/treating its accession bid with something less than full membership is a betrayal that risks EU credibility.

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Ahmet Davutoğlu: Turkey?s zero-problems foreign policy

Turkey?s zero-problems foreign policy

by acturca

Foreign Policy (USA), May 20, 2010

By Ahmet Davutoglu

The Turkish government this week brokered an 11th-hour nuclear fuel swap deal with Iran. Turkey?s foreign minister explains the principles that made it possible.

Throughout modern history, there has been a direct relationship between conflict and the emergence of new ways of arbitrating world affairs. Every major war since the 17th century was concluded by a treaty that led to the emergence of a new order, from the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 that followed the Thirty Years? War, to the Congress of Vienna of 1814-1815 that brought an end to the Napoleonic Wars, to the ill-fated Treaty of Versailles that concluded the first World War, to the agreement at Yalta that laid the groundwork for the establishment of the United Nations in 1945. Yet the Cold War, which could be regarded as a global-scale war, ended not with grand summitry, but with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Union. There was no official conclusion; one of the combatant sides just suddenly ceased to exist.

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US Foreign Policy establishment bitchin’ about the nuclear deal

Not that US arguments are all wrong but US Foreign Policy does not offer more than sanctions to Iran and this is nothing new. No innovation, no change in their policy although diplomacy requires constant fine tuning. US still chooses the only option of threatening and then wonders why they are not liked in Middle East… Mr. Obama continues to be a disappointment in matters of foreign policy…

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EU Wise Men back Turkey, thus oppose Sarkozy

Betraying Sarkozy, ?wise men? back Turkish EU bid

by acturca

Today?s Zaman (Turkey), 11 May 2010, Tuesday

Selçuk Gültaşlı, Brussels

The European Union?s Reflection Group, which was created in December 2007 upon the initiative of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to present recommendations for the year 2030, has concluded that Brussels should keep its promises to Turkey, meaning that negotiations should continue with the aim of full membership.

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It looks like a victorious day for Turkish foreign policy: Iran agrees to send low enriched uranium to Turkey

Iran to send uranium to Turkey in  nuclear fuel ...

From L: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pose for a picture in Tehran. Iran agreed on Monday to ship much of its low enriched uranium abroad in a nuclear fuel swap deal backed by Turkey and Brazil but greeted sceptically by world powers seeking new sanctions against Tehran.? Read more »(AFP/Atta Kenare)

Iran agrees to send low enriched uranium to Turkey

from Yahoo news
Iran signed a nuclear fuel swap deal Monday which commits it to ship the bulk of its low enriched uranium to Turkey, potentially ending a standoff with sanctions-threatening world powers.

Nuke deal places Turkey at center of talks

from Hurriyet Dailynews
Diplomatic duo Turkey and Brazil forge an agreement with Iran on trading uranium in a way that could calm nerves among Western powers and strengthen Tehran?s claim that its nuclear energy program is peaceful. If the UN Security Council responds positively, Ankara could soon find itself in a position to decide who is playing by the rules

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Istanbul Police to have online surveillance teams

In order to fight with increasing online fraud, Istanbul police is creating Online Security Teams, a news site states….

In other news:

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DVDs vs. Pirate copies..

via: Infographic: buying DVDs vs pirating them

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Sesawe offers tools to circumvent web censorship

I had stopped shortly in a blogger/new media training session last Friday, that focused on Eurasian bloggers and new media people. You can check their work here:

Eurasian Stories | Digital Stories from Eurasia

and videos made in the workshop:

I have met Eric who works with a website called Sesawe. This site offers great tools and recommendations to circumvent web censorship. In their site:

Where sesawe matters:

FranceNorth KoreaKazakhstanMoroccoSri LankaChina
Saudia ArabiaEthiopiaTurkeyBelarusThailandSudan


My brief notes from Eric’s speech:

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al-Bashir in town


Bashir cancels visit to Istanbul ;Sudan’s President Bashir, indicted for war crimes in Darfur, pulls out of a summit in Istanbul, following pressure from the EU and US.

Turkey on Friday rebuffed a European Union call to reconsider ...

Turkey on Friday rebuffed a European Union call to reconsider its decision to host Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir, who is wanted for alleged war crimes in Darfur, saying it had no plans to arrest him.(AFP/File/Ashraf Shazly)

Turkey seems to be one of the rare countries in the world where Omar Al-Bashir is welcome. Although I tend to be excited with gov’t’s foreign policy fantasies in general, Al-Bashir case is less exciting….

Turkey defends Sudan leader visit

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
President Abdullah Gul criticises the EU after it asks Turkey to reconsider an invitation to Sudan’s president.

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Turkey seems to have officially recognized Iraqi Kurdistan…

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu releases a white ...

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu releases a white pigeon during the opening of the new Turkish Consulate in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad October 31, 2009. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousuly

Turkey: Time to Rebuild Middle East


Source: Turkish Daily Mail
Date: Saturday, 31 October 2009 0:24
Tags: Turkey and Middle East, Middle East, Kurd, Kurdish, Iraq

ARBIL – Turkey extended a regional peace drive to Iraqi Kurds when Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with top Kurdish officials in a landmark visit to Arbil.

?It is time for Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis to rebuild the Middle East. Therefore, it is time for everyone to take brave steps,? Davutoglu told a joint press conference with Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani late on Friday. Barzani praised Davutoğlu’s visit, saying it is even more significant now as the Middle East is passing through such a sensitive time.
Davutoğlu’s visit to Arbil, the first by a Turkish foreign minister, is a sign that a taboo maintained in Turkish foreign policy until recently is no longer in place.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani (R) holds a joint conference ...

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani (R) holds a joint conference with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Arbil, 310 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, October 30, 2009. Picture taken October 30, 2009. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

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Turkish Foreign Policy roundup.

More moves on the Eastern front…

EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject ...

EDITORS’ NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to film or take pictures in Tehran. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) shakes hands with Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting in Tehran October 27, 2009.

REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

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