Turkish exports to Qatar up 84% since Arab rift

The value of Turkish exports to Qatar has increased by 84 per cent during the last three months compared to the same period last year, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported. The agency reported data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) saying the value of Turkish exports to Qatar reached $165 million. The value of Turkish exports to Qatar increased in August by 75 per cent compared to the same period last year to reach $65 million. Read: A prolonged crisis and growing losses A majority of Turkey’s exports to Qatar included marine and animal products to the value of $8.6 million while exports in the electrical and electronic services sector reached $8 million. The head of Turkey’s Federation of Fisheries Exporters, Sinan […]

Israel extends detention of Raed Salah

A magistrates’ court in Haifa today ruled to extend the detention of Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, “until the end of legal proceedings against him”. The decision comes after the prosecution filed an indictment against Salah, accusing him of inciting violence and terrorism in a statement he after two Israeli occupation soldier were killed in Jerusalem on 14 July. Last week the court agreed to extend Salah’s detention until today, noting that he had told the judge that he “sleeps and prays and eats in the prison’s toilet and bathroom”. The judge had requested the prosecution and the prison authority respond to his statements today. Salah was arrested on 14 August after his house in […]

Tunisian President raises doubts about Ennahda

Tunisia President Beji Caid Essebsi has called for an investigation into the nature of the opposition Ennahda party. In an interview with Tunisia’s official local newspaper Al-Sahafa, Essebsi described the Islamist movement as “not civic”. “The outlawed group paralyses the state from carrying out its duties and achieving development,” Essebsi stressed. Read: The hidden battle between Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes The party’s media office is yet to respond to Essebsi’s remarks. Ennahda is the predominant party in the Tunisian government with 69 seats in the parliament, the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, while Essebsi’s party, Nidaa Tounes, has 58 parliamentary seats. The government also includes the secular party of Afek Tounes which holds ten parliamentary seats.

Egypt power lines begins serving Gaza again

One of the Egyptian power lines feeding the Gaza Strip resumed operation yesterday after being cut off for about two months, Gaza’s electricity company said. Muhammad Thabet, head of public relations at the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company, said that the “Gaza 2” electricity line that powers districts in southern Gaza with ten megawatts was back in operation and providing electricity. Egyptian authorities fixed “Gaza 1” last week, after it had fallen into disrepair for some 50 days, he added. Now that both power lines resumed operating, Thabet said he expected the electricity distribution in the besieged coastal enclave to improve. Most Palestinians in Gaza are being supplied with only four hours of electricity a day. The power lines from Egypt […]

Turkish police kill Daesh militant set to attack police station

Turkish police shot dead a Daesh militant who was set to carry out a suicide bomb attack on a police station in the Mediterranean city of Mersin today, the interior ministry said. The assailant, wearing a vest packed with explosives, was killed outside the police station in the Yenisehir district, which security sources said is located next to the regional headquarters of Turkey’s MIT national intelligence agency. “One member of the Daesh terrorist organisation, wearing a suicide bomb vest, was captured dead in front of the Mersin Yenisehir district’s … central police station,” the interior ministry said in a statement. Police officers spotted the suspect behaving suspiciously some 50 metres from the police station at around 8:15am (0515 GMT), the […]

Court: EU states must take in refugees

The EU’s highest court today ruled that member states must take in a share of refugees who reach Europe. The Mediterranean migrant crisis which prompted mandatory quotas in 2015 for relocating asylum seekers from Greece and Italy has receded, easing immediate pressure to force compliance on nationalist leaders who are making electoral capital from lambasting the EU while benefiting from Brussels’ subsidies. But defiant rejection from some ex-communist states that the EU accuses of slipping on democratic standards – Hungary called the judgment a political “rape” of EU law – indicated no let-up in tensions that are testing the Union’s internal cooperation. In Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel is fighting for re-election against opponents who criticise her for taking in […]

Lebanon identifies soldiers killed in Daesh captivity

Lebanon has identified the bodies of ten of its soldiers found along the Syrian border in a zone taken back from Daesh last week, state news agency NNA said today. An offensive against the enclave ended with the evacuation of Daesh militants and their families to eastern Syria under a Hezbollah-brokered deal. Syria’s government and Lebanon’s Hezbollah allowed a convoy of about 300 lightly armed fighters and 300 relatives to evacuate, surrendering their border enclave. As part of the agreement, daesh militants identified where they had buried the soldiers, Lebanon’s army chief said. DNA tests confirmed that all ten bodies found in the mountainous border region were Lebanese soldiers, security sources and local media said today. Read: This will be the […]

Syrians battling to achieve World Cup dream

Syria’s team spirit has kept the war-torn nation in contention to qualify for their first football World Cup and Ayman Hakeem’s side will need to muster more of the same attitude to deliver a storybook ending to their remarkable journey. For the fourth time in five games Syria scored in the dying seconds when they met Iran yesterday as Omar Al-Soma slid the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs to earn a 2-2 draw that sets up a two-legged playoff with Australia next month. Since March, Qatar, China and Uzbekistan have all been on the receiving end of last-gasp goals from the Syrians as the country’s World Cup dream moved closer to reality. A 91st minute Omar Khrbin penalty secured a […]

A prolonged crisis and growing losses

The Gulf crisis has entered its fourth month without any indications of it ending soon. While Qatar has prepared itself for a long crisis, both on the economic and political level, and has proven that it is capable of withstanding it, the other side is in a state of fluctuation. Meanwhile the fierce media war is ongoing between the two sides. While the confrontation with Iran is one of the main issues of the Gulf conflict, it is clear that Iran is gaining the most from the crisis, either in the form of its new budding relationships or, more importantly, in the form of everyone’s distraction with the crisis, leaving the Syrian and Iraqi (as well as the Yemeni) arenas […]

This will be the new Syria if the Syrians remain silent

Everything we are hearing and reading about the political solution in Syria is nothing but a waste of time and jiggery-pokery. Do not believe that the UN or any other major power is interested in reaching solutions that please the people or achieve justice in crisis-stricken countries. On top of this, the Russian mediator who is working on the political solution is the biggest supporter of the Syrian regime. Its situation is somewhat similar to that of the American mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. If you expect the Americans to promote the Palestinians’ rights, then you can expect the Russians to support the Syrian opposition. How can you expect Russia, which gloats about firing over 200,000 missiles at the Syrians, […]