The Corner

Middle East Miscellany

A few stories out of Turkey:

Alcohol raids shut down art gala: A group armed with tear gas, sticks, and bottles attacked 400 art enthusiasts who filled galas at the Galerinon, Galerioutlet, and Eclitsis, three art galleries in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district. The group chanted religious slogans, cried out “You cannot drink alcohol here,” and broke the windows of the galleries. Dozens of people were battered and five people were wounded. The victims complained that police nearby did not intervene and told them to call the police hotline. None of the assailants was taken into custody.

Minority Sect Protests New Mandatory Islam Classes: The Turkish Alevi federation announced that the Alevi students will not attend religion classes if their protest on October 9 does not change government policy. Fevzi Gumus, chairman of Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association, says: “There are several verdicts of the European Human Rights Court stating no one can be forced to attend religion classes.” However, the AKP government is reluctant to release a decree saying Alevi students are free not to attend the classes.

European Union Critical of Turkey Crackdown on Press Freedom: Growing concerns about freedom of expression in Turkey will be high on the agenda of the European Union in the post-referendum period, European diplomats have said. “It is obvious that we will follow more closely such attempts [to limit freedom of expression],” an ambassador from one of the EU countries told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Tuesday. “We know it is a very delicate issue. We try to address it from time to time.” European diplomats commented specifically on the case of Bekir Coşkun, a veteran columnist critical of many government actions who was recently fired from his newspaper, the daily Habertürk, allegedly as the result of pressure from government circles. “If he was fired upon the government’s pressure, then this is very serious,” another EU diplomat said, comparing the Turkish government’s treatment of writers with a critical stance to actions taken by Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

Michael RubinMichael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Donziger Disbarred

Steven Donziger, the attorney with connections to the Obama and Cuomo administrations who was at the center of a massive effort to extort billions of dollars out of Chevron, has been disbarred for “corruption of a court expert and ghostwriting his report, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and judicial ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Donziger Disbarred

Steven Donziger, the attorney with connections to the Obama and Cuomo administrations who was at the center of a massive effort to extort billions of dollars out of Chevron, has been disbarred for “corruption of a court expert and ghostwriting his report, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and judicial ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris, Imaginary Centrist

By the end of the 2020 campaign, president-in-waiting Kamala Harris will have been transformed into the greatest exemplar of judicious centrism and political level-headedness in American history. “Kamala Harris comes from the middle-of-the-road, moderate wing of the Democratic Party” claims George ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris, Imaginary Centrist

By the end of the 2020 campaign, president-in-waiting Kamala Harris will have been transformed into the greatest exemplar of judicious centrism and political level-headedness in American history. “Kamala Harris comes from the middle-of-the-road, moderate wing of the Democratic Party” claims George ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris’s Abortion Absolutism

Abortion policy is just one of several areas in which California senator Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, has sworn to abuse executive power to assert her preferences if Congress won’t legislate as she’d like. Her authoritarian instincts were frightening when she was running for president herself, ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris’s Abortion Absolutism

Abortion policy is just one of several areas in which California senator Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate, has sworn to abuse executive power to assert her preferences if Congress won’t legislate as she’d like. Her authoritarian instincts were frightening when she was running for president herself, ... Read More
International

UK Fails, Sweden Not So Much

CNN yesterday: UK economic output shrank by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, the worst quarterly slump on record, pushing the country into the deepest recession of any major global economy. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Allister Heath weighs in: So now we know: Sweden got it largely right, and the ... Read More
International

UK Fails, Sweden Not So Much

CNN yesterday: UK economic output shrank by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, the worst quarterly slump on record, pushing the country into the deepest recession of any major global economy. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Allister Heath weighs in: So now we know: Sweden got it largely right, and the ... Read More