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Analysis and Comment (31)

Islamic State flags flown by militants in the east of the Syrian city of Kobanê, within sight of the Turkish border. EPA/SEDAT SUNA

Kobanê teeters on the brink in a fight to the end against ISIS

The black flag of ISIS has been sighted in the Syrian city of Kobanê. For three weeks, heavily armed ISIS gangs have advanced on Kobanê – also known as Ayn al-Arab – steadily pushing back the local YPG…
Known as White Rocks, this quartz outcrop was the site of a three-hour gun battle in 1915 between police and two Afghans, who had shot and killed picnickers leaving Broken Hill. Amanda Slater/Flickr

History repeating: from the Battle of Broken Hill to the sands of Syria

It’s another hot Australian New Year’s Day, and 1200 people are aboard a train bound for a picnic when a burst of gunfire shatters the festive atmosphere. Police return fire, killing the attackers – but…
The Kurdish politician, Selahattin Demirtas, has run a great campaign. Sedat Suna/EPA

How Turkey’s Kurds can leverage third place in election

The prospect of the first direct presidential election in Turkey’s history – and the candidacy of pro-Kurdish Selahattin Demirtaş has generated much excitement among the country’s Kurds. Though Demirta…
Erdoğan, İhsanoğlu and Demirtaş contend for the Turkish presidency. How Hwee Young/EPA, EPA/STR, EPA/Sedat Suna

What you need to know about Turkey’s presidential elections

Turkey awaits a fateful election on August 10. The electorate will be heading back to the polls to elect, for the first time in the country’s Republican history, the president by popular vote. If no candidate…
Turkey is at risk of descending into violent disarray. EPA/Sedat Suna

Twitter ban: Erdogan bringing down democracy in Turkey

In an extraordinary move Turkey has banned Twitter, blocking access to the social networking site that has more than 10m users in the country. The ban has come just hours after the prime minister, Recep…
Next year marks 100 years since the Gallipoli landings and the start of the genocide Armenians, Assyrians and Hellenes in Ottoman Turkey. AAP Image/Australian Government

Turkey, the Armenian genocide and the politics of memory

Victims of genocide die twice: first in the killing fields and then in the texts of denialists who insist that “nothing happened” or that what happened was something “different”. On the eve of two centennial…
Support for Turkish opposition - and concern about the press - has spread around the globe. Rubén Díaz

After Gezi, Turkey in media and campus clampdown

As autumn comes to Turkey, the spirit of Gezi Park can still be felt in the air. After months of mass anti-government demonstrations, the only common consensus is that political climate will never being…
Made in Brazil, used in Turkey: a teargas canister. Özlem Gürses

Popular protest: new media and the spread of inspiration

A protest against the destruction of green space in central Istanbul escalates to national protests against a remote, desecularising political leader; public transport fares in Brazil lead to a national…
The revolution will not be televised. Alan Hilditch via Creative Commons

Turkish mainstream media’s mask has finally slipped

While protesters were asleep, police stormed Istanbul’s Gezi Park using tear gas and water cannons. They set fire to the encampments. And yet pictures of bloodied protesters, or those blinded by plastic…
Defenders of Taksim Square have sparked a nationwide mobilisation. Fotomovimiento

Turkish urban uprising has smashed national wall of fear

Why is it that with all the accumulated experience in the world and the dramatic ends of many political leaders, democratic or authoritarian, Lord Acton always turns out to be right? Yes indeed, “power…
With uprisings continuing to take place in Turkey, questions must now be asked over whether the ‘Turkish model’ for democracy is the way forward for the Arab world. EPA/Evrim Aydin

As uprisings continue, what happened to the ‘Turkish model’ for democracy?

The ongoing protests across Turkey, stretching from May 28, show there is ample evidence of a flourishing culture of democracy in the country. They also highlight a worrying counter trend. Last week, the…
Muslim democrat Mohammed Morsi with protesters following the Mubarak verdict last weekend. EPA

The irresistible rise of Muslim democrats in the Middle East

Whatever the outcome of the Egyptian presidential runoff scheduled for 16-17 June, Middle Eastern electoral politics are now conforming to a remarkable rule. When elections are held in a free and fair…
Julia Gillard and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono both acknowledge the importance of a strong relationship between Australia and Indonesia. AAP

Growth in our MIST: the economic bloc to watch

Trade liberalisation has pulled many developing countries into emerging markets in the last decade. Jim O’Neil, an economist and chairman of Goldman Sachs, who forecast global economic domination by certain…