November 24, 2011 by Ramzy Baroud
When Recep Tayyip Erdogan became Turkey’s prime minister in 2003, he seemed to be certain of the new direction his country would take. It would maintain cordial ties with Turkey’s old friends, Israel included, but also reach out to its Arab and Muslim neighbors, Syria in particular. The friendly relations between Ankara and Damascus soon morphed from rhetorical emphasis on cultural ties into trade deals and economic exchanges worth billions of dollars. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s vision of a ‘zero-problems’ foreign policy seemed like a truly achievable feat, even in a region marred by conflict, foreign occupations and ‘great game’ rivalry.
The Israeli raid on the Turkish aid ship, Mavi Marmara, in international waters on May 31, 2010, was not enough to erode this vision. The official Turkish response to Israel’s violent attack – which killed nine Turkish citizens – was one of great anger, but it hardly resembled what Turkey saw as state-sponsored Israeli piracy in the Mediterranean.
November 24, 2011 by Esam Al-Amin
When former Vice President (and intelligence chief) Omar Suleiman announced on state television last February 11 the transfer of power from Hosni Mubarak to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), millions of Egyptians began celebrating in the streets the culmination of their revolution that rid them of their dictator. The demonstrators’ chant then was “the people and the army are one.”
Indeed, the role of SCAF in refusing to crack down on protestors and forcing the resignation of Mubarak proved decisive in the three-week revolt.