Archive for June 29, 2012

By Genevieve Long Belmaker & Aron Lamm
September 12, 2011

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is visiting Egypt as part of his “Arab Spring” tour of several countries. His visit comes on the heels of a deadly mass protest on Friday that led to the Israel’s entire diplomatic staff, including the ambassador, leaving Egypt. The mob, of which three died and about 1,000 were injured, broke into the Israeli embassy and an Egyptian police station in Cairo.

Erdogan’s last visit to Egypt was in January 2009, when he was there to consult over an Israeli military assault on Gaza. In the same year, then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak visited Istanbul. There had not been any other substantive high-level meetings the allies until this week.

The current visit also comes under the shadow of Turkey’s recent break in diplomatic relations with Israel over the death of nine Turkish passengers aboard a ship that was part of a flotilla bound for Gaza in mid-2010. Turkey wanted an apology and reparations for the families of the deceased.

Both Western and Arab journalists posted several messages on Twitter late Monday about Erdogan’s arrival in Cairo, reporting that a crowd of over 1,000 had gathered to welcome him.

Ivan Watson, an Istanbul-based CNN correspondent, Tweeted that “Crowd of 1000+ cheering Egyptians from Muslim Brotherhood at Cairo airport to greet Turkish PM Erdogan,” and “Cairo airport crowd holding signs saying ‘Muslim Brotherhood welcomes Erdogan.’”

Turkey has emphasized foreign relations in recent years under its foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, who has advocated for the country to play a more central role in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus.

U.S.-based author and historian Srdja Trifkovic believes Turkey, a NATO member and currently negotiating European Union membership, is consciously but carefully navigating away from the West with the ultimate goal of forging its own power base.

“[Turkey’s] objective is to build up and cement [its] role as a regional power in its own right, fully independent of Washington and Brussels but always willing to act ‘multilaterally’ if Washington and Brussels go along with Ankara’s agenda,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Epoch Times.

Trifkovic argues that Turkey is no longer the compliant ally that NATO and the West believe it to be. While Turkey is playing along for now, “this is only postponing the day of reckoning … and the reigning team in Ankara is in my opinion fully reconciled to that.”

Source: The Epoch Times.



Police and demonstrators clashed Saturday in Nouakchott at a rally against the national census under way in Mauritania, Pana reported on Sunday (September 11th). Mauritanian human rights organizations AVOMM and OCVIDH are among the census opponents that claim it excludes the country’s black population. Expatriates also rallied against the census in Paris on Saturday. Protestors carried banners with the slogans “Stop Racism in Mauritania” and “Hands Off My Nationality”.

Source: Magharebia.


A mass grave was discovered Sunday (September 11th) on the ring road around Tripoli’s Souk al-Juma. Dr. Mohammed al-Tarhuni of the Libyan Interior Ministry’s forensic laboratory said there were up to 17 bodies buried within a “close distance”.

The Kadhafi regime forbade the burial of revolutionaries in known cemeteries. Witnesses said the bodies were buried on August 21st, one day after the liberation of Tripoli.

Source: Magharebia.