Turkey's Ecevit

Hopes and Worries Arrive in Washington

by Ertugrul Kurkcu | published January 15, 2002

When Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit arrives in Washington, DC this week to meet with President George W. Bush he will come bearing a symbolic gift: a replica of a 16th century Koran, beautifully embroidered and written with real gold lettering. The original of this Koran comes from the Topkapi Palace Museum, once the seat of the Ottoman Sultans who ruled the Muslim world for over four centuries.

Iraq: Rolling Over Sanctions, Raising the Stakes

by Sarah Graham-Brown | published November 28, 2001

Late in the evening of November 27, the US and Russia appear to have reached an agreement to once again roll over existing sanctions on Iraq for six months, by which time Secretary of State Colin Powell hopes the two powers will have agreed on a version of his proposed "smart sanctions." The December 3 deadline to renew the UN oil for food program, under which Iraq is allowed to sell its oil on the world market to import needed civilian goods, brings the familiar rhetoric, mutual accusations and rejections that have accompanied most renewals since 1997 when the program began. But this time, the stakes are higher, and the outcome is linked to broader uncertainties about future US policy in the Middle East.

Iraq's Water Woes

A Primer

by Chris Toensing
published in MER254

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Turkey's Rivers of Dispute

by Hilal Elver
published in MER254

In the waning years of the twentieth century, it was common to hear predictions that water would be the oil of the twenty-first. A report prepared for the center-right Washington think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, forecast that water, not oil, would be the dominant source of conflict in the Middle East by the year 2000. This prognosis rested in part upon the estimate of US intelligence agencies that by that time “there will be at least ten places in the world where war could break out over dwindling shared water, the majority in the Middle East.” [1]

How the Sanctions Hurt Iraq

by Colin Rowat | published August 2, 2001

(This article was updated on November 14, 2001.)

Smart Sanctions

Rebuilding Consensus or Maintaining Conflict?

by Marc Lynch | published June 28, 2001

No-Fly Zones

Rhetoric and Real Intentions

by Sarah Graham-Brown | published February 20, 2001

Almost Unnoticed

Interventions and Rivalries in Iraqi Kurdistan

by Isam al-Khafaji | published January 24, 2001

Falluja's Feelings of Exclusion

by Quil Lawrence
published in MER238

Standing in line outside a Falluja polling station on December 15, 2005, a man named Qays spoke the words that the White House had been waiting to hear since the preceding January 30. “We Sunnis made a mistake in the last elections, and the people are suffering for that mistake. Even the armed groups know that.” The mass abstention of Sunni Arabs from the January 30 elections, some heeding the calls of communal leaders for a boycott and others fearing the death threats of insurgents, left them under-represented in the transitional national assembly and, ultimately, marginal to the process of drafting the new Iraqi constitution that passed a national referendum on October 15. “Bringing the Sunnis back in” was the foremost goal of US diplomacy in Iraq in 2005.