Western Silence on Turkey

by David Barchard
published in MER121

About July 20, 1983, a BBC television news crew filming outside Istanbul’s Metris prison found itself confronted by difficulties which, one of the crew said, he had never experienced even in the Soviet Union. During a subsequent flurry of messages between the crew, the British Embassy in Ankara, and the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the crew learned that they were supposed to work with a Turkish plainclothes policeman permanently at their side (or if they wished, following at a distance). The Foreign Ministry also indicated that the crew might have had an easier time had they not chosen to be accompanied by the present writer, the Ankara stringer for the BBC as well as for other newspapers and broadcasting organizations. The message was duly relayed to the crew.

Another Benghazi

by Chris Toensing | published August 9, 2014 - 2:52pm

“We didn’t want another Benghazi.” Oh no, is that really why the Obama administration decided to bomb Iraq?

Do we have another bunch of fools in the White House who learn precisely the wrong lessons from their mistakes?

Beneath the Gray Lady’s Flak Jacket

by William Lafi Youmans | published July 28, 2014 - 1:16pm

The New York Times is the most prestigious of the prestige press in the United States. The famed “gray lady” is the newspaper of record, a citadel of objectivity, it is said, where the first draft of history is crafted. It sets the agenda for other newspapers, for the broadcast news programs and even for cable TV news.

"You Can Watch the Circus from Your Couch"

by Sheila Carapico | published May 6, 2014 - 9:36am

Wael Eskandar is an independent journalist and blogger based in Cairo. He writes for al-Ahram Online, al-Monitor, Jadaliyya and other outlets. Sheila Carapico interviewed him by e-mail about the political and media atmosphere as Egypt prepares for the May 26-27 presidential election that is expected to anoint ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, the former field marshal and defense minister, as chief executive.

Muslim Activist Encounters in Meiji Japan

by Shuang Wen
published in MER270

As one of the political, commercial and intellectual centers of Asia, Japan at the turn of the twentieth century was an important arena for the intersection of ideas about modernism, nationalism and anti-colonial politics. Though Cairo, Istanbul and Mecca had long been the capitals of scholarship and cross-cultural interaction in the Islamic world, Meiji-era Japan was a site of key encounters between Muslims from China, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. Drawn together by a common interest in Islamic revival and nation building that transcended linguistic and cultural differences, these activists established various Muslim organizations in Japan and saw Islam as a way to unify Asian peoples.

Information Services on the Middle East

by James Paul
published in MER112

Mideast File (Learned Information, Anderson House, Stokes Road, Medford, NJ 08055)

Mideast Press Report (Claremont Research and Publications, 160 Claremont Ave., New York, NY 10027)

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Turkish Regime Pursues Journalists

published in MER122

On February 29, 1984, the Ankara correspondent for United Press International, Ismet Imset, was visited just before midnight by an acquaintance from the Security Forces. The visitor warned him that he and his wife (presumably along with their three-year-old child) were about to be taken into detention for interrogation by a special squad of police from Istanbul.

Deliberate intimidation or friendly warning? It hardly matters. Imset and his wife spent the next three days sheltered in the house of the Reuters correspondent. For them, the incident was the climax to a year of terror ever since Imset complained officially and publicly after police in Istanbul beat him up when he applied for a passport to go abroad on work for UPI.

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From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER135

The popular revolution in Sudan this spring may well represent more than just a local political transition. The overthrow of Numairi’s 16-year reign marks the end of a decade and a half of regime stability throughout the Arab world, with the exception of the two Yemens. This era of enormous wealth and scandalous waste, of construction and corruption, welfare and war, all financed by the flood of oil revenues, served to embalm and preserve these decrepit regimes from the effective opposition of their subjects. Sudan had become, in many ways, the weakest link. But Sudan is not unique. All of the most populous Arab countries—Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, for instance—have witnessed serious mass protests in recent years.

Media Wars and the Gulen Factor in the New Turkey

by Joshua D. Hendrick
published in MER260

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The News Industry

published in MER177

Over the past few months, a couple of stories have crossed our desk that merit more attention than they got. These stories tell us some important things about how the US news industry operates, especially its willingness to follow the administration’s cues on major issues.

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