Turkey takes a dissident’s nephew off Kenya’s streets. Yes, May was glorious — for impunity

by Rashmee

Posted on June 2, 2021


/ TAKE UP ONE IDEA May was a glorious month for impunity. The skies over Belarus proved to be unsafe for an opposition journalist. And then the streets of Kenya gave up Selahaddin Gulen, nephew of the US-based preacher reviled by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Gulen case is almost as remarkable as the … Continue reading “Turkey takes a dissident’s nephew off Kenya’s streets. Yes, May was glorious — for impunity”

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There may be room for experienced optimists yet in the Middle East

by Rashmee

Posted on March 9, 2021


/ POLITICS & AMERICA A former Israeli prime minister once said that in the Middle East, a pessimist is simply an optimist with experience. It’s a clever but dispiriting observation. I wonder what he would make of recent indications that Turkey’s president may be ready to mend ties with Arab countries and thereby turn its … Continue reading “There may be room for experienced optimists yet in the Middle East”

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On the world stage, men and women leaders are merely players. They have their exits and entrances

by Rashmee

Posted on November 11, 2020


Many are offering a grim roundup of the disappointment being felt by some leaders and governments because Donald Trump won’t have a second term in the White House. (Click here and here for some examples of the type of commentary I’m talking about.) To which the right response is three-pronged and as follows: First, let’s … Continue reading “On the world stage, men and women leaders are merely players. They have their exits and entrances”

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A presidential son-in-law steps down

by Rashmee

Posted on November 10, 2020


When Berat Albayrak resigned as Turkey’s finance minister it wasn’t immediately clear if his father-in-law, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, would really let him to go. He did, late on Nov. 9. The Turkish lira promptly rallied on investor expectations that the new Central Bank governor (supported by the new finance minister) would raise interest rates … Continue reading “A presidential son-in-law steps down”

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The war for Libya is not what it seems

by Rashmee

Posted on July 15, 2020 / The Focus


The war for Libya is getting hot again. The country’s eastern-based parliament has said it would “welcome” Egyptian military intervention in the civil war. The Libyan Parliament’s green light for outside meddling is supposed to be an attempt to end yet another country, Turkey, meddling in its affairs. Turkey has been supplying military hardware as … Continue reading “The war for Libya is not what it seems”

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This isn’t Trumpgate: here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on July 1, 2020 / The Focus


Legendary Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein has a scoop of sorts. Using authoritative accounts of the contents of hundreds of Donald Trump’s highly classified phone calls with various world leaders he has shown that the US president routinely bowed before authoritarian “strong men”, berated the women and bad-mouthed his predecessors in the White House. This is … Continue reading “This isn’t Trumpgate: here’s why”

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What state elections in India have in common with Istanbul and Budapest

by Rashmee

Posted on October 29, 2019 / The National


The results of recent elections in two Indian states — Haryana and Maharashtra — have come as a surprise to prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party as well as its opponents. The BJP’s vote share in Haryana, which borders the Indian capital Delhi, fell by 22 per cent, in contrast to its triumphal performance in the national election … Continue reading “What state elections in India have in common with Istanbul and Budapest”

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In Syria, history is repeating itself

by Rashmee

Posted on October 27, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


What will be deemed normal in the Turkish-annexed part of Syria is likely to be just as arbitrary as in Russified Crimea. In Syria, other people’s history from lands near and far is repeating itself — not as farce but as a parody. Developments in Syria in 2019 are an ironic imitation of Iraq in … Continue reading “In Syria, history is repeating itself”

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Is it OK to say thank God for Russia?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 20, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Longer-term, Russia’s return to relevance on the world stage will create other testing issues. Is this the time to give limited thanks that Russian President Vladimir Putin made Russia relevant again? That’s a controversial question but it’s pertinent now that Russia and Turkey are the only active international armies in northern Syria. Never mind the … Continue reading “Is it OK to say thank God for Russia?”

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Trump has threatened sanctions on Turkey if it goes too far but he hasn’t defined too far

by Rashmee

Posted on October 12, 2019


Turkey continues to push into Kurdish territory in Syria and the global criticism is rather confusing. Especially from the Trump administration – it gave Turkey the green light in the first place but now threatens sanctions if it goes too far. Neither Donald Trump nor his secretary of state, the oleaginous Mike Pompeo, have defined how far … Continue reading “Trump has threatened sanctions on Turkey if it goes too far but he hasn’t defined too far”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK