Turkey Cracks Down on Press

The Turkish government charged two British journalists yesterday and this morning raided the offices of an opposition media office. The crackdown comes as Turkey has escalated its conflict with Kurdish Workers’ Party militants and ahead of new elections to be held on November 1. The British journalists, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, were detained last ...

GettyImages-486141476
GettyImages-486141476

The Turkish government charged two British journalists yesterday and this morning raided the offices of an opposition media office. The crackdown comes as Turkey has escalated its conflict with Kurdish Workers’ Party militants and ahead of new elections to be held on November 1.

The British journalists, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, were detained last Thursday along with their fixer and driver, while working on assignment for Vice News in Diyarbakir. The journalists and fixer are accused of supporting a terrorist group, a charge that has prompted outrage from press freedom and human rights advocates. This morning, Turkish authorities raided the offices of Koza Ipek group, a conglomerate with ties to the Gulenist movement. The Gulenists have been locked in a struggle with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party over the future of Islamist politics in the country since 2013. Turkish officials said the raid was conducted on suspicion that Koza Ipek was providing financial support to the “Gulenist Terrorist Group.” "The aim here is to silence the opposition media ahead of an election,” a news editor at a Koza Ipek media office told Reuters.

Protesters in Beirut Storm Government Building to Demand Minister’s Resignation

The Turkish government charged two British journalists yesterday and this morning raided the offices of an opposition media office. The crackdown comes as Turkey has escalated its conflict with Kurdish Workers’ Party militants and ahead of new elections to be held on November 1.

The British journalists, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, were detained last Thursday along with their fixer and driver, while working on assignment for Vice News in Diyarbakir. The journalists and fixer are accused of supporting a terrorist group, a charge that has prompted outrage from press freedom and human rights advocates. This morning, Turkish authorities raided the offices of Koza Ipek group, a conglomerate with ties to the Gulenist movement. The Gulenists have been locked in a struggle with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party over the future of Islamist politics in the country since 2013. Turkish officials said the raid was conducted on suspicion that Koza Ipek was providing financial support to the “Gulenist Terrorist Group.” “The aim here is to silence the opposition media ahead of an election,” a news editor at a Koza Ipek media office told Reuters.

Protesters in Beirut Storm Government Building to Demand Minister’s Resignation

Lebanese protesters associated with the country’s “You Stink” anti-corruption, pro-trash removal movement stormed the Environment Ministry building in Beirut. They are reportedly currently staging a sit-in in the ministry’s lobby to demand the resignation of Enivronment Minister Mohammed Machnouk, who has tried to dodge responsibility for the trash crisis by resigning from a committee on the issue without resigning from the government. Machnouk is believed to be trapped in his office, according the Lebanon’s Daily Star.

Headlines

  • Retired U.S. Army General and CIA Director David Petraeus is reportedly privately lobbying U.S. officials to consider supporting “so-called moderate members of al Qaeda’s Nusra Front” to fight the Islamic State, modeled on an approach Petraeus used in Iraq.

 

  • The head of the European Union’s border agency said today that his agency is encountering migrants from North Africa and the Middle East using falsified Syrian documentation to seek refugee status.

 

  • Gunmen on motorcycles assassinated two leaders of local anti-Houthi militias in Aden, Yemen, on Monday; over the weekend another security official was also killed.

 

  • Satellite imagery has confirmed the Islamic State’s destruction of the Temple of Bel, a significant archeological ruin at Palmyra, Syria.

 

  • Five Palestinians and an Israeli border guard were wounded during clashes that occurred when Israeli security forces attempted to arrest a member of Islamic Jihad.

Arguments and Analysis

Inside the Fight to Unionize Lebanon’s Domestic Workers” (Laura Kasinof, Good)

“‘The whole recruitment is exploitation. The recruiters know very well the situation in Lebanon, and they are hiding it,’ says Ghada Jabbour, co-founder of KAFA and head of the group’s exploitation and trafficking unit. That’s where the union, for which Birtukan serves as the Ethiopian women’s leader, hopes to come in. Announced officially last December, the union is an effort to give legal protection to these women, and also, perhaps just as importantly, provide them with a sense of community. It hopes to encourage Lebanese employers to consider these women not as property but as employees who deserve vacations, a say over who they’ll work for, and minimum wage. Now, the domestic workers union is focused on increasing its ability to help women in vulnerable situations and reaching out to new members. News of the union spreads by word of mouth at places where domestic workers congregate on their days off, like churches, but that’s only if a day off is allowed by employers.”

 

Israel and the United States: Time for a Parallel Agreement” (Amos Yadlin, Institute for National Security Studies)

“Facing these threats, both nuclear and conventional, Israel and the United States must prepare a bilateral parallel agreement. On August 19, 2015, President Obama sent a letter to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) detailing ways in which the administration intends to strengthen Israel and cooperate with it in years ahead. The President’s letter is a good foundation for discussion, but its contents require expansion and elaboration. In the letter, for example, the President spoke of strengthening Israel’s anti-missile defenses and the efforts to discover terror tunnels dug into Israeli territory by Hamas on the Israel-Gaza Strip border. It is important to understand, however, that compared to the strategic nuclear threat emanating from Iran, issues like tunneling are of tactical, secondary importance. The potential risk they pose to Israel is orders of magnitude lower than the risk posed by Iran and its proxies. Therefore, it is now incumbent upon the Israeli government to seek an improved offer and make every effort to achieve a formal agreement with a clear list of strategic understandings, agreements, and methods of action that will minimize the dangers inherent in the JCPOA.”

-J. Dana Stuster

ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.