Middle East

Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wave the Turkish national flag during a pre-election rally in Sarajevo, on May 20. (Oliver Bunic/AFP/Getty Images)

Erdogan Is Making the Ottoman Empire Great Again

Turkey is leveraging tradition to expand its power in Europe — but the history cuts both ways.

A large flag of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a campaign rally on June 19, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Don’t Trust Anybody About Turkey’s Elections

The one thing that's clear about Erdogan's re-election bid is that everything is unclear.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak at an OPEC meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on April 20. (Amer Hilabi/AFP/Getty Images)

OPEC Close to Agreement to Open the Oil Taps

With or without Iranian cooperation, extra barrels of crude could help meet rising demand. But there’s still reason to fear a price spike later this year.

An election poster showing the portrait of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 19 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Erdogan Will Win by Any Means Necessary

Turkey's president has plenty of experience stealing elections — and Sunday's vote is one he can't afford to lose.

Hezbollah supporters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Aug. 14, 2007. (Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images)

Lebanon Is Protecting Hezbollah’s Cocaine Trade in Latin America

The country's institutions are not a counterweight to Hezbollah, but its enablers.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (C), Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa (R) and Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah attend a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) informal summit in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah on May 31, 2016.(STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwait and Oman Are Stuck in Arab No Man’s Land

The showdown with Qatar is forcing all Middle Eastern countries to pick sides — and leaving two of them in the lurch.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) at the Great Hall of the People on March 17, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang - Pool/Getty Images)

China Smells Opportunity in the Middle East’s Crisis

Beijing is using the region's ongoing woes to solidify its own geopolitical agenda.

The United Nations Security Council meets on August 19, 2015 in New York City. (Photo credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

At U.N., Russia and U.S. Wage Quiet War Over Appointments to Advance Broader Agendas

Tit for tat battle weakens the United Nations’ ability to enforce sanctions around the world.

Saudi Army artillery fire shells toward Yemen from southwestern Saudi Arabia on April 13, 2015. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S.-Backed Catastrophe Brewing in Yemen

A Gulf-led coalition is preparing to assault a key Yemeni port, risking a fresh humanitarian crisis.

Demonstrators protest near the prime minister's office in Amman, Jordan, on June 6. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

Jordan’s Protests Are a Ritual, Not a Revolution

By trading geopolitical importance for aid and showing restraint when unrest erupts, the kingdom has managed to remain stable for decades.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at Riyadh international airport on November 10, 2015. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Real Reason the Middle East Hates NGOs

Western promoters of democracy aren’t seen as a threat to individual rulers but as a reminder of colonial history.

H.H. Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, on February 24, 2018 in Doha, Qatar. (Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)

Qatar Won the Saudi Blockade

A Saudi-led coalition wanted to permanently ostracize its rival. One year later, Qatar has more influence in the West than ever.

A Syrian man holds the Iranian flag as a convoy carrying aid provided by Iran arrives in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor on Sept. 20, 2017. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran Wants to Stay in Syria Forever

Russia and Israel are ramping up pressure on Iran to withdraw. But Tehran is intent on recouping its investment of blood and treasure.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in Jerusalem, on June 7, 2017. (Debbie Hill/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Thwarted in Bid to Change U.N. Rights Council’s Approach to Israel

Some diplomats fear the United States might now exit the council.

A Palestinian boy holding his national flag looks at clashes with Israeli security forces near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel east of Gaza City on May 14, as Palestinians protest over the inauguration of the US embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Gazans Are Protesting Their Economy, Not Israel’s Existence

The most important motive for the “Great March of Return” has been anger at Gaza's terrible conditions for daily life.

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