2021April 2021International NewsEuropeMiddle East

Head of States from Ukraine and Turkey Meet Amid Tensions With Russia

According to The Associated Press, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Istanbul in early April to discuss matters of national security and the de-escalation of tensions surrounding the Black Sea region. The meeting between the two heads of state occurred as reports of a build-up of tens of thousands of Russian troops along the eastern Ukrainian border flooded international news headlines. 

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2021April 2021FocusSeparatist MovementsMiddle East

FOCUS on Separatist Movements: Kurdistan 

Among global separatist movements, the Kurds stand as the largest nation without an independent state and make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, according to BBC News. There is an estimated population of 30 million Kurds scattered across the mountainous regions within the borders of Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The Kurds often say that they have “no friends but the mountains.” The Economist also reports that “internal division has been one of their worst enemies.”

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2021March 2021International NewsEurope

Turkey Withdraws from the 2011 Istanbul Convention on Women’s Rights

Turkey announced in late March that it has withdrawn from the 2011 Istanbul Convention on women’s rights. The convention was held to promote the protection of women against domestic violence and promote gender equality by signatory states, reports Reuters. Notably, Turkey was the first country to sign on to the convention, which was forged in and is named after the country’s largest city.

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October 2020International News2020Europe

Northern Cyprus Criticized by the International Community for Reopening Varosha Beach After 46 Years

Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar unveiled his plan to reopen the infamous abandoned Varosha beach, just days before the 2020 Northern Cypriot presidential election, reports  Al Jazeera. The plan was criticized by Tatar’s opponents, calling it an interference by Turkey to sustain his nationalist base in the Turkish-occupied zone of  Cyprus.

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October 2020Eastern EuropeInternational News2020

Armenia and Azerbaijan clash violently over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, leaving many dead

On September 27, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh reached its highest level of violence since 2016. Reuters reports that the clashes have reignited concerns over stability in the South Caucasus, a popular corridor for oil and gas pipelines that supply the world market. The pipeline runs from the Shah Deniz gas field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea to Turkey.

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September 2020Eastern EuropeInternational NewsAmericas2020Middle East

Syria Turns to Russia for Aid Under Crippling U.S. Sanctions

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has stated intentions to expand business ties with Russia in response to new, crippling U.S. sanctions under the Caesar Act, according to Reuters. The Syrian economy has suffered enormously under these sanctions, as its economy was already struggling prior to implementation of the Caesar Act. According to Reuters, this has resulted in the Syrian lira losing 80 percent of its value. Most citizens are experiencing extreme poverty.

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September 2020International News2020Europe

Russia Ready to Mediate Turkey-Greece Conflict in East Mediterranean 

Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said on September 8 that Moscow is ready to help ease rising tensions over Turkey’s search for energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean, and rejected any actions that could lead to further escalation, The Associate Press reports. The Associated Press cites Larov, stating “we would be ready to contribute to building good neighborly relations in the event this is requested of us by those involved,”  and later adding that Moscow has repeatedly called on leaders in the region to “resolve these differences through dialogue and within a legal framework.” 

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