Turkish photographer explores borders between remembering and forgetting

Yusuf Sevinçli, Oculus – 013, 2016Pigment print23/12/2017 (Sabah – Turkey): In Yusuf Sevinçli’s “Oculus – Moscow 011,” a cloud of smoke overshadows a street somewhere far away. A figure in the background wanders on the street, and there are shop signs here and there, creating a sense of the modern metropolis. But the cloud of smoke adds mystery to the scene. I returned to the image several times during my visit to “Oculus,” Sevinçli’s new exhibition at Galerist that continues until Jan. 27.”Oculus, the exhibition’s title, is taken from an old Roman architectural term for a small circular or oval window or the round openings found at the center of domes,” Nick Hackworth explains in the exhibition text…



Turkey has restored 14 churches, one synagogue since 2003

Turkey has restored 14 churches, one synagogue since 200323/12/2017 (Hurriyet – Turkey): A total of 14 churches and a temple have been restored in Turkey from 2003 to 2017, an official statement said. The restored worship places included Great Synagogue in the western province of Edirne, Aya Nikola Church in the Gökçeada district of the northwestern province of Çanakkale, Syrian Catholic Church in the İskenderun district of the southern province of Hatay, Armenian Protestant Church in the Sur district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, Fevkani Church in the Nizip district of the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Taksiyarhis (Ayanikola) Church in the Cunda island of the northwestern province of Balıkesir, Edirnekapı Aya Yorgi Church and Balat Iron Church (Stevi Stefan Church) in Istanbul…



Egyptian-Russian 2017 military relations: a new return to the 1960s alliance

23/12/2017 (Egypt Indipendent – Egypt): Since the era of Egypt’s late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the bilateral military relations between Egypt and Russia witnessed several stages of growth. However, the glorious period of those relations was during the 1960s; at that time relations were very strong. That co-operation was dimmed in the wake of the 1979 peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel under the auspices of the US. From that date till 2013, Egypt was heavily dependant on the US as a source of armament. However, the arrival of the June 30 uprising against Muslim Brotherhood rule resulted in a new strategy based on the diversification of bilateral relations to include its old ally Russia…



Saudi, Djibouti sign economic cooperation agreement

23/12/2017 (Arab News . KSA): RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Djibouti yesterday signed a cooperation agreement in areas including industry, energy, mineral wealth, telecommunications, information technology, housing health, agriculture, water and environmental protection. The agreement included measures to speed up the development of air transport between the two countries and ways to increase trade through improved maritime transport, according to Asharq Al-Awsat. The agreement also included ways of increasing the volume of trade and investment exchange between the two countries in accordance with both the Saudi Vision 2030 and Djibouti’s Vision 2035…



Beirut in the eye of the storm

23/12/2017 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Ibrahim Al-Othaimin*):  The resignation of Saad Al-Hariri less than a year after being elected prime minister of Lebanon came as no surprise to many observers of the political scene. There are many overlapping domestic, regional and international factors that can be reflected in the following points. Firstly, fragile government and grave crisis: State institutions in Lebanon were almost paralyzed by the failure of the two dominant Lebanese parties, March 8 Alliance and March 14 Alliance, to agree on the election of a president. In an attempt to put an end to the two-year-long presidential vacuum, spare Lebanon from regional crises and resume political life, Hariri and his political team came to accept Hezbollah’s first candidate, Michel Aoun. Hence, a fragile deal was agreed, whereby the former would be named prime minister and the latter would be appointed president until new parliamentary elections were held…

*Ibrahim Al-Othaimin is a Middle East affairs specialist and security analyst based in Riyadh.


Egypt’s President Sisi inaugurates East Suez Canal developmental projects

El-Sisi in Ismailia23/12/2017 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is set to inaugurate Saturday several developmental projects in New Ismailia city, east of the Suez Canal zone, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported. In statements reported by Al-Ahram, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish said the president will inaugurate new fish farms east of the canal, including 3,000 tanks in the new phase. The new phase comes nearly a year after El-Sisi inaugurated a major fish farming project in the Suez Canal zone governorate of Ismailia in December 2016, in an attempt to narrow the gap between production and consumption. He is also set to inspect tunnel construction under the new and current canals. The president previously inaugurated the Suez Canal tunnels project, which connects vital eastern and western axes as a mean of service to Sinai’s developmental areas, according to the deputy head of the armed forces’ engineering authority, Ahmed Fouda…


Italian painter of Palestinian boy calls for solidarity

Italian painter of Palestinian boy calls for solidarity16/12/2017 (Sabah – Turkey): An Italian artist who recreated the photograph of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy being arrested by Israeli troops has spoken of the need to show solidarity with Palestine. The photograph of blindfolded Fawzi al-Junaidi being led away by more than a dozen heavily armed soldiers swept social media last week as users condemned Israel’s use of excessive force against children. In Alessia Pelonzi’s painting, the soldiers are reduced to little more than outlines while the observer’s eye is drawn to Fawzi, whose clothing and the sleeve of one soldier’s uniform are painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag…



Prepare for attacks trying to bring down Muslims from within: Erdoğan

Prepare for attacks trying to bring down Muslims from within: Erdoğan16/12/2017 (Hurriyet – Turkey): The Muslim world is the target of plots to reshape it to the benefit of others, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in his address on Dec. 16. “Like a century ago, the Islamic world is facing efforts to reshape it through blood, tears, and strife between brothers,” Erdoğan said in Istanbul, at the 7th Hadith and Sira Studies Awards Ceremony. He called on people “to be prepared for attacks which try to bring down Muslims from within.” “As Muslims fight each other, the ones that benefit are terrorist groups, and terrorist states like Israel,” he said. Erdoğan also reiterated his condemnation of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital…




Iran’s Largest Joint Oil Field to Be Tendered by Summer 2018

Iran's Largest Joint Oil Field to Be Tendered by Summer 201816/12/2017 (Financial Times – Iran ): Iran will finalize a deal for Azadegan Oilfield, the crown jewel of its shared oil deposits, by the summer of 2018, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. “The tender for Azadegan Oilfield is going according to schedule…it will be concluded by summer next year if the tender goes as planned,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying this week on the sidelines of signing a gas deal with Russia’s Gazprom in Tehran, IRNA reported. Iran is in a race to develop the shared reservoir with Iraq — its largest joint oilfield — that contains an estimated 33 billion barrels of crude in place. Royal Dutch Shell has developed the Iraqi stretch of the reservoir, known as Majnoon Oilfield in the southern city of Basra. Majnoon came into production in 2014…