Fighting between Turks and Kurds is nothing new. But the latest assault by the Turkish army on the Kurdish province of Afrin inside Syria bodes ill for the region—just when things appeared to be looking up for the peoples of Syria. As Kurds who had played a decisive role in the demise of the Islamic… Continue reading

French president Emmanuel Macron isn’t sure of how to deal with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A French magazine writer recently praised Mr. Macron for his “cool” job only have his president snarl, “I am the one who has to talk with Erdogan every 10 days.” A Kurdish columnist promptly quipped: “Erdogan is indeed irritating… Continue reading

Turkish Embassy statement regarding Sheridan Circle attacks on May 16, 2017 and a Kurdish Response Turkish Claim: Groups affiliated with the PKK, which the U.S. and Turkey have designated as a terrorist organization, gathered yesterday without permit in Sheridan Circle in the immediate vicinity of the Ambassador’s Residence, while the President of Turkey was visiting… Continue reading

August 30, 2016 In the unadulterated barbarism called the Islamic State, you are allowed to shop for cucumbers and tomatoes, but you are not permitted to place them in the same bag. That’s because the noun cucumber is masculine in Arabic, and the noun tomato is feminine. Thus, the “morality police” of vegetables in the… Continue reading

August 11, 2016 “Impious Mars rages through the world: Just as when the chariots stream from the starting gates, Add to their speed each lap, and the charioteer tugging vainly at the bridles, Is dragged on by the horses, the chariot not responding to the reins.” Thus did Virgil’s poem Georgics describe the aftershock of… Continue reading

March 31, 2016 When Winston Churchill published The World Crisis, his contemporary Arthur Balfour called the book “Winston’s brilliant autobiography, disguised as a history of the universe.” The same can be said of Abdullah Ocalan’s latest book, Imrali Notlari. This account of “peace talks” on the island of Imrali, first published in early 2015, got… Continue reading

Woman’s Club of Roland Park Baltimore, Maryland February 18, 2016 We are all gathered here today, in safety and comfort. That is good, and we owe the privilege to a “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” as Abraham Lincoln once memorably put it. But let me show you an alternative view.… Continue reading

Nov 30, 2015 We’ve heard the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” We can now add: “Don’t judge a book by a quote in it!” The quote that troubles me is from a recent book about Turkey’s 11th president (2007-2014), Abdullah Gul: “We must have a vision that avoids slogans, focuses on… Continue reading