The impact of Turkey’s new all-Arabic TV channel

Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan

Egypt’s Al-Ahram reports: It started when Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan walked out of the January 2009 Economic Summit in Davos over Israel’s 22-day war on Gaza, since when his popularity across the Arab world has continued to surge. In October 2009 Turkey cancelled a joint military exercise with Israel in protest at the Gaza war. In January this year, after Israel’s foreign minister insulted Turkey’s ambassador to Tel Aviv over a Turkish soap opera that depicted the Israeli army’s war crimes, Ankara threatened to withdraw its ambassador if Israel did not apologise. Israel caved in and issued a public apology. Palestinian poet Murid El-Barghouti, a new comer to the micro-blogging social media website Twitter, captured the mood perfectly when he described Erdogan — at last month’s 22nd Arab summit in Sirte, Libya he was the only voice to use strong language to denounce Israel’s Judaisation of Jerusalem, insisting that the “fate of Istanbul is inseparable from Jerusalem’s” — as “the only Arab in the summit”. Such is the backdrop against which the state- owned Turkish TV and radio station TRT launched the first Turkish Arabic channel on 4 April. During the channel’s opening ceremony Erdogan said that Turkey has solidified its relations with the Arab world during the past “seven and a half” years through economic and cultural investment (the volume of trade between Turkey and the Arab region is $27 billion) and described the Turks and the Arabs as being as close as “the fingers of the hand, like the nail and the flesh”. Turkey, he continued, will not cease to react to the “burning of Gaza” or “when black clouds hover over Jerusalem, the apple of our eyes in our heritage”. In focusing on the “common ground” between Turkey and the Arabs, Erdogan’s 14 minute-long speech was a succinct statement of Ankara’s priorities under the Justice and Development Party government. “Our past is the same and so is our future,” said Erdogan. “When Abu Dhabi, Algeria and Tripoli are happy, rest assured that Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir are happy too.””The fate of Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus and Amman is not separate from Istanbul’s,” he added, “and as I said in Sirte, it is intertwined with the fate of Jerusalem and Gaza.”  Al-Ahram

North Korea and Iran are nuclear allies

UAE’s Gulf News states: Pyongyang is happy to sell Tehran the dangerous technologies it craves. Today, more than 6,000 North Koreans work in Iran and neighbouring areas of the Middle East. Many are engaged in construction and the apparel business as low-wage workers. But in Iran and Syria, there are also a growing number of specialist workers. Of the many North Koreans living in Iran, most are engaged in activities on behalf of the Korean Workers’ Party. Their mission is to propagandize the party’s ideology in the Islamic Republic. The daily life of these Koreans is constrained within a small community where the Party exercises total control over all personal exchanges. But other North Koreans in Iran do not take their marching orders from the embassy, and they are of three types. Those from “Office 99” report to the Munitions Industry Department in Pyongyang. Those from “Office 39” report to the Finance and Accounting Department. A final group reports directly to the Secretarial Office of North Korea’s “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-il. In 2002, it was estimated that more than 120 North Korean nationals were working at more than 10 locations across Iran that were relevant to missile or nuclear development. The missile and nuclear business conducted by North Koreans in Iran serves as a cash cow, providing Kim’s regime with a pile of hard currency while forging a virtual anti-American alliance. By enhancing nuclear proliferation and the transfer of essential nuclear and related technologies to Tehran, Kim hopes to shape fundamentalism as a bastion of pro-North Korean feeling.  Gulf News

Israel warns Syria over Hezbollah attacks

The Hezbollah Salute

The Iran Daily states: Israel has delivered a secret warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad that it will respond to missile attacks from Hezbollah by launching immediate retaliation against Syria itself. In a message, sent earlier this month, Israel made it clear that it now regards Hezbollah as a division of the Syrian army and that reprisals against Syria will be fast and devastating, Times Online reported. It follows the discovery by Israeli intelligence that Syria has recently supplied long-range ballistic missiles and advanced anti-aircraft systems to Hezbollah. “We’ll return Syria to the Stone Age by crippling its power stations, ports, fuel storage and every bit of strategic infrastructure if Hezbollah launch ballistic missiles against us,” said an Israeli minister, who was speaking off-the-record, last week. The warning, which was conveyed to Damascus by a third party, was sent to reinforce an earlier signal by Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister. “If a war breaks out the Assad dynasty will lose its power and will cease to reign in Syria,” he said earlier this year. Scud Missiles Supply Reports that Syria has supplied Hezbollah with Russian-made Scud ballistic missiles have alarmed Israeli ministers.  Iran Daily


Unhelpful rift

From Saudi Arabia’s Arab News:  Jordan’s King Abdallah has recently disclosed that he believes an Israel-Hezbollah-Lebanon conflict is “imminent.” The archenemies recently marked Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, the first joint initiative since they split up in 2007, and with it, literally tearing the Palestinian cause apart. Representatives of the two factions staged a sit-down protest and 24-hour fast outside the Gaza City offices of the Red Cross in a joint move trying to end one of the more contentious issues in the conflict with Israel. More than 7,000 Palestinians, including 270 under the age of 18, are languishing in Israeli prisons. Three of the prisoners have been in jail for more than 30 years, and 315 for more than 15 years. Of those held, 264 are under administrative detention, meaning they are being held without trial. This year’s rallies and vigils came a day after a detainee died in Israeli custody, the 19th Palestinian to die in Israeli custody over the past decade.  Arab News

Ahmadinejad hails Iran’s military might

The Kuwait Times reports: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Israel was on its way to collapse and extolled Iran’s military might during an annual army parade yesterday, saying the country is so powerful today that no one would dare attack it. The parade in Tehran showcased Iran’s surface-to-surface Ghadr, Sajjil and Shahab-3 missiles, which have a range of up to 2,000 km, putting Israel and US bases in the region within Iran’s reach. The Shahab-3 missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, adding to the concerns of the United Sates and other nations that fear Iran’s uranium enrichment program masks ambitions to produce an atomic bomb. Today, our armed forces have so much power that no enemy will harbor evil thoughts about laying its hands on Iranian territory,” Ahmadinejad said at the parade marking National Army Day. The speech was broadcast live on state TV, which also showed segments of the parade. While parading, the soldiers were chanting, “On the order of Khamenei, I will give my life!” and “Nuclear energy is our right.” A military personnel carrier meanwhile sported banners reading “Death to America! Death to Israel!   Kuwait Times

Lebanese tear down barrier on tense border

From the Oman Observer: Lebanese residents dismantled a barbed wire fence set up by Israeli troops in a disputed border area yesterday, leading to a call for restraint by UN peacekeepers in the tense region. “The residents have taken down the barbed wire near the village of Aabasiya, which Lebanon considers part of its territory,” a Lebanese military spokesman said on condition of anonymity. Israeli troops set up the fence on Tuesday near the Blue Line, a UN-drawn border with Lebanon, in what the Lebanese army claims was a violation of Lebanese territory. Around 20 Lebanese, led by MP Qassem Hashem, marched into Aabasiya near the disputed area of Ghajar at the Lebanese border with Syria and Israel and tore down the barrier before leaving the area. Two Israeli tanks and dozens of soldiers immediately arrived at the border as Lebanese troops went on alert across the Blue Line, which was established after the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon in 2000 following a 22-year presence. The UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon — UNIFIL — said however that the Lebanese demonstrators had crossed the UN-drawn border.  Oman Observer

Accelerating fascism in Israel – Shin Bet gagging freedom

The Palestine Telegraph states: Occupied Palestinians and Israeli Arabs never had rights in a state affording them solely to Jews. Now even they’re at risk as democratic freedoms fast erode on their way to extinction; to wit, free expression, a right without which all others are endangered. It includes free speech, a free press, freedom of thought, culture, intellectual inquiry, and the right to challenge government authority peacefully, especially in times of war and cases of injustice, lawlessness, incompetence, and abuses of power. Israel has no constitution or specific laws guaranteeing equality or free expression. Yet its Basic Laws protect human dignity and liberty as fundamental democratic values, more rhetoric than fact given its persecution of journalist Anat Kam and Haaretz’s national security reporter Uri Blau. Kam (held under house arrest since December) will be tried in mid-April for passing confidential documents she removed while stationed in IDF General Yair Naveh’s office during her mandatory military service. Blau, fearing assassination or a judicial lynching, is now hiding in London. Two (internal security) Shin Bet gag orders (code name “Double-Take”) were judicially implemented to silence press discussion, on October 8, 2009 and on January 1, 2010 for 90 days, now partially lifted.  PAL

(Photo credits: Turkey- Press TV; Hezbollah- Strategy Page)

Check out our latest videos

Click here, video_o or on our video link located on the top right hand corner of our main page.



Please leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.