It was 5:50 am, after a long flight from Shanghai to Beirut, 6 hours in Istanbul held 2 different promises: to sit in coffee
ISTANBUL -- Turkey bears a large share of responsibility for the festering of the civil war in Syria. To that end, Turkey -- along with Saudi Arabia -- recently helped create the Jaish al-Fatah (Army of Conquest), an alliance of diverse jihadi groups, to try to overthrow the Assad regime. The U.S. and E.U. are also to blame, having assisted Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in their destabilization of Syria.
Erdogan doesn't fully support the eradication of jihadist groups in Syria. The reason is simple: the Arab and Turkmen Islamist groups are the main bulwark against the expansion of the de facto autonomous Kurdish enclave in northern Syria. Thus, Erdogan tries hard after each ISIS attack to create a "generic" threat of terrorism in which all groups are bundled up together without any clear references to ISIS. He is trying to present the PKK as enemy number one.
Even though they're ignored and circumvented, the media blackouts still serve a purpose.
ISTANBUL -- "Everything here is breaking up, as with us," wrote Gustave Flaubert, who came to Istanbul in 1850. It was Flaubert's ominous but characteristically precise prediction that came to my mind as I watched the shocked faces of locals wandering Horse Square this morning.
Turkish newspapers reported this week the bomber was a pregnant Russian woman, and that the police intelligence services