The battle against the PKK inside Turkey is probably not going as planned. The AKP government and the security forces continually claim scores of PKK fighters killed, with unverifiable claims as high as hundreds of casualties on the guerrilla side. On the battlefield, however, nothing points to a real weakening of the group.
Results for Tag: Euphrates
From the beginning of the Syrian civil war, in March 2011, the Turkish government has been open about the goals of its Syria policy: President al-Assad has to be removed from power, and the Syrian Kurds can’t be allowed autonomy. These are the reasons for Turkey’s half-hearted participation in the international coalition (of which it is a member) against the Sunni extremists of Islamic State (IS). The Kurdish troops of the Syrian Kurdish YPG are the most effective ground forces in the fight against IS: the more strenuously Turkey combats IS, the stronger the Kurds will get…
Wedged in between Europe, Russia, Persia and the Arab world, for centuries Anatolia – the heartland of the modern Turkish state – has been both a battleground and the arena of successive civilizations, each leaving their mark on the region. No longer a country exporting unskilled labourers, today’s Turkey is an active player in the international field of trade and industry.
The material conditions under which the Arabs lived began to improve around 1000 BCE. A method for saddling camels had been developed for transporting large loads. The camel was the only animal that could cross large tracts of barren land with any reliability. The Arabs could now benefit from some of the trade that had previously circumvented Arabia. One was the rise of cities that could service the trains of camels traversing the desert. The most prosperous of these – such as Petra, in Jordan, and Palmyra, in Syria – were relatively close to markets in the Mediterranean region,the most important of these was Mecca, which owed its prosperity also to certain shrines in the area visited by Arabs from throughout the peninsula.
Historically, the eastern Arabian coast was at the intersection of two different ways of life, nomadic pastoralism, originating in the interior of the Arabian Peninsula, and long-distance sea trade (including trade in pearls) linking the area to civilizations in the Nile Valley, the Tigris-Euphrates basin, and the Indus Valley.
From the 16th until the end of the 13th centuries BCE the city of Ugarit (Ras Shamra) on the coast was the most important harbour of the Levant, trading with Egypt, Greece, Anatolia and Mesopotamia. Archaeologists have excavated remains of palaces, domestic complexes, temples and shrines, and – most importantly – libraries. Ugarit was sacked around 1200 BCE, probably by the infamous Sea Peoples, of whom not much is known.
In 1963, only two years after the military coup that put an end to both the United Arab Republic and the predominance of the Baath Party, yet another coup brought the Baath back to power. The new regime believed in socialism, and hastened to nationalize banks and to introduce agricultural reform. Michel Aflaq, founder of the Baath Party, was evicted from its board, and the state of emergency declared (which was lifted in 2011).
Given Kuwait’s dependence on oil, it seems appropriate to begin the country’s history in the Jurassic period (208-146 million years ago). Tectonic processes during the Jurassic and the Cretaceous (146-165 million years ago) periods trapped huge deposits of organic material beneath caps of impenetrable rock, resulting in the creation of huge underground oil reservoirs. During these millions of years, the surface area of present-day Kuwait was being formed by the alluvial sediments of a no-longer existent river.
The territory of Iraq largely coincides with the basin of the Dishla and Furat, otherwise known as the Tigris and Euphrates. From antiquity this region has been called Mesopotamia, Greek for ‘Land between Two Rivers’. Over the centuries many civilizations have controlled the region or exerted influence over it, among them the Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Arabs and Turks. The oldest known civilization in Mesopotamia, that of the Sumerians, reached its flowering about three thousand years before the Christian Era.