Turkey has been the strongest ally that the United States has had in the Middle East since the end of WW II. The Marshall Plan started with Northern tier states like Turkey and Greece. Turkey joined NATO and was a key player in the American victory in the Cold War. As a secular government, Turkey stood against the rising tide of Muslim radicalism. To the extent that Turkey is moderating its long-term secular militancy, and moving toward fair elections, it may be providing a model for a moderate, democratic Middle East. Its economy is growing rapidly, foreign investment is in the billions.
The USG Open Source Center translates and summarizes Turkish press reaction to the US congressional resolution concerning the Armenian genocide.
'Turkey: Roundup of Press Reactions to House Resolution on Armenian Genocide
Highlights of reports and articles in the Turkish secular press about a resolution supporting allegations that Armenians were subjected to genocide by the Ottoman army in 1915 which was approved by the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs on 10 October
Retired Gen. Rick Sanchez lambasted the Bush administration's Iraq War in a speech on Friday, as "a nightmare with no end in sight". Sanchez implied that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld would have been court-martialled if he had been in the active duty military.
Bread-and-butter concerns about land, livelihoods and ethnic identity resonate more in Papuaâ€™s remote Boven Digoel district than headline issues of independence and human rights. Ethnic politics, often triggered by pemekaran (dividing provinces and districts into ever-smaller units) and social tensions generated by natural resource investment are equally important. Pemekaran may help improve development and basic services but the government must undertake rigorous assessments to ensure ethnic and tribal tensions are not worsened.
Haiti must capitalise on recent successes if there is to be long-term peace and stability. Despite real progress in dismantling violent gangs in Port-au-Prince and growth in the economy, the average citizen has not felt an improvement in living conditions. The state remains fragile, in urgent need of further security and justice sector reform, as well as political, financial and technical support. Large-scale disarmament has not happened, and violence reduction programs have started slowly. Drug trafficking, corruption, political manipulation of justice and impunity are prevalent.
Heightened political tensions could lead to Sierra Leoneâ€™s destabilisation if elections next month are not free and fair. Sierra Leone is still a fragile state in which peace will not be consolidated unless the new authorities tackle multiple sources of popular discontent. The new National Electoral Commission must adjudicate allegations of fraud promptly and fairly. All political parties should instruct their officials that violence, and calls to violence, will be investigated and appropriately punished.
Violent unrest in Nepalâ€™s Tarai plains could generate a new conflict if weaknesses in the countryâ€™s peace process are not addressed. The discrimination and political exclusion of the Madhesis, plainspeople who are some one third of the countryâ€™s population, have led to increasing tension and threaten the fragile Nepali peace process. Recent fatal confrontations shocked the political elite, which had largely ignored disquiet brewing in the region.
An unimpressive first half-year of Congoâ€™s elected government has left the peace process in danger, especially in the volatile East, and democracy fragile. While the transition helped unify the divided country and improved security in much of it, governing institutions remain weak, abusive or non-existent. The Government must make good on promises to respect opposition rights and stop using repressive violence. Donors must stay engaged and condition their aid on acceptance of a political framework addressing security and governance challenges.