Erdogan and Syria: Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Recently, there have been growing criticisms of Erdogan’s policy over Syria, with many accusing him of simply not doing enough. Yet, upon reflection of Turkey’s options in Syria, it begs the question as to what exactly Erdogan should do. Here is how many Turks imagine the considerations taking place in Ankara. Should Turkey: 1) Provide air strikes, clearing the way for …

Russian Ambassador killed in Ankara: The implications

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

In an extraordinary development, the Russian ambassador to Ankara, Andrei Karlov, has  been shot dead whilst giving a speech at an art gallery. The shooter is reported to have shouted “this is for Aleppo”. The shooting comes as tensions simmer between Turkey and Russia over events in Syria, with President Erdogan having to perform a tactical ‘retreat’ earlier this year …

Editorial: How we got to Aleppo

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

The outpouring of emotion, the shock, the horror, the repeat of those eternal empty words of ‘never again’, has dominated my personal social media feed. In fact, I could be forgiven for assuming everyone in the world is heartbroken by what has taken place, but for the few comments here and there that suggest that, somewhere, the news of Aleppo …

Why have the Arabs been unable to unite over Syria?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

You would be forgiven for thinking that the Syria crisis, with all that makes it one of the greatest tragedies of our time, could unite the Arab countries to come together as a united front to end the crisis. After all, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and other regional powers have all declared that they will not accept a …

Why is it taking so long to solve the Syria crisis?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Millions of refugees, a whole host of rebel movements, constant ‘negotiations’ and regular flights to Geneva. And despite a universally recognised humanitarian crisis, the Syrian conflict appears no closer to a solution. Why? The answer is actually quite complex and requires apportioning the blame to a number of parties, including the opposition. Let’s begin there: The opposition The Syrian opposition …

Iran v Saudi Arabia: it’s politics

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

There have been a lot of articles and amazingly fascinating fact boxes on the split between Shia and Sunni Muslims, written, I’m guessing, by people who don’t know their Karbala from their Kelloggs, in an attempt to explain the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Normally, when I read an article that says something along the lines of “the people …