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Yanukovich appears to have won, not least because outgoing president Yuschenko played his cards against Tymoschenko. I prefer to call those players by their names, instead of adding ‘tags’ to them. The Western coverage of the Ukraine elections appears rather simplistic, with Tymoshenko portrayed as strongly pro-European and Yanukovich – as a Kremlin puppet. I… » read more

Many countries in Europe have dark and bright moments in history. Dark periods are marked by either tyranny, totalitarism or wars, while bright periods usually refer to revolutions, ideas of progress and prosperity, anti-war movements and prominent people who organized it. In recent European history, almost all Eastern countries experienced shifts of political systems and… » read more

Muslim communities say the decision will spread deep concern and worry. The Swiss government and businesses are worried too – about whether this controversial but democratic ballot will provoke an international backlash. Alan Fisher, Al Jazeera English, “Swiss brace for minaret backlash” What if that backlash were to include a disinvestment or divestment wave among… » read more

The first alarming signals were sent from Davos. At the panel regarding the events in Gaza during the World Economic Forum in January this year, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan famously accused Israeli President Shimon Peres of “knowing well how to kill people” and –after being refused his “one minute” by the moderator David Ignatius-… » read more

Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – AKP), is undoubtedly the dominant political force in contemporary Turkey’s political scene. It has been so since 2002 when it first came to power and keeps strengthening its position steadily ever since. It is indicative to mention that in 2002 it managed to attract a 34.43%… » read more

Republic of Moldova feels Romanian (CC) Klearchos Kapoutsis As protests are widespread in Moldova after the elections, where the pragmatic, pro-EU Communist Party [sic!] won a comfortable majority, the question lingers again about Moldova identity. Despite the efforts of the elite in Europe’s poorest, former Soviet state, many Romanians claim a part of the country… » read more

Years ago in a community development project in Ramallah, when it was still just a sleepy, recently-occupied West Bank town, one of my fellow volunteers, a devilish Turk named Ali, gave me language lessons. In Turkish body language, said Ali, you have the nodding of the head up and down for “yes,” the shaking […]

Sir, Regarding ‘EU ministers: Treaty ‘not dead’, ‘emergency plan’ needed’: Following the Irish ‘No’ vote, the future of the Lisbon Treaty will be a key issue at the EU summit on 19-20 June. The European Union certainly needs more democratic and open decision-making mechanisms, as well as a greater degree of transparency that increases the… » read more

When it comes to a new enlargement round in eastern Europe, the EU can’t go forward and can’t go back writes Krzysztof Bobinski. (SPRING 2008) In Ukraine, the EU’s failure to encourage the government in its European aspirations risks creating a growing disillusionment with the West. That would strengthen Russia’s position in Ukraine, where Moscow… » read more

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