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03 December 2012 Volume 7, Issue 7

UN Votes to Upgrade Palestinian Status Overwhelming majority of states vote to give Palestinians non-member observer status, despite Israeli criticism. The United Nations General Assembly has voted in favour of upgrading the Palestinians status to that of a non-member observer state. The vote was taken at a meeting of the body in New York, with 138 countries voting in favour of the upgrade. Nine countries voted against it, and 41 others abstained. Thousands of Palestinians gathered across the West Bank and Gaza to demonstrate their support for the

fresh attempt by President ral Assembly ahead of the vote. Mahmoud Abbas to secure the Continues in Page 7... status. Palestinians were previously listed as a UN observer "entity" with no voting rights. The new status is an indirect recognition of the Palestinians' claims on statehood in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. It allows them to join a number of UN agencies, as well as the International Criminal Court (ICC). Abbas addressed the Gene-

Colombia Withdraws from the ICJ The Andean nation expressed its discontent with the Court’s decision regarding territorial and maritime dispute with Nicaragua and decided to withdraw from the Bogota Pact President Juan Manuel Santos said that Colombia has pulled out of a pact recognising the International Court of Justice (ICJ)'s jurisdiction over its territorial disputes. 'Colombia withdrew from the (1948) Pact of Bogota on (Tuesday). The corresponding notice was given to the secretary-general of the Organisation of American States,' Santos said. Wednesday's decision comes nine days after

the ICJ redrew Colombia's long dispute between the Andean maritime border in the Caribbean nation and Nicaragua. in favour of Nicaragua. Santos Continues in Page 3... said his decision adheres to the basic principle that 'territorial and maritime borders are set through (bilateral) treaties, as has been the legal tradition in Colombia'. The Hague-based ICJ ruled on November 19 that seven Caribbean islands belong to Colombia, ending a three decade-











EUROPE Hungarian MP Denounced for 'Jewish List' Call Marton Gyongyosi, Jobbik party deputy leader, said residents of Jewish origin should be listed for security. A call in the Hungarian parliament for Jews to be registered on lists as threats to national security has sparked international condemnation of Nazi-style policies and a protest outside the legislature in Budapest. The parliamentarian, from the far-right Jobbik party, dismissed demands on Tuesday that he resign, however, and said his remarks during a debate on Monday had been misunderstood. Marton Gyongyosi said he was referring only to Hungarians with Israeli passports. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside parliament, many wearing the kind of yellow stars forced on Europe's Jews in the 1940s and some chanting "Nazis go home" at Jobbik members. Prime Minister Viktor Orban issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the remarks by Gyongyosi. "The Hungarian government condemns in the strongest possible terms remarks made by Jobbik's Marton Gyongyosi in parliament and is opposed to all expressions of extremism, racist or anti-Semitic, and does everything in its power to combat it." the statement said. Al Jazeera / November 28, 2012 Ireland looks set to bring in laws reforming the country's limited ban on abortion in the new year. The Health Minister James Reilly revealed that the government will make its decision on whether to introduce a combination of legislation and regulations by the end of next month. Independent / November 27, 2012

EU Cuts Syria Sanctions Term to Possibly Help Rebels The European Union will reduce its renewal term for sanctions on Syria to three months. EU will reduce its renewal term for sanctions on Syria to make it easier in future to equip rebels fighting to depose Assad, EU diplomats said. EU sanctions on Syria include visa bans and asset freezes on individuals and businesses connected to Assad's government and an embargo on the supply of arms to the country, imposed to prevent the flow of weapons to Assad's forces. The current sanctions package was expected to be extended for a year. But following a British push, they will now be renewed by three months instead. The shorter review period would "allow the EU to look at amendments to the embargo to possibly allow the supply of forms of nonlethal training and equipment to the Syrian rebels, she said. Reuters / November 28, 2012

French President Francois Hollande has met the owner of steel giant Arcelor Mittal, after saying he would discuss nationalising one of its plants. BBC / November 27, 2012 Strict legal regulations are now a necessity says Lord Justice Leveson.

Leveson Inquiry Calls for Regulation on British Press

Amid the aftermath of the News of the World hacking scandal, the subsequent Leveson Inquiry has put forward its recommendation that the British Press should be regulated and overseen by an „independent group supEurozone nations should ported by law and with the power to fineâ€&#x;. This independent group is not to be prepared to ease up on be government created to ensure freedom of press is maintained, but that deficit reductions to avoid the group should be industry created. The Prime Minister, who ordered the pushing the single currency inquiry, has said that he agrees with the recommendations and says the area into a deeper slump, onus is now on the media industry to the Organisation for implement them rapidly. He added that Economic Co-operation and the pain and misery that the UK news Development argued media industry has put on to people is beyond what we can imagine. A sentiyesterday. ment shared by the UK population. Independent / November CNN / November 30, 2012 28, 2012


AMERICAS Colombia Withdraws from the ICJ Continues from Page 1... The world court had earlier confirmed Bogota's claim to the larger islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, part of an archipelago that lies 775km from mainland Colombia and 220km from the coast of Nicaragua. While giving the islands to Colombia, the decision also significantly expanded the waters under Nicaraguan control. The tourist haven of San Andres has been at the centre of the historical dispute, which goes back to the 1800s. Nicaragua took its case to The Hague, Netherlands, in 2001. Colombia was expecting to lose some of its territorial waters, but experts were surprised by the amount put in play. Carlos Arguello, Nicaragua's ambassador to the ICJ, said Colombia's withdrawal from the body 'makes no sense,' because it won't influence the ruling. Arguello said Colombia's pretension that the court draw the maritime boundary between the far-flung San Andres and the Nicaraguan mainland was unreasonable. 'It's impossible that Colombia seriously believed that we were going to remain trapped,' he told Nicaragua's La Prensa newspaper. Sky News / November 29, 2012

Oil Royalties Bill Ignites Protest and Divides Parts of Brazil Tens of thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Rio de Janeiro.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in Havana early Wednesday for a new round of medical treatment, Cuban state media reported. The timing of his departure, weeks before regional elections in Venezuela, has fueled renewed speculation about the president's health.

The aim was to protest a bill aimed at shifting big portions of oil royalties from petroleum-rich states along Brazil‟s coast to regions across the country. If enacted, the legislation would deal a blow to Rio de Janeiro, the nerve center of Brazil‟s expanding oil industry and the host of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. A few coastal oil-producing states, including Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, estimate that the legislation would cost them about $3 billion a year and damage their capacity to respond to CNN / November 28, 2012 oil spills off their coasts. But officials in states without oil production argue For the first time in living that their relatively meager budgets would receive a much-needed boost memory, New York has from the legislation. New York Times / November 26, 2012 spent a day entirely without violent crime. Despite a July spike in homicides, the city's murder rate is on target to UN Ambassador Susan Rice said there had been no attempt to mislead hit its lowest point since the public, but Republicans were unconvinced. 1960. After meeting Ms Rice on Tuesday, senators said they were troubled. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Tuesday there were "no unan- BBC / November 29, swered questions" about Ms Rice's response to the Benghazi incident, ac- 2012. cusing Republicans of being obsessed with it. Republicans are demanding a joint committee investigate the attack. Toronto's mayor Rob Ford, Current Secretary of State Clinton is not was ordered out of office expected to continue in the role for a secon Monday after a judge ond four-year term. The Obama administration would need the support of the found him guilty of Senate for any nomination to the post. breaking conflict-ofAfter winning re-election, Obama vigor- interest laws. ously defended Ms Rice, calling Republican criticism of her "outrageous". BBC / Reuters / Nov. 26, 2012 November 28, 2012

US Envoy Susan Rice Admits Benghazi Attack Error


OPINIONS AMERICAS Land of the Free, Home of the Drones With the amendment to National Defense Authorization Act on the Senate floor, it’s time to take a trip down memory lane. “When you suspend habeas corpus, which has been a principle dating before even out country. It's the foundation of Anglo-American law, which says very simply if the government grabs you then you have the right to at least ask „Why was I grabbed?‟ and say maybe you've got the wrong person. The reason for that is because we don't always have the right person.“ Do you know who this quote belongs to? I‟ll give you a hint. He signed an act into law which states that the U.S. military can hold non-U.S. citizens indefinitely without a trial. He claimed to release prisoners in Guantanamo Bay that are perceived as innocents, but then back pedalled, and said that there‟s a gray area, those not going to receive a trial, but not going to be released either. He‟s Barack Hussein Obama. And he‟s a hypocrite. The quote is from his campaign back in „08. I was in America that year. I lived in Tucson, Arizona for a year with an American family, and around Christmas, I went up north to visit a friend in Oregon; an exchange student living with an American family just like me. The father of the family, a lovely man named Dean, said to me a couple of words that haunt me to this day. “You‟re lucky to be in America this year” he said, “change is coming and everything‟s looking up”. I‟m sorry Dean. You, as a nation, put you faith in the wrong man. This man is nothing he said he was going to be. A constitutional law professor who was going to defend the document of the Founding Fathers? He‟s ordering drone strikes all over the world against “unknown militants” now, because it‟s easier than capturing them and retaining them because of the political heat that action brings. Don‟t want to confront the American people and the Republicans in the capturing, detention and possible trial/no trial of a perceived terrorist? Just bomb „em. No harm, no foul. I‟m sorry, but I call this hypocrisy at its finest. Oh maybe you‟re going to say that this was his first term, and he had worries of not getting re-elected? Well, he doesn‟t have any now. But the Senate is voting for an amendment to the NDAA that will possibly give the military to exercise police-like powers against non-citizens within the U.S. soil. Will he sign that into law? You want my guess? He will. Because Democrat is just another word for a Republican, and a politician is always a politician. Yiğitcan ERDOĞAN

TURKEY UN Expert: Turkey Must Do More to End Unlawful Killings United Nations Special Reporter Christof Heyns explained that while Turkey has made progress in cracking down on extrajudicial killings, it still has a long way to go in remedying the problem. The report has not finished yet that Heyns will present it on the UN Human Rights Council in the next year and the result will evaluated two years later. He made some official and unofficial negotiations in Istanbul, Diyarbakır and Ankara and come up with some consequences which Turkey wouldn‟t like that Henys explained that he has still some human rights concerns for Turkey. In the sense of human rights, he pointed out some critical issues that firstly, there is some breach of life, for example, the criminals couldn‟t be punished and the responsibles couldn‟t be founded, and also he argues that the legal process extends over a long time. Secondly, he reminds that the Uludere report has not been finished yet but he took a promise from the authorities that it will be ended until the 15th of the December. Finally, he also pointed out the „honor killings‟ and „violence against the women‟ in Turkey that it is still a reality of Turkey. I think this issue is the one of the most important subject in the sense of human rights because recently, we are very familiar the violence to the women that it is very common almost all parts of the country from East to the West. Although some measures tried to be taken and the consciousness tried to be increased, the problem is still a big obstacle for human rights in Turkey. Yağmur ERŞAN


OPINIONS ASIA Nuclear Ambitions of North Korea North Korea’s insistence on launching long-range rockets creates resentment through international community. Although being one of the most heavily sanctioned states, North Korea continues to see the nuclear weapons as a primary tool to reach its political aims. There might have been multifaceted motivations behind North Korea‟s ambitions. With this act, North Korea is flexing its nuclear muscles to gain superiority in its relations with the United States for the prospective negotiations. This year in October, North Korea claimed that it has missiles that can reach the United States mainland. The international concerns regarding the weapon technology of the North was eased by the previous unsuccessful launch which took place in April 2012. The failure revealed that the technology for an intercontinental weapon has not been perfected yet. Therefore, the success of this new attempt has a key role in determining the capability of the North to strike the US directly. In addition, some argues that North Korea wants to utilize the launch to bolster internal unity, underlining that it coincides with the first anniversary of the rule of Kim Jongun. If this is the case, there certainly are many other more appropriate ways to pay tribute to the first year of the new leader. Such provocative acts are the greatest obstacles for healthy international relations freed from fear and tensions. There are several United Nations resolutions to ban North Korea from conducting weapons test requiring missile technology. The attempt was responded by condemnation by the international community on the grounds that it will damage the prospects of peace and stability. The United Nations warned Pyogyang underlining that “it would be extremely inadvisable to proceed with the test.” Japan, on the other hand, ordered its military to prepare to shoot down the North Korean missiles should they be heading towards Japan, and postponed bilateral talks with North Korea. In defiance of these sanctions and condemnations and at the expense of international security, North Korea does not seem to give up its nuclear ambitions. Cansu Buluklu

TURKEY The Turkish Nation, Always the Hero Turkish foreign policy has changed over the years, and there is still much to come Without a doubt, the biggest debate in Turkish foreign policy in recent years has shaped around the concept of Neo-Ottomanism. This idea is almost the core of Turkish foreign policy today, yet there are many question marks in the people‟s minds about it. In order to answer these questions, we first have to define this political trend. Neo-Ottomanism is a political ideology which states that contemporary Turkish state has a right of influence over the areas the Ottoman state has lost in the Balkan Wars and World War I and should actively be involved in the region‟s troubles to increase power in the international arena. At the heart of this trend, lies the popular political movements of the Empire‟s dissolution period: Ottomanism and Islamism. So what happened that resurfaced this ideology that was put forth by the intellectuals and bureaucrats that predicted the downfall of the Empire, today? My belief is that the bureaucracy that witnessed the corruption of the Ottoman State transformed itself into the Turkish Republic and an almost isolationist policy was followed abroad with a unitary state within. But in the 80 years that followed, Turkey got in to a position where it possesses one of the strongest armies in the world and an economy that is 17th most strongest; making a wish for a more active participation in the Balkans, Middle East and even Central Asia as a centre of power nothing of a surprise. On top of that, the turbulent situation and the oil reserves of the Middle East is attracting such displays of power, and Davutoğlu makes no efforts to hide this in his speeches; but of course, he veils these in words of religious and historical camaraderie. This new policy receives support from the Western powers, but Assad thinks otherwise, believing Erdoğan to be playing “Caliph”. It is also possible to say that Russia is disturbed by the increasing Turkish influence over Central Asia. U.S. on the other hand, seems to be wishing a „good cop‟ placed in the Middle East near Israel, because in the Middle East, animosity against the United States is increasing because of the unconditional support for Israel despite the country‟s crowded rap sheet. It is also not far fetched to think that the superpower might want to deal with its problems in the area with an ally that won‟t misbehave. Whatever Turkey might gain or lose with this ideology that is being shaped around Davutoğlu‟s “Strategic Depth” will be apparent in time. But one fact remains, approaching all issues in the Middle East including Syria and Palestine with Neo-Ottomanism will result in either a big pay -off, or a big payback. Salihpaşa Demirbaş



ASIA Russia Pressuring Assad for End to Violence Russia's leadership is pushing Damascus to stop military operations against the country’s insurgency in order to enable a political solution to the standoff in Syria “To stop all the attacks of the regime – it will be a great victory for those who want peace. I think they [the Russian Foreign Ministry] sent something to the Syrian regime, a very strong message about it,” said Haytham Manna, a member of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change in Syria (NCC), speaking on the sidelines of a news conference. Russia has promoted a political solution to the crisis throughout the entire 20-month-long standoff in Syria, vetoing three resolutions in the UN Security Council that called for tougher measures against Assad. However, Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said on late Thursday that “we are trying to pressure the government in Syria, to convince them there is no military solution to the crisis and to sit them down at the negotiating table with the opposition,” Itar-Tass reported. The NCC plans to hold a conference in Rome on December 17-18 in a bid to further unite Syrian opposition groups. RIA Novosti / November 29,2012 Deadly blast shook Pakistani city as worshippers marked the sacred holiday of Ashura. It occurred near a Shiite Muslim procession in Dera Ismail Khan, killing five people and injuring more than 70. Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the explosion. CNN / November 26, 2012 The Philippines declared that it will not stamp visas in the new Chinese passport because it contains a map showing parts of the South China Sea, claimed by the Philippines, as Chinese territory. Al Jazeera / November 29, 2012

Taliban suicide bombers have killed four Afghan soldiers and wounded Nato troops in an attack on a joint US–Afghan airbase in eastern Afghanistan. BBC / December 2, 2012

Presidential Campaign Starts in South Korea Daughter of former military strongman Park Chung-hee faces off with a son of a North Korean refugee. South Korea's two main presidential hopefuls are running neck and neck with the election barely a month away, the latest polls showed after a popular independent candidate bowed out of the race. The latest survey was released as the candidates, including the daughter of former military ruler Park Chung-hee, officially begin campaigning on Tuesday. Election is set on December 19. The two main candidates seeking to replace Lee Myung-bak are Park Geun-hye, of the ruling Saenuri Party, and Moon Jae-in, from the main opposition Democratic United Party. Park wants to follow in the footsteps of her father, who ruled South Korea for 18 years until his assassination in 1979. She also served as the unofficial first lady of South Korea after her mother Yuk Young-soo was killed by a North Korean sympathiser from Japan. Both parties have promised for greater economic democracy and beter social welfare. Al Jazeera / November 27, 2012

North Korea’s New Rocket Plan North Korea is to launch a long-range rocket between 10 and 22 December, its official news agency says. The announcement is likely to increase tensions with North Korea's neighbors, with South Korea expressing concern over Pyongyang's announcement. South Korean officials called the move a "grave provocation" and a "challenge to the international community". The atmosphere in South Korea is especially tense as the country prepares for a presidential election scheduled for 19 December. North Korea's most recent rocket launch, in April, was a failure. The US, Japan and South Korea said the rocket flew only for a short time before breaking up and crashing into waters off the Korean peninsula. Earlier this week South Korea halted a satellite launch minutes before take -off after problems were found during the final checks. BBC / December 1, 2012


MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA UN votes to upgrade Palestinian status Continue from Page 1... Abbas referenced the recent Israeli assault on Gaza, saying that Palestine had come to the UN at time when they were "still tending to [their] wounds and still burying [their] beloved martyrs of children, women and men who have fallen victim to the latest Israeli aggression". "What permits the Israeli government to blatantly continue with its aggressive policies and the perpetration of war crimes stems from its conviction that it is above the law and that it has immunity from accountability and consequences [...] The moment has arrived for the world to say clearly: Enough of aggression, settlements and occupation." He said that the Palestinians were not seeking to "delegitimise" Israel, but to affirm the legitimacy of Palestine as a state. This recognition of an upgraded UN status was the beginning of "a final serious attempt to achieve peace", he said, stressing that the Palestinian Liberation Organisation was seeking to "breathe new life" into negotiations. Al Jazeera / November 29, 2012

Saudi Diplomat Shot Dead in Yemeni Capital Gunmen killed a Saudi diplomat and his Yemeni bodyguard on a busy street in the capital Wednesday.

Ph o ne and inter net networks were down across most of Syria for a second straight day, amid reports of fighting near the capital’s international airport. The length of internet blackout is unprecedented in Syria's 20-month-old uprising against Assad. Al Jazeera / Nov. 30, 2012

The diplomat was inside his vehicle about noon when another vehicle blocked the road, according to a Yemeni security official. The gunmen stepped out of their vehicle and began firing into the diplomat's car. ."Both the diplomat and his bodyguard were shot in the head," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.In 2009, Saudi Arabia used fighter jets to bomb Yemeni Shiite Houthi rebels engaged in a civil war with Yemen's government, claiming that the rebels had crossed into the country. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Following Friday prayers, Muslim power, is concerned that the Houthi could create a Shiite state, backed by Iran's theocracy, along its borders. Independent / Nov. 29, 2012 the numbers protesting against Egypt’s draft constitution grew. The demonstrators say the Israel's political world has been shaken by Defence Minister Ehud Ba- proposals will restrict rak suddenly quitting politics just weeks ahead of a general election. freedom of speech and could give Muslim clerics "I didn't make this decision without hesitating, but I made it the chance to oversee new wholeheartedly," he told a hastily arranged news conference, saying he had legislation. Euronews / been wrestling with the decision for weeks. Mr Barak made the surprise November 30, 2012 announcement even after polls showed his breakaway Independence Party gaining momentum after Israel's recent military Ahmadinejad has moved offensive in the Gaza Strip. "I feel I have his chief of staff, seen as a exhausted my political activity, which had potential successor and a never been an object of desire for me. There target of criticism from are many ways for me to serve the country, hardline conservatives, to not just through politics," he said, adding another job in a pres his decision was spurred in part by his conference. Haaretz / desire to spend more time with his family. December 1, 2012 Independent / November 26, 2012

Ehud Barak Quits Politics


ARTICLE OF THE WEEK Larbi SADIKI Senior Lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter

Re-Constituting Egypt It is "very healthy" that Arabs protest when a president claims new sweeping powers that "undermine their revolutions". Today, new Egypt is re-constituting itself through public engagement, not disengagement as in the Mubarak era. The notion of an omnipresent president no longer exists. Even Morsi buckles under pressure; and he may have to rescind decisions and inevitably may have no option but to retract or adjust some of his latest decrees. This may in the short run be at the expense of his standing. However, in the long run it will strengthen his profile as a resilient and responsive president. The latest sparring between state and society should be taken as evidence of a country re-constituting itself dialogically, even if this means interim confusion, low-key violence and cacophony, from within and without. The anatomy of the latest crisis - which should be looked as pertinent to democratic reconstruction in a context of state-society relations still shackled by a 60-year-old dictatorial legacy can be outlined through an approach that considers the fundamentals of the crises unfurling in Egypt and this partly has consequences for both Libya and Tunisia.There is a sparring going on in Egypt between old and new, decaying institutions and others awaiting democratic midwifery to see birth. In a way, the dialectic of life-death makes sense in this context. In this sense, the Libyans are luckier than their Egyptian and Tunisian neighbours. They are more or less starting with a clean state. The February 17 revolution may be legitimately called dissolution. Gaddafi's authoritarian structures of power witnessed a total melt-down. Libyans worry more about tribe and region, which ignite dissension and foment tension and rebellion.In Egypt and Tunisia, the biggest challenge at the core of democratic reconstruction is surpassing the surviving forces, voices, discourses and their supporting networks. In both, the media, business, civil society and the legal profession forces of conservatism refuse to adjust much less "die". There is one difference: the armed forces and the arts constitute two additional arenas where vestiges of the ancien regime have outlived the ousted ruling head of state and co-dependent inner circles in Egypt. In Tunisia, where the army is small and marginal, it is from within the trade union movement that challenge to the new rulers is mounted, mobilised and organised. Morsi is up against decaying forces, namely within the judiciary and the media, that cannot be expunged all at once. This is the key to unlocking how Morsi is attempting to create openings for corroding the remnant forces of the old system of which the legal system is the most challenging, powerful, plural (Bar association, Judges associations, Supreme Constitutional Court and the Supreme Juridical Council) and the hardest to reform. Morsi seems to be working to a plan - and therefore I do not view the latest crisis as some kind of ill-thought decision taken on the spur of the moment. Banking on his success in the negotiation of the Gaza ceasefire, Morsi picked another moment in his incremental strategy to rid the state he presides over of an arm of the judiciary appointed by none other than Mubarak himself. On this count, Morsi has not committed errors of judgement. The judiciary calls for reform in Egypt; it is not totally impartial in either its politics or composition. When judges stage a protest calling for the downfall of the regime - as if Morsi, the legitimate president, is on par with Mubarak - then there is something wrong with the judiciary: it has trespassed its jurisdiction in that it may be taking sides in a fight between partisan foes, the Islamists on the one side, and the liberals and leftists united against Morsi's latest decrees, on the other. Where Morsi was wrong was at his strategy of how to reform and change corrupt and impartial judges. There are many examples from the world of how to go about this. Since winning office in July, Morsi is simply trying to avoid a repeat of the Supreme Constitutional Court's June 2012 decision to dissolve the Islamist-led parliament. Since then, the scene has been set for a battle of wills between the judges and the president. Morsi has had some success. In a daring and calculated fashion, but executed deftly and smoothly, he dismissed the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in August. This move meant retiring Egypt's two top generals, Defence Minister Hussein Tantawi and General Sami Enan, but he kept


them in his political entourage as advisers. Morsi, however, played his cards skilfully by not opting for replacements from outside SCAF. Instead, he recruited the youngest SCAF general, Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi, a military intelligence chief, as Tantawi's replacement. SCAF had the support of members of the conservative judiciary on which it must have relied to draft its March 2011 constitutional declaration, arrogating to unfettered powers.In June 2012, SCAF and the Supreme Constitutional Court worked in tandem, more or less conspiring against the country's freest and fairest elections ever. The latter declared the elected parliament null, invoking the unconstitutionality of the electoral process. The former, a week later, issued its June declaration in anticipation of Morsi's victory, limiting the powers of the president-to -be. The laws invoked for declaring the unconstitutionality of the elections are not themselves crystal clear, and may be open to all kinds of interpretation as the country had an impartial judiciary. Many forces and discourses in the country's civil society, such as the April 6 Movement, protested vehemently and loudly against SCAF's threat to the revolution and democratic process. Others who are now up in arms, with some justification, against a few of the prerogatives Morsi granted himself were not as vociferous as they are today. And this is confusing - the problem is not that Morsi's "grab of power" is turning Egypt's first popularly elected president into a Pharaoh. Rather, fundamentally the notion of an Islamist president like that of an Islamist-leading parliament has not yet been accepted. The sparring between Islamists and non-Islamists will continue unabated in the foreseeable future. Plus, there is the problem of old habits die hard: if elections do not produce favourable results they must be re-done. Contests in a democracy are periodic: the problem is that some forces within the opposition in Egypt, like in Tunisia, do not yet know "how" to go about the job of the opposition. They know little about the "how" of opposition and focus so much on the "who" of opposition: objecting to all things Islamist at all cost. For, there is no way out of the current impasse in Egypt, and this applies to Tunisia, if the opposition hangs on to the idea that the constitutional processes nearly 80 per cent completed must be abandoned in favour of new elections for new Constituent Assemblies. Should the current process in Egypt be completely abandoned in favour of new elections, the country will suffer not only from the dire consequences of constitutional and political vacuum, but also from endless abortions of the electoral and democratic processes. It is expensive to hold elections every six months in a country like Egypt with its multi-stage and complex polls. The 100-member committee assigned to frame the constitution must be encouraged to get on with the job: the practice of boycotts and walk-outs does not measure up to the vocation of lawmaking, which is expected to be painstaking, arduous, complex and not linear. If Islamists, leftists and liberal forces within parliament agree to disagree, this must be seen as part and parcel of the vocation of legislators who must parley to resolve differences. Credible figures, including Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, Mohamed El-Baradei, Amr Moussa and Hamdeen Sabahi have got so much potential. They must build their constituencies, prepare their programmes and ready themselves for the next round of democratic contests. In fairness to El-Baradei, he is not asking for dissolution of the current parliament unlike some outlandish voices lost in the new game of democratic reconstruction. A constitution is not the Quran: it can be amended and re-amended in the future if it has questionable articles inimical to democratic reconstruction or civil and political freedoms. Note that Mubarak and others were ousted because they did not know when to stop when they had plenty of warning and time. Even the idea by the newly-appointed Prosecutor General, Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah, of revolutionary courts to retry figures from the Mubarak era may need to wait till Egypt goes beyond the interim period of constitution-framing; holds new elections; and has in place a reformed judicial system. Similarly, it is very healthy that Arab citizens protest when a president claims new sweeping powers that undermine their revolutions. Egypt has no shortage of talent and cadres and its social capital bodes well for defusing the current stand-off between the Islamist-led government and an opposition searching for an identity, role and may be a public. In the final scheme of things, the missing link in all of the crises witnessed in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia is the absence of legal frameworks and a spirit of laws for reconstituting and re-imagining societies, states and communities. Constitutions alone do not provide this. What is required iAs the legal ethos that bans branches of government to expand, illegally, at the expense of the others and to infringe on each other's function and ultimately the freedoms conferred upon the public by revolutions, which belong to the people. Al Jazeera/ November 29, 2012


TURKEY Lifting Immunities a Dead-End, Gül Warns The president calls for progress in the right direction instead of revisiting past mistakes by stripping MPs’ immunity, telling the BDP not to praise terror. Abdullah Gül reiterated his opposition to lifting the immunity of BDP deputies and one independent deputy, urging the government not to push Turkey toward a dead end. Once close fellows and cofounders of the AKP, Gül and Erdoğan now differ on a number of critical issues. Erdoğan seemed committed to push for the lifting of the immunities of the deputies, asking his parliamentary group to take the necessary action in this regard. The discussion emerged after Gültan KıĢanak, co-chair of the BDP, was pictured hugging a member of the PKK. Burhan Kuzu, a senior AKP member, replied to Gül’s statement the same day: “We will pay attention to its echoes in society, but we cannot think that it will have consequences similar to those of 1994. Gül also warned BDP deputies to act in line with lawmaker responsibilities and distance themselves from terrorism. Hurriyet Daily News / December 30, 2012

Special Rapporteur of UN Heyns said “I had observed that violations of the right to life continued in the context of counter terrorism measures and responsibility for the Uludere incident remains unresolved and raises concern.” UN News Centre / December 1, 2012

Ties between Iraq and Turkey have been marred by a flurry of disputes this year, most recently Maliki’s refusal an invitation by his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for visiting Ankara. Kurdistan News / November 29, 2012

Believe in Your Government, Believe in Your State PM has slammed Iran's threatening remarks that the use of Patriot missiles would cost Ankara dearly. Being Assad's last regional ally, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman told that deploying the Patriot system "will not only not help solve the situation in Syria, it will actually make the situation more difficult and complicated as well." Responding to allegations of Iran, Erdoğan said “When your government, your state, makes a decision on anything, it knows who to consult. We do not need to ask anyone's permission”. Later, Russia joined Iran in opposing the deployment of the NATO Patriot missile battery, as did Syria, which called the Turkish request “provocative.” Moscow, a heavy benefactor of Damascus, said the deployment could increase risks in the conflict. Arutz Sheva, November 25, 2012 / Today’s Zaman, November 29, 2012

FM Davutoglu’s Address to the UN Foreign Minister Davutoğlu played a key role in Thursday’s vote to upgrade Palestine’s U.N. status to observer state.

He made a speech at UN General Assembly: “In Turkish we have a saying; for 60 years the whole world has shut their eyes to the plight of the Palestinian people. The reality about Palestine is simple, yet a harsh one. It is in the heart of the Palestinian people who have been subjected to exiles, massacres, wars collective punishment and blockade for many decades. Today The main opposition and is a milestone. Finally, we have chance to open our eyes to the reality. Tonationalist parties have day, we have an opportunity to give comunited to resist a legal fort to the Palestine people who aspire arrangement that would for having a chance to uphold their digpave the way for defense in nity after years of humiliation. Our call one’s mother tongue, is for peace, no more and no less. The labeling the draft bill as “a recognition of Palestinian statehood is concession given to the not an option but a moral, political, straPKK.” Hurriyet Daily tegic and legal obligation for the internaNews / November 29, 2012 tional community.” Sabah / November 30, 2012


EVENT CALENDAR 3 December 2012: 

Balkan SavaĢları’nın 100. Yılı ve

Göç (Exhibition) HUNGARY Capital & Largest City: Budapest Other Largest Cities: Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc

Milli Piyango Talih KuĢu Galeri/16.30 

ATo Kongre ve Sergi Sarayı/11.00 4 December 2012:

Official Language: Hungarian President: Janos Ader Foundation: 895 (23 Oct. „89 for the current 3rd Rep.) Population: 9,942,000 GDP (Per Capita): $19, 891

Without Words

18.Gezici Festival( Festival)

Büyülü Fener Kızılay/12.15-21.15 

33 Varyasyon (Theater)

Akün Sahnesi/20.00

Currency: Forint Government: Parliamentary Republic

Ankara Kitap 2012 (Fair)

5 December 2012: 

Yasmin Levy (Concert)

MEB ġura Salonu/21.00 

Elif Çağlar(Concert)

IF Performance Hall/22.00 6 December 2012: 

Claron McFadden & Artvark

Saxophone Quartet (Concert) CerModern/20.00 

Vega (Concert)

IF Performance Hall/22.00 7 December 2012: 

Bedri Baykam(Exhibition)

Siyah-Beyaz Sanat Galerisi/18.30 

Metin ve Arkas Trio (Concert)

Bilkent Konser Salonu/20.00 8 December 2012 

Mor ve Ötesi (Concert)

Jolly Joker/22.00 

Biedermann ve Kundakçılar

Theater) Tiyatro tempo/20.00 For more information, visit:


EDITORIAL TWITTER FEED Obama: If you kill 40,000 people with one type of chemical -- gunpowder -- no problem. But use a different chemical, and that's a problem. Blake Hounshell, Editor of “Foreign Policy” Embarassing for Damascus if reports true that Jihad Makdissi, #Syria foreign ministry spokesman has indeed defected after being sacked. Ian Black, M. East Editor of “The Guardian” The pope joined the twitter. His first seven followers? Himself in the other languages he'll be tweeting. Editors of the CNN Belief Blog For genocidaires who are causing death and destruction in Congo n Rwanda's border area, you have got away with it for too long...has to stop! Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda Scientists are discovering that while anger and hatred eat into our immune system, warmheartedness and compassion are good for our health. Dalai Lama, His Holiness GENERAL DIRECTOR Alper AKGÜN CO-EDITOR Yiğitcan ERDOĞAN COORDINATORS Hazal AKGÜL, AyĢe ATASOY, Cansu BULUKLU, Begüm ÇELĠKTUTAN EUROPE CORRESPONDENTS Ekin BOZKURT, Dan PRITCHETT, Asude Dilan YĠĞĠT AMERICAS CORRESPONDENTS Paddy SPICER WARD, Ayça ġEN ASIA CORRESPONDENTS Bektur ELEBESOV, H. Sinan GÜLER, AyĢenur ġANLI M. EAST & AFRICAS CORRESPONDENTS R. Sinan USTA, Çağlar YILDIZ TURKEY CORRESPONDENTS Didem ELERMAN, Yağmur ERġAN SOCIAL EVENTS CORRESPONDENT Yağmur ÇĠFTÇĠ Twitter: @metunewsreport

News Report Volume 7 Issue 7  

The Weekly Newspaper of METU FPIRC

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