A group of leading Turkish businessmen, academics and artists will go on trial Monday, accused of seeking to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the mass "Gezi Park" protests of 2013. All 16 face life imprisonment if convicted in a case dismissed as a witch-hunt by rights activists, who say there is not "a shred of evidence" against the suspects. The group includes prominent businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala, whose detention since November 2017 has made him a symbol of what critics say is a crackdown on civil society. Kavala is accused of orchestrating and financing the protests, which began over government plans to build over Gezi Park, one of the few green spaces left in Istanbul. The protests snowballed into a nationwide movement that marked the first serious challenge to Erdogan's brand of Islamic conservatism and grandiose development projects. The 657-page indictment seeks to paint the protests as a foreign-directed conspiracy with links to the Arab Spring, … [Read more...] about Turkish civil society leaders on trial over 2013 protests
Open society foundation
Recent elections produced good results for pro-EU parties, but one of the areas in need of attention is the selection process for president of the Commission, writes billionaire lobbyist George SorosLast month’s elections to the European Parliament produced better results than one could have expected, and for a simple reason: the silent pro-European majority has spoken.What they said is that they want to preserve the values on which the European Union was founded, but that they also want radical changes in the way the EU functions. Their main concern is climate change. This favours the pro-European parties, especially the Greens. The anti- European parties, which cannot be expected to do anything constructive, failed to make the gains that they expected. Nor can they form the united front that they would need in order to become more influential.One of the institutions that needs to be changed is the Spitzenkandidat system. It is supposed to provide a form of indirect selection of … [Read more...] about Majority in favour of Europe, but some reforms are needed
A conscript, 19, was killed in a violation of ceasefire by Azerbaijan on Saturday in Karabakh. Sipan Melqonyan was fatally wounded on Saturday morning at military unit located in the south-east direction of the defense army. The Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a statement deploring Azerbaijan's moves to increase tension. “Azerbaijan’s latest confrontational and dangerous actions prompt their past violence, atrocities and attempts to aggression and stand proof of the existential physical security risks to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. The latest incident underlines the urgency to finalize in the shortest possible time an OSCE investigative mechanism of ceasefire violations,” the statement said. Armenia’s Compulsory Enforcement Service of Judicial Orders former head and ex-MP Mihran Poghosyan, who is charged in Armenia with involvement in an offshore scandal and money laundering, was granted right to temporary residence from Russian authorities. Russian … [Read more...] about NEWS.am breaking news in a video: 03.06.2019
By Abdul Kerimkhanov Armenian citizens are unhappy with the policy pursued by the new Armenian authorities. These grievances result in protests taking place in the capital and other cities of Armenia. An anti-Western campaign of the movement called VETO took place in Yerevan on May 31. The protests were outside the Yerevan office of Open Society Foundations Armenia. Narek Malyan, civil activist and co-founder of VETO, is the action organizer. He came to the local office of the Soros Foundation, but police pushed him out. Then Malyan declared that he was starting a sit-in. Malyan noted that the Armenian citizens have the full right to block the office building of the Soros Foundation, just as other citizens had previously blocked the buildings of the courts at the call of the Armenian PM. The number of protestors was about hundred people. Representatives of the Armenian Communist Party joined the action. A lot of police arrived at the place of the event. A scuffle took place … [Read more...] about Anti-Western sentiment rises in Yerevan
A HUNDRED years ago this week, diplomats and academics from the British and American delegations at the Versailles peace conference at the end of the first world war met for a dinner at the Hotel Majestic in Paris, a short stroll from the Arc de Triomphe. Their aim was to work out how to continue their fruitful co-operation beyond the peace talks and promote internationalist values in their countries. Their initial idea for a single Anglo-American institute to fuse a weakened Britain and an ascendant America was not realised. But the dinner on May 30th 1919 gave rise to two institutions that have shaped public outlook and public policy on foreign affairs ever since: the Royal Institute for International Affairs (known as Chatham House, after the building in which it resides), set up in London in 1920, and the Council on Foreign Relations, founded the following year in New York. They have served as templates for numerous other think-tanks around the world. Get our daily newsletter … [Read more...] about Can think-tanks survive a post-fact world?