A Spoke in Erdogan’s Wheel

By Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere in Politics

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan who theoretically is meant to maintain an impartial and representative role, has been demanding since late January 2015 that in the new Turkish parliament (total seats: 550) the largest party should have at least 400 MPs to be able to change the constitution without involving the opposition. He didn’t name […]

Spain’s Year of the Polls

By Oleguer Sarsanedas in Politics

In times of accelerating change, the a-synchronicity between current public opinion and elected representative bodies grows. The former has to do with present reality while the latter reflects a reality of the past, when the elections were last held – and it seems such a long time ago. This gap, a common end-of-term phenomenon affecting […]

Battle of Poitiers and the invention of Europeans

By Alessandro Barbero in Features

One of the most celebrated battles in Europe’s history was fought in October 732, or possibly 733, on the ancient Roman road linking Tours to Poitiers in the area the ancients called Gaul, then beginning to be known as France. Led by the Mayor of the Palace, Charles Martel, grandfather of Charlemagne, the Franks defeated […]

Newsletter – March 2015

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to The Global Dispatches This month Alessandra Quattrocchi interviews Mike Leigh the director of “Mr Turner”; Alison Pargeter senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute takes a look at post-Qadhafi Libya and its complex array of struggles in which ambitions for power, claims to legitimacy, the taint of the past, and ownership […]

Mike Leigh: My Turner, Cinematic Painter

By Alessandra Quattrocchi in Arts and Culture

Mr Turner is a thing of love, the impassioned portrait of the last 25 years in the life of William Turner, English master of painting, and Leigh’s greatest achievement is that he manages to show us reality as a painter would see it: slightly larger than life, more colourful, more detailed. Praise should be given […]

Of American Warplanes and Dutch Toy Cars

By Rebecca Giersiefen in Politics

The flat, fertile region along the over 600 km long Syrian border in Turkey is  an area inhabited by a mix of Arabs and Kurds. A hundred years ago still, there would have been many Armenian villages, too, as can still be found just south of the border. When the Ottoman army lashed out against […]

Brussels has fallen

By José Ignacio Torreblanca in Features

Can you imagine reading that headline in the daily press? That it seems unlikely does not mean it is impossible. At the end of the day, all empires fall. And the European Union is undoubtedly an empire: postmodern, peaceful, and law-based, but ultimately, an empire. It is precisely because of its unique nature that we […]

Report thy neighbour: policing Sisi’s Egypt

By Maha Abdelrahman in Politics

During his recent visit to Cairo in November 2014, Alain Gresh, former editor- in-chief of Le Monde Diplomatique, met with a couple of Egyptian acquaintances (a journalist and a student) in a downtown Cairo café. During their chat, which unsurprisingly involved Egyptian politics, a middle-class Egyptian woman at the next table became highly alarmed by […]

Dateline Damascus: fighting on all fronts

By Robert Dulmers - Teun Voeten in Politics

“All is arranged—do hurry, the general is expecting you now.” It had taken the government press chief, Reem Haddad, eight months to convince the Syrian army to open up to Western journalists. It was a year since we had visited Syria. A year in which, according to more or less reliable figures, 76,000 people had […]


By Jacques Le Goff in Features

All Europeans can lay claim to this ancient past either because they live on or descend from some part of its territory, or because their ancestors were drawn to this Greco-Roman space and settled there during the early Middle Ages. Antiquity bequeathed numerous terms and expressions to Europe. For centuries, Latin was considered the language […]

Libya’s downward spiral

By Alison Pargeter in Politics

The uprisings in Benghazi that sparked the fall of the Qadhafi regime began on 15 February 2011. Four years on from that euphoric time, few could have predicted just how bad things in Libya would become. While the challenges facing the country as it embarked upon the transition from authoritarianism to modern state were evident […]

The White Temple of Chiang Rai

By Irene Dogmatic in Travel Writing

Wat Rong Khun, in the Northern Thai City of Chiang Rai, is a privately owned set of structures designed, constructed and the property of Chalermchai Kositpipat, a local artist who decided to build this place on the site of a previous but badly damaged Buddhist Temple. He was very financially successful as an artist and […]

Newsletter – February 2015

By Allston Mitchell in Letters

Welcome to The Global Dispatches, This month Shi Jian from China Dialogue recounts the attempt to create a green community in Beijing using six 20-foot shipping containers, a 600 watt solar panel and a 300 watt wind turbine; Enzo Restagno, author of “Schönberg e Stravinskij. Storia di un’amicizia mancata” reunites the couple in order to […]

Beijing life in a shipping container

By Shi Jian in Environment

In the summer of 2014 Niu Jian and his family moved from the bustling Beijing district of Haidian to the village of Niuhe in Shunyi, on the outskirts of the capital. Their new home consists of a single-storey arrangement of six 20-foot shipping containers. A 600 watt solar panel hangs on one wall and 300 […]

Yemen: descent into anarchy

By Aaron Edwards in Politics

Recent violence in Yemen points to the resurgence of tribal fault-lines which were previously managed by playing off interest groups against one another or, in more recent years, seeking to redistribute political power federally under the National Dialogue Conference (NDC). The NDC initiated a political transition, with ambitions for security sector reform and a more […]

Argentina in shock

By Fabian Bosoer and Federico Finchelstein in Politics

A federal prosecutor in a democratic state accuses the elected president of a major cover-up. Alberto Nisman is scheduled to explain the cover-up in Argentina’s congress when, hours before testifying, he mysteriously dies in his apartment. What kind of democracy allows this to happen? In the context of such events, what will be the fate […]