Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Ankara (1402)

The Ottoman Empire was around for an impressive 624 years, from its (murky but generally accepted) beginnings in 1299 with the reign of Osman I (the guy who put the “Ottoman” in “Ottoman Empire”), to its official downfall in 1923. But historians have this irritating need to periodize everything, especially something that goes on for… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Ankara (1402)

It was a bad day all around

We’ve learned a bit more about the man who assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey since the last time I was able to post. He was apparently an off-duty Ankara police officer named Mevlut Mert Altıntaş, who shouted “God is great!” and “don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” during the attack. I have to say… Continue reading It was a bad day all around

A claim of responsibility for Ankara

Somebody finally came forward to claim responsibility for Wednesday’s terror attack in Ankara, and it’s not exactly who the Turkish government said it was: A Kurdish militant group once linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) claimed responsibility on Friday for the bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara that killed 28 people this week,… Continue reading A claim of responsibility for Ankara

Ankara’s aftermath

While Turkey is insisting that the alleged perpetrator of yesterday’s car bombing on a Turkish military convoy in Ankara was a Syrian Kurd affiliated with YPG, Syrian Kurds are denying that they were involved in the attack or that Salih Necar, the alleged bomber, had any ties to their organizations: The head of the PYD… Continue reading Ankara’s aftermath

Ankara bombing kills at least 28; suspect is Kurdish

A car bomb targeting Turkish military personnel driving through Ankara earlier today killed at least 28 people and left another 60+ injured. While there’s been no claim of responsibility as far as I can tell, and you can never rule out ISIS as a perpetrator, it looks probable that a Kurdish group was behind the… Continue reading Ankara bombing kills at least 28; suspect is Kurdish

Turkey tries to move on after Ankara

Of all the things that happened over the weekend, while I was away, I suspect the most consequential, at least in the short-term, was the horrific terrorist attack on a largely Kurdish peace rally in Ankara on Saturday. The twin suicide bombings killed at least 95 people and wounded another 246. It’s being called (and,… Continue reading Turkey tries to move on after Ankara