Cyberspace is becoming a key battleground in a political struggle in Turkey connected to allegations of high-level government corruption. The latest casualty is the popular US-based audio-sharing website SoundCloud.
Kazakhstan has resolved one problem concerning the Baikonur Cosmodrome, but a fresh challenge for authorities is looming. A compromise between Astana and Moscow should allow for a resumption of normal space cooperation, but public opposition to Russian rocket launches is mounting due to environmental concerns.
As the Syrian civil war nears its third anniversary, Azerbaijanis fighting for militant Islamic groups increasingly feature among those reported killed. While such reports are unsettling to officials in Azerbaijan, non-governmental observers in Baku believe the implications are limited for domestic stability.
Last July, authorities in Tajikistan confiscated the only manuscript of a little-known novelist’s latest book. In what can only be described as an Orwellian sequence, after the manuscript was seized at a Dushanbe printing house, the author was hauled in for interrogation and asked questions like, “who ordered you to write this book?”
Valentina Mitronova's right eye droops as if sagging under the weight of all she has witnessed. As a toddler caught in the nearly 900-day siege of Leningrad during World War II, her earliest memories were forged in an atmosphere of suffering. On her fourth birthday, she recalls eating soup made by her mother from the beans that rattled inside her plastic baby toys.
Armenia is experiencing a Russian-style winter this year, and despite Yerevan’s plans to join the Moscow-led Customs Union, consumers are not catching a break when it comes to the cost of Russian gas. Instead, the price of Russian gas imports has risen 18 percent over last year, a development that is stoking public anger with the government’s decision to cast its economic lot with the Kremlin.
“Don’t spit in the well you drink from!” This expression, which has equivalents in both Kyrgyz and Tajik, is often heard in the Isfara Valley to express the interdependence of life along the twisting, largely unmarked border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
It is often said that charity begins at home. But in the tightly woven system of family networks and patronage that marks the tiny South Caucasus country of Georgia, the culture of giving has struggled to move beyond assistance to relatives and friends.
The escalating turmoil over corruption allegations against Turkey’s political elite is now threatening the ruling Justice and Development Party’s greatest achievement – Turkey’s economic growth. With national elections looming in the future, that threat could affect the party’s 11-plus-year hold on power, some local observers believe.