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Stories about Middle East & North Africa

Tensions are escalating between Azerbaijan and Iran over border issue and Armenia

For weeks, Iran and Azerbaijan have exchanged accusations, and played war games, in what can be best described as chest-thumping.

Supporters demand freedom for Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El Fattah

His lawyer spoke of Abd El Fattah's declining mental health and quoted Abd El Fattah saying, “I can’t carry on.”

Meet Boji, the dog touring Istanbul using public transportation

Meet Boji, a street dog from Istanbul who uses public transportation to tour the city every day.

Global internet freedom trends in Turkey and South Caucasus, new report

While Georgia and Armenia were ranked "free" in this year's report, Turkey and Azerbaijan ranked "not free" as a result of the challenging atmosphere around digital rights and freedoms.

Relations between Turkey and Russia: “It's complicated”

On September 29, the leaders of two countries met in Russian Black Sea city of Sochi to discuss economic and strategic deals and their presence in conflict zones.

Arabophone Chinese influencer divides public opinion in Egypt

Along with growing traffic to her social media platforms came a new tone in Wang's posts. What seemed as sincere patriotic pride, gave way to a seemingly targeted propaganda.

Qatar urged to release 21 detainees held for protesting ‘discriminatory’ election laws

The laws, ratified by the Qatari ruler to regulate the upcoming vote, bars citizens who are classified as "naturalized" rather than "native" from running in elections, voting, or both.

Can LGBTQ+ rights activism be the key to reversing retrogressive policies in the Middle East?

"From Egypt to Turkey to Iran, governments are pushing back against LGBTQ+ inclusion, even resorting to social media and mobile phones to track and target the community."

In Turkey, a citizen sentenced to prison for insulting the president

Since getting elected as president in 2014, some "100,000 people have been accused of defaming the president," based on Article 299 of the Penal Code in Turkey.

Turkish students protest as rent prices skyrocket

In an effort to solve this crisis, a group of students launched the Movement of the Unsheltered, demanding lower housing and rent prices.

Turkey’s Uyghur dilemma in the context of China’s Belt and Road Initiative

As economic ties between Ankara and Beijing strengthened, Turkey's policies on the treatment of Uyghurs in China weakened.

Syrian migrants fall victims to “human trafficking mafia” in Libyan prisons

'The EU is responsible for Libya’s barbarism directly, or by turning a blind eye to its actions, as armed groups profiting from migrants are funded, and complicity in these crimes...

In Turkey, environmentalists struggle to preserve the city's remaining green spaces

Since 2014 the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been fighting to open the grove to development projects, much to the ire of community environmentalists.

Saudi's first batch of women military graduates encourages more debate on gender roles

Reactions on social media varied between those welcoming the decision, others who praised Saudi rulers for enabling it, and those who consider women unfit for combat or cited religious bans

In Turkey, first large anti-vaccine rally gets green light from the local government

The rally that took place at one of Istanbul neighborhoods, was approved by Istanbul Governor Office and was attended by well known vaccine opponents.

In Turkey, religious cleric joins calls to censor social media

Ali Erbas, the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate in Turkey suggests using Islamic jurisprudence to control social media platforms.

Turkey and China in the eastern Mediterranean: Partners or competitors?

China and Turkey continue to collaborate on their visions for trans-continental integration, though should Ankara's political and military ambitions increase, Beijing might reconsider its role as a reliable BRI partner. 

Renewed calls for government protection after another Kuwaiti man kills woman relative

Activists call for shelters for women facing abuse at home, and the abolishing of article 153 in Kuwait's penal code which reduces the punishment for honor killings.

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party turns 20

Two decades into AK Party rule, its popularity is dwindling and its ties with western governments have deteriorated significantly as the country is facing an economic and democratic precipice. 

Turkey's struggle against natural disasters: wildfires, drought, floods, and a possible earthquake

In light of recent natural disasters and weak governmental response, many wonder whether the government is prepared to handle its worst disaster yet — a possible earthquake in Istanbul.

About our Middle East & North Africa coverage

Dahlia Kholaif is the editor for the Middle East & North Africa. Email her story ideas or volunteer to write.


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