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Thursday, 21 February 2019 12:09
Board of Contributors
Contributor Perspectives offer insight, analysis and commentary from Stratfor’s Board of Contributors and guest contributors who are distinguished leaders in their fields of expertise.

As Turkey’s March 31 local elections draw closer, three key developments bear watching. All three are likely to significantly affect Turkey’s political and economic trajectory as well as its international standing.

Consumer Discontent

Local elections don’t usually attract the same level of domestic and international attention that Turkey’s elections have received this year. But the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) has branded the March 31 vote as one that will determine Turkey’s fate and well-being. In addition, deteriorating economic conditions, including a depreciating currency and inflation, have heightened tensions in the country. Prices for some food items have increased by more than 300-400 percent, prompting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government to mandate that state wholesalers in Ankara and Istanbul sell produce directly to consumers. Long lines of residents buying food at heavily discounted prices is reminiscent of the late 1970s, when Turks had to line up to buy staples such as butter, sugar and cooking oil. The government says the state will continue to sell produce wholesale until the local elections are held.

To further combat Turkey’s inflationary headwind, Erdogan has ordered state authorities to track prices and punish retailers who allegedly arbitrarily increase prices. To say that these issues have tarnished the reputation of the AKP and Erdogan would be an understatement. The AKP has consistently campaigned on the premise that it is the party of capable governance. The question remains as to whether food prices can be controlled, or even lowered, so that wider public discontent does not translate into votes for the opposition. The loss of large metropolitan municipalities such as Istanbul and Ankara would irreparably harm Erdogan’s image and weaken his power base.

Is a Bailout on the Horizon?

Turkey’s macroeconomic indicators are the second significant development to watch. The lira’s depreciation has placed an undue burden on the country’s private sector industries, many of which rely on imports to run their business. By July 2019, roughly $180 billion worth of foreign debt will come due, which equates to about one-quarter of Turkey’s entire economic output. Not only has this resulted in record numbers of Turkish companies filing for insolvency protection, it has required the government to take unprecedented measures to ensure liquidity and assure investors that Turkey can honor its debts. The prevailing economic opinion in Washington and European investment capitals is that these aims can no longer be met without direct international intervention.


If the IMF is asked to bail out Turkey, what government accountability, transparency, anti-corruption and belt-tightening measures will it demand in return?

Though Erdogan insists at public rallies that Turkey will never ask for another bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), his tune is likely to change after the March elections, when Turkey may have to reach a standby agreement of about $150 billion just to keep the lights on. If this were to happen, the IMF would loan Turkey nearly double what it gave Argentina to shore up its economy. It is in the material interests of European banks and the United States to provide Turkey with the necessary funding to allay concerns of a recessionary contagion, as Turkey’s creditors have loaned generously and will have to satisfy their investor’s concerns that existing debts will be honored. There is also the question of conditionality. If the IMF is asked to bail out Turkey, what government accountability, transparency, anti-corruption and belt-tightening measures will it demand in return? It is hard to envision Erdogan satisfying some or any such conditions given the opaque, unaccountable and corruption-ridden government he perpetuates.

Relations With the U.S., Russia and Iran

Finally, Turkey’s interaction with the United States, Russia and Iran isn’t independent of its domestic economic concerns. Ever since the United States announced it would leave Syria, Erdogan has been keen to convince Russia and Iran of the need to establish a safe zone in Syria — one designed to undermine and prevent a Syrian-Kurdish entity that Turkey will have to reckon with. In Sochi, Russia, last week where he, Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met to talk about Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin essentially put Turkey on notice that any Turkish demand for a safe zone in Syria would require the approval of the Syrian government. At this point, Russia and Iran are mainly concerned with eliminating challenges to the Syrian government’s ability to impose its sovereignty throughout the country. There is little reason to believe that Turkey will be granted any latitude to pursue Kurdish elements in Syria. If Erdogan is to participate in the reconstruction of Syria and be able to conduct border trade, he will soon have to resolve his differences with Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Erdogan continues to tread on thin ice when it comes to the United States, and the Trump administration could impose significant measures that could compound Turkey’s economic degradation. Erdogan’s support of the ailing government of President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela is demonstrated by the large volume of Venezuelan gold Turkey is purchasing. Turkey watchers are concerned that this gold could once again be used to buy Iranian oil and breach U.S. sanctions. Were this to occur, there is good reason to believe the United States could make life very difficult for Erdogan by withholding IMF funding or imposing crippling sanctions, among other possible measures. Turkey is fast running out of options as the March 31 elections approach, despite appearances otherwise in Erdogan’s public speeches. Even in a limited and transactional manner, it is incumbent upon the Erdogan government to collaborate with the United States on a number of issues: to renounce its S-400 missile defense deal with Russia; put a visible distance between itself and the Maduro government; and release Americans it currently detains. Each of these issues will have to be confronted eventually. It makes sense for Turkey to resolve them now before they are dangled in front of Erdogan as conditions that must be met before Turkey can secure an international bailout.



Wednesday, 20 February 2019 09:45
سرپرست پژوهشگاه در همایش تخصصی «زبان مادری » بیان کرد:

طرح ملی زبان‌های در خطر از سال آینده بطور جدی دنبال می‌شود

سرپرست پژوهشگاه میراث فرهنگی و گردشگری از جمله اولویت ها و ضرورت های حوزه گویش ها و زبان های محلی را پرداختن به زبان های در خطر دانست که بنابر ضرورت مقرر شده این طرح ملی که از سه سال پیش در گروه زبان و گویش رایج پژوهشکده زبان شناسی ، کتیبه ها و متون مطرح و مقدمات آن فراهم شده سال آینده به طور جدی کار خود را ادامه دهد.


به گزارش یول‌پرس به نقل از سازمان میراث فرهنگی، صنایع دستی و گردشگری، بهروز عمرانی سرپرست پژوهشگاه این مطلب را در همایش تخصصی «زبان مادری » که توسط پژوهشکده زبان شناسی ، کتیبه ها و متون پژوهشگاه به منظور گرامیداشت روز جهانی زبان مادری برگزار شد مطرح کرد.

او گفت: «در واپسین سالهای قرن بیستم زبان شناسان به این توافق رسیدند که یونسکو می بایست برای بحران نابودی زبان ها چاره اندیشی کرده و از آنها با اقداماتی همچون حمایت مالی ثبت و ضبط و بررسی اسناد و مدارک پشتیبانی کند.»

عمرانی افزود: «یونسکو به منظور حمایت از تنوع زبانی ، چند زبانگی ، ترویج ، شناخت و نگهداشت حدود ۷ هزار زبان موجود در جهان و به ویژه زبان هایی که در معرض خطر هستند و پیشگیری از بحران نابودی زبان ها و معاقب آن ناپدید شدن فرهنگ ها ، روز ۲۱فوریه را روز جهانی زبان مادری نامگذاری کرد.»

او با بیان اینکه زبان مادری تنها زبان نیست بلکه مهمترین نمود یک فرهنگ بوده و پاسداشت آن به منزله ابقا و احیای هویت و فرهنگ جوامع است افزود: «یونسکو سال ۲۰۱۹را به نام «اهمیت زبان های بومی در ایجاد و گسترش صلح و آرامش »نامیده است.»

او در ادامه با اشاره به اینکه کشورها با اجرای مراسم گوناگون در قالب شعر ،سرود خوانی ، رقص های محلی ، نمایش های سنتی ، انتشار مجله و کتاب این روز را جشن می گیرند تصریح کرد: «در ایران نیز هر ساله این روز گرامی داشته می شود.»

عمرانی گفت: «پژوهشکده زبان شناسی ، کتیبه ها و متون به عنوان نماینده پژوهشگاه میراث فرهنگی و گردشگری ، بیش از یک دهه است که به مناسبت این روز مراسمی را در قالب رویداد فرهنگی برگزار و اولویت های طرح های پژوهشی اش را نیز به این مهم اختصاص داده و نتایج آنها را در قالب طرح های پژوهشی ، کتاب و مجموعه مقالات منتشر می کند.»

سرپرست پژوهشگاه میراث فرهنگی و گردشگری از جمله طرح های پژوهشی این پژوهشکده را علاوه بر پرداختن به واژه نامه های گویشی و مستند سازی گویشها ،موضوع طرح ملی اطلس زبانی ایران عنوان کرد.

او گفت: «طرح ملی اطلس زبانی ایران علاوه بر اینکه مجموعه ای از تمامی میراث زبانی کشور است، تمامی لهجه ها و گویش ها را در خود جای داده است.»

عمرانی با بیان اینکه این طرح با هدف عرضه تصویری از سیمای زبانی کشور در حال تدوین است تصریح کرد: «نمونه های گویشی دیجیتالی برای آوانویسی و تهیه اطلس آماده شده است.»

او با بیان این نکته که زبان مادری در شکل گیری هویت و شخصیت افراد موثر است و فراگیری زبان مادری بر تداوم پیوند فرد با گذشته و ریشه خود خواهد افزود اظهار کرد: «از سوی دیگر با نابودی یک زبان در اصل فرهنگ ارزشمند یک قوم همراه با پیشینه تاریخی ، اجتماعی و هنری آن از بین می رود.»

او خاطر نشان کرد: «از جمله اولویت ها و ضرورت های دیگر درباره گویشها و زبان های محلی ،پرداختن به موضوع زبان های در خطر است که از سال ۱۳۹۴در گروه زبان و گویش رایج پژوهشگده زبان شناسی ، کتیبه ها و متون مطرح شده و مقدمات آن نیز فراهم گشته است.»

سرپرست پژوهشگاه میراث فرهنگی و گردشگری تصریح کرد: «بنابر این ضرورت مقرر شده از سال آینده این طرح ملی به طور جدی کار خود را ادامه دهد.»

او در ادامه افزود: «گویش های ایرانی که بصورت اقلیت در کشور های همسایه (افغانستان ، ازبکستان و …) بکار می روند نماینده فرهنگ و تاریخ ایران زمین در آن کشورها هستند و تلاش برای حفظ گویش‌ها در حقیقت کوشش برای پاسداری از میراث فرهنگی کشورمان خواهد بود.»

عمرانی گفت: «با توجه به ضرورت اجرای طرح های نجات بخشی بر اساس برنامه ششم توسعه مبنی بر تهیه پیوست تخصصی میراث فرهنگی از یک سو و همچنین شناسایی و مستند سازی میراث فرهنگی ملموس و ناملموس در حوزه ایران فرهنگی ، پژوهشگاه میراث فرهنگی و گردشگری ، در حوزه پرداختن به زبان ها ، گویش ها و پاسداشت آنها از هیچ کوششی فرو گذار نخواهد کرد.»


Wednesday, 20 February 2019 08:55

میثم قهوچیان- روزنامه نگار


در لایه زیرین تدریس صرف زبان فارسی، میل به حذف دیگران از هویت ملی است، در این صورت مخالفان تدریس زبان‌های غیرفارسی به دنبال سهولت ارتباط همگانی نیستند، بلکه آنها «خود» را در مرکز هویت‌ ملی قرار می‌دهند. آنها هویت ملی را به «فارسی» کاهش می‌دهند و از این طریق در حوزه سیاسی بسیاری را به واسطه «لهجه»، «درست خوانی و درست نویسی» و... حذف می‌کنند.


یول‌پرس – میثم قهوه‌چیان: هویت ملی یکی از موضوعات جدید و مهم ایران پس از انقلاب مشروطه بوده است. تعریفی جدید از ملیت ایرانی به مثابه هویتی سیاسی با سلطنت پهلوی ارائه شد، زبان‌ و فرهنگ‌های غیرفارسی حذف شد و تنها یک هویت معیار ملیت قرار گرفت. در مقابل هویت ملی رسمی در ایران معاصر همواره گفتمان‌های رقیبی بوده‌اند. تامل در نسبت میان هویت ملی و زبان مادری می‌تواند در این زمینه راهگشا باشد، چه بخش گسترده‌ای از ایرانیان «فارسی» صحبت نمی‌کنند و تنها در سیستم اجباری آموزش و پرورش آن را می‌آموزند و آنگاه همان سیستم به آنها می‌گوید که تنها زبان فارسی عنصر اصلی ملیت ایرانی است. اگر ملت یک مفهوم حاصل قرارداد و قانون اساسی است، همه هویت‌ها باید خود را منعکس در هویت ملی ببینند.

http://yolpress.ir/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/index-150x150.jpg 150w, http://yolpress.ir/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/index-200x200.jpg 200w, http://yolpress.ir/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/index.jpg 960w" sizes="(max-width: 171px) 100vw, 171px" style="padding:0px;margin:0px;outline:none;list-style:none;border-style:none;box-sizing:border-box;max-width:100%;height:auto;vertical-align:middle;width:171px;opacity:1;transition:all 0.4s ease-in-out 0s">میثم قهوچیان- روزنامه نگار

در آغازبحث به عنوان سوال اصلی می‌توان پرسید نسبت «هویت ملی» و «زبان مادری» چیست؟ پس از آن چنین سوالاتی می‌تواند مطرح باشد، آیا همه هویت‌های ملی تک‌زبانه‌ هستند؟ آیا اگر هویت‌ملی در کشوری چند زبانه به صورت تک‌زبانه توسط دولت نهادینه شود، هویت ملی شکل گرفته است؟ نسبت سیاسی زبان مادری در هویت ملی چگونه است؟ در ایران امروز ناظر بر رابطه این دو، چه باید کرد؟

«هویت ملی»، «زبان مادری»

داشتن یک هویت ملی به چه معناست؟ در این جا داشتن به معنای احساس تعلق به یک هویت ملی است. هویت ملی مقوله‌ای عینی نیست به این معنا که شما وقتی یک سیب دارید چیزی عینی دارید، اما وقتی دین دارید، چیزی عینی ندارید، بلکه از مقوله‌ای انسانی بهره‌مند هستید. مختصات یک چیز عینی را به راحتی می‌توان بیان کرد، اما مختصات امری انسانی را نمی‌توان به راحتی سنجید. هویت ملی امری انسانی، تفسیر شدنی و مفهومی است.

هویت ملی ورای امری قانونی، امری وجودی نیز هست به این معنا که صرفا شناسنامه و یا کارت هویت فرد نیست که مشخص می‌کند او تبعه کدام کشور است و کدام کشور در هویت او متجلی است، بلکه نوعی تعلق به یک هویت، فرد را حائز هویت ملی می‌کند. هویت ملی استقراری فرا انسانی ندارد به این معنا که برای مثال فارغ از ایرانیان، هویتی ایرانی متصور باشد، از اینرو هویت ملی در نسبت با اتباع ملت معنا می‌یابد و بدون تعلق به آن وجود نخواهد داشت.

مراد از هویت ملی تعلقی در میان انسان‌ها به یک ملت است که در نوبه خود محصول قراردادهای تاریخی است. از این رو هویت ملی از طرفی مطلق و از طرفی نسبی است. مطلق است به این معنا که احساس است و در همه کسانی که آن را دارند مشترک اما نسبی است به این معنا تعابیری متفاوتی می‌تواند از ملت به نسبت افراد وجود داشته باشد.

زبان مادری تعریف به ظاهر بسیطی دارد، زبانی که مادر( و یا خانواده) با فرزند سخن می‌گوید و فرزند بدان زبان می‌گشاید. هرچند فرزند می‌تواند در معرض زبان‌های متفاوتی باشد، اما نقش پر رنگ و اصلی زبان مادری در فراگیری موثر است.

تعلق به زبان مادری تعلق به جهان مادری نیز هست. هر انسانی با جهانی از مفاهیم، امید‌ها، بیم‌ها، ارزش‌ها و … رشد می‌یابد و این گریزناپذیر است. فرد برای ارتباط با همزبانان خود مشکلی ندارد، اما برای ارتباط با کسانی که زبان مادری دیگری دارند از زبان‌های مشترک استفاده می‌کند. این زبان مشترک می‌تواند رسمی و یا غیررسمی باشد.

نسبت هویت ملی و زبان مادری

هویت ملی با زبان (یک یا چند زبان) ایجاد می‌شود. هویت ملی به مثابه امری انسانی، امری زبانی است. می‌توان آن را به زبان بیان کرد، در ادبیات نشان‌ داد، به مثابه قرارداد ثبت کرد، با سرود‌ها و شعرها گرامیش‌ داشت، از آن پرسید و آن را تشریح و تفسیر کرد. به بیان دیگر هویت ملی شی نیست و وجودی انسانی دارد، وجودی که نه تنها به واسطه انسان‌ها بیان می‌شود، به واسطه‌ انسان‌ها وجود دارد.

از آنجا که هویت ملی زبانی است، فرزندان از خلال زبان مادری، آن را صاحب می‌شوند. مادر و خانواده‌ای که نسبتی با ملتی ندارند، احساس تعلق به آن ملت را در فرزند ایجاد نمی‌کنند مگر اینکه در مواردی فرد خود چنین نسبتی برقرار کند. برای مثال کودکان ژاپنی خود را ژاپنی می‌دانند. این را در هویات دیگر نیز می‌توان دید. به بیان دیگر زبان مادری پل ارتباط فرد با یک جهان فرهنگی خاص است. تعبیر مسلمان‌زاده این را نشان می‌دهد، فرض آن است که مسلمان‌زاده مسلمان است.

از این رو هویت ملی بدون تعلق به جهان یک مادر، از هیچ طریق دیگری به درستی منتقل نخواهد شد و در واقع چیزی منضم به فرد خواهد بود، آنچه در جهان اصلی یا مادریش وجود ندارد. به بیان دیگر هویت ملی برای تقویت خود نیازمند است تا خود را در زبان‌ و یا زبان‌های مادری مورد استفاده در یک محدوده ملی منعکس کند.

هویت‌های ملی؛ تک‌ و یا چندزبانه

به نظر می‌رسد اگر فرض کنیم در یک حوزه ملی همه به یک زبان سخن بگویند، هویت ملی ‌تک‌زبانه است. مراد از تک‌زبانه بودن هویت ملی آن است که به یک زبان بتوان هویت ملی را به فرد منتقل کرد. اما آیا می‌توان تصور کرد که «در یک حوزه ملی همه به یک زبان سخن بگویند»؟ فرض کنید دو فرد به یک زبان در خصوص هویت ملی سخن می‌گویند اما نظر واحدی ندارند، در این صورت تعبیر واحدی در آن خصوص نخواهند داشت و حتی در صورت این فرض نیز هویت ملی نخواهد توانست به صورتی کامل تک‌زبانه باشد. از اینرو می‌توان گفت اگر فرض کنیم در یک حوزه ملی همه به یک زبان «و با یک تعبیر در خصوص هویت ملی» سخن بگویند، هویت ملی تک‌زبانه است. چنین فرضی بسیار دشوار است.

گذشته از تدقیق فوق، در کشورهای چند زبانه، تک‌زبانه دیدن هویت ملی، نابود کردن چنین احساسی و چنین چیزی در کسانی است که در خارج از حوزه آن یک زبان سخن می‌گویند. هویت ملی اگر فرا قومی است باید به زبان همه اقوام باشد، از این رو همه زبان‌های مادری باید بتوانند هویت ملی را تقویت کنند و این بی‌مدد تقویت زبان از طریق تدریس آن‌ها نیست.

اگر معتقد باشیم که هویت ملی چند‌زبانه است، در این صورت دولت موظف به تدریس زبان‌های جاری در یک حوزه سیاسی در نظام آموزشی و یا برخورد یکسان با همه زبان‌های جاری در حوزه سیاسی خود خواهد بود. در غیر این صورت دولت به تضعیف هویت ملی خواهد پرداخت و با تدریس یک زبان و یا رفتار غیرعادلانه در حوزه زبانی به تجزیه کشور اقدام خواهد کرد.

در ایران امروز چه باید کرد؟

تنها با تحقق هویت ملی در زبان‌های مختلف می‌توان به هویت ملیی فراگیر دست یافت. مخالفان تدریس زبان‌های غیرفارسی در ایران امروز معتقدند تدریس زبان فارسی به عنوان زبان مشترک ضروری است اما دیگر زبان‌ها یا مضر و یا غیرضروری و هزینه‌بر. استدلال‌ آنها بر آنکه زبان فارسی زبان رسمی مشترک است یا رفراندوم سال ۵۷ است و یا جاری بودن زبان فارسی در ادبیات و شعر در فلات ایران است؛ اما در لایه زیرین تدریس صرف زبان فارسی، میل به حذف دیگران از هویت ملی است، در این صورت مخالفان تدریس زبان‌های غیرفارسی به دنبال سهولت ارتباط همگانی نیستند، بلکه آنها «خود» را در مرکز هویت‌ ملی قرار می‌دهند. آنها هویت ملی را به «فارسی» کاهش می‌دهند و از این طریق در حوزه سیاسی بسیاری را به واسطه «لهجه»، «درست خوانی و درست نویسی» و… حذف می‌کنند. آنها هستند که هویت ملی را متجلی می‌کنند. منظور از آنها این نحوه فهم است. طنز قضیه آن است بسیار از قوم‌ستیزان از خود آنند و برای مثال ترک‌هراسان در ایران خود ترک بوده‌اند.

مخالفان تدریس زبان‌های غیرفارسی، فعالان قومی را متهم به آن می‌کنند که قو‌م‌گرا هستند و به دوران پیش از مدرن تعلق دارند و مفهوم شهروند را درک نکرده‌اند که شهروندی ورای قومیت است، اما در واقع همین به ظاهر انسان‌گراها با حذف قومیت‌های دیگر از طریق یکسان‌سازی، رویکرد هیتلر در اعتقاد به نژادبرتر را بازتولید می‌کنند. اگر قومیت مزیتی برای شهروندی ایجاد نمی‌کند، لطف کنید امکانات فرهنگی و آموزشی را به صورت منصفانه بین اقوام تقسیم کنید. امروز شهروند فارس‌زبان شهروندتر است.

ایران امروز شاهد تمام عیاری بر حذف زبان‌های مادری از عرصه رسمی است. زبان‌های مادری به سادگی شفاهی هستند و گویش‌وران به غیر از زبان فارسی یا به کوشش خصوصی خود، یا به واسطه میراث گذشته دوره زبانی خود و یا طرق دیگر به حیات خود ادامه می‌دهند. گویش‌وران به زبان‌های مادری غیرفارسی با عدم حمایت از زبان خود نمی‌توانند هویت ملی را در جهام مادری‌شان دریابند و از اینرو هویت ملی در ایران از بدو تولد ناقص خود در دوران رضا شاه در حال کمرنگ‌تر شدن است.

قرائت غالب ایرانی شادمان فردوسی را نماد ایران می‌داند، فارسی را مولفه ایرانیت می‌خواند و مخالف تدریس به زبان‌های غیر از زبان خود است و همه اینها را اصولی غیرقابل تغییر می‌داند؛ اما در واقع قرائت غالب ایرانی پیش از اتحاد، ایران را از خویش جدا کرده است.

تدریس زبان‌های غیرفارسی و تدریس دروسی مانند ادبیات، تاریخ و علوم اجتماعی به زبان‌های غیرفارسی می‌تواند زبان‌های دیگر در ایران را تقویت ساخته و از این طریق هویت ملی در ایران را تقویت کند. تنها با رسمیت شناخته شدن زبان‌های غیرفارسی است که می‌توان از هویت ملی دم زد، از این رو بازسازی هویت ملی ایران از مسیر تبدیل زبان‌های مادری به زبان رسمی در ایران می‌گذرد.


Monday, 18 February 2019 10:47

The Turkmenchay Peace Treaty of 1828 divided the territory of historical residence of Azerbaijanis among Russia and Iran; and the subsequent actions of the tsarist regime and the Soviet authorities created the basis for the Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani historians told the "Caucasian Knot".

At the beginning of the 19th century, the struggle of the Russian Empire with Iran for control over the territories of the historical residence of the Azerbaijani Turks intensified; and during the two Russian-Persian Wars – of 1804-1813 and 1826-1828 – about twenty Azerbaijani khanates were divided among Russia and Iran, Djamil Gasanli, Doctor of Historical Sciences told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

The historian has added that the Russia's conquest of Northern Azerbaijan led to accelerated changes in the ethnic composition of the region.

"For the first time in the history of Russian Empire, an administrative unit was created under the ethnic principle: thus, immediately after the annexation of the Nakhchyvan and Irevan Khanates, the Armenian region was created. True, it did not last long as an administrative unit, but this name was used to [stimulate] the resettlement of Armenians from Iran and the entire Middle East there. Armenians were also resettled to the territory of the Karabakh Khanate. Thus, the tsarist regime sought to create, in the persons of Armenian Christians, a social support in the conquered region, the bulk of whose population were Muslim Turks," Mr Gasanli has explained.

Firdousiya Akhmedova, the head of the History Division of the Azerbaijan State Management Academy, associates the Karabakh conflict with the aftermath of the Turkmenchay Peace Treaty: changes in the ethnic situation in the region after the Turkmenchay Treaty led to the formation of Armenian autonomy within Azerbaijan during the Soviet era, where separatist sentiments flared up in the end of the 20th century.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 13, 2019 at 02:51 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.Source: https://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/46152/?fbclid=IwAR2NfY6iizEXyTvC31eRghpREkAlbhwKFS5VZD9VPXvbieKvcozOsTndQP0
© Caucasian Knot

Friday, 15 February 2019 09:46
Abstract: The Arab League was created in the post-colonial era. However, the structure and regulations of the Arab League proved incompatible with the complex problems of the then-emerging Arab countries. In fact, despite supporting the hard-won independence of Arab states and contributing, though modestly, to the temporary settlement of a few inter-Arab conflicts, the Arab League fell short of emerging as a powerful player in regional politics. The weak organizational structure of the League, especially its conflict resolution mechanisms, together with internal rivalries between its major members have led to its current defunct state.


The dream of uniting the Arab world was one of the driving forces for the rebellion against the Ottoman Empire during World War One. In fact, the seeds of revolt lied in the rise of the Pan-Arabism then rampant in the Arab provinces of the empire, and particularly in the Levant. The desire to build an independent Arab state to transform the Arab region from a place of decay and impoverishment and to spark a cultural and political renaissance was at the core of Arab nationalist aspirations.[1] These feelings were fueled in particular by the harsh policies adopted by the Ottoman Empire towards non-Turkish subjects – Arabs in particular – in its final days.[2]

Under the direct supervision of the British, the Arabs, led by Sharif Hussein bin Ali of Mecca, made up an Arab Legion fighting alongside the Allies during World War I. The aim of the revolt, as stipulated in the Damascus Protocol and in the correspondence between Hussein and Sir Henry McMahon based on the protocol, was to revolt against the Ottoman Empire and to establish an Arab state or a union of Arab states.[3] In the period after the military defeat of the Ottomans, there was a shift in thinking towards the establishment of a union or alliance of Arab states instead of one Arab state. However, that naive proposal did not come to fruition, as the French and British had different plans for the region. The Sykes–Picot Accord had already divided up most of the “liberated areas” between the two triumphant imperial powers. [4] The only exceptions to this arrangement were the “South Syria” that went to Prince Abdullah under the name of the Transjordan Emirate and the region of Najd and Hijaz, which became later a part of the project of Saudi Arabia.[5]

However, most Arabs resisted this attempt by the colonial powers at creating new realities by distorting the facts of history, geography and geopolitics. For example, in defiance of the division of Greater Syria, the Syrian Congress was formed in June 1919 in Damascus.[6] The majority of its members were former deputies to the Council of the Ottoman Envoys.[7] The participants showed overwhelming support for King Faisal I’s demands, rejecting the severance of Palestine and Lebanon from their motherland Syria. The League of Nations came to implement the divisions that the colonial powers drew up. The great degree of resistance both militarily and politically between the two world wars was motivated by a drive in the Arab world for independence.[8] Moreover, the intensification of Nazi and fascist pressure on European countries during World War II made it very difficult for Britain and France to bear further unrest within their colonies and areas under their control in these Arab countries. Therefore, their leaders promised to grant the Arab countries their independence after the end of the war and encouraged openly popular drives towards Arab unity, as stated by then British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden in 1941.[9]

The Establishment of the League of Arab States

At the end of the 1930s, Mustapha al-Nahhas Pasha, then Prime Minister of Egypt, called on Arab leaders to visit Egypt to exchange views on the idea of establishing an Arab Union.[10] In the consultations of 1939, three trends emerged: those who wished to form a Greater Syria, those who wished to establish a Fertile Crescent state and those who wanted a larger union of Arab states.[11] Towards the end of the Second World War, when allied victory was imminent, it became clear that the victorious Western countries were not going to follow through on promises to grant Arab countries their independence.[12] However, the preparatory committee of the Arab League adopted the final version of the charter nonetheless, and the delegates signed the charter on March 22, 1945.[13]

The charter elaborated the objectives of the Arab League as being to seek to strengthen ties between Arab states, to maintain their independence and to preserve the security and safety of the Arab region in all fields including politics, economics, culture, society and healthcare.[14]  The organs of the Arab League included the Council of League of Arab States,[15] the General Secretariat,[16] the Economic and Social Council,[17] and the Arab Ministerial Councils.[18] The league would be funded through member states’ contributions. The Secretary General prepares the draft budget and submits it to the Board for approval prior to the beginning of each financial year. Each member state’s share of contribution to the League budget is determined by consensus within the Council. The budget of the League of Arab States has increased steadily from $26 million in 1999 to $50 million in 2010 and $62 million in 2018. The percentage of each member state’s contribution is measured by its contributions to the UN.

Following the latest controversy over member states’ contributions, the suggestion that prevailed was to have UN contributions as a basis with the limitation that each state’s contribution should be between 1 percent of the League’s budget – even if this is larger than its contribution to the United Nations – and 14 percent. This has been a source of lively debate each period, especially after the accumulation of outstanding contributions from members reached $100 million in 2017.[19] In 2017, the deficit in the League’s budget reached crisis levels worse than at any time since its foundation. Its finances were running so low that the League failed to pay salaries to its employees. The Secretary-General reportedly resorted to using the League’s reserves of $40 million and borrowed $2.5 million to pay salaries in addition to the expenses required for the Secretariat. It is widely believed that slow donation rates to the League reflect the politically-motivated attitudes of some of its members.

As far as the membership in the League of Arab States is concerned and according to Article 1 of its charter, every independent Arab State may accede to the League after submitting an application to the Permanent Secretariat. This should be submitted to the Council at the first meeting after the submission of the application.[20] As for membership withdrawal, each member state has the right to withdraw from the League if the Council is informed of this desire one year prior to its implementation.[21]

Dispute Settlement

Among the main tasks of an international organization is to resolve disputes that may arise between its members by peaceful means. Otherwise, a fratricidal conflict may easily pose a grave threat to the unity of the organization. There has unfortunately been no reflection of this simple logic either in the charter nor in the history of the Arab League.

At the time when the charter was drafted, its prevailing ideology was promoting full independency, total sovereignty, and self-pride. The philosophy of the League of Nations and the strong Western sense of statism greatly influenced Arab leaders at that time. Consequently, big differences emerged in the views of the leaders of Arab countries on the subject of dispute settlements and compulsory arbitration in preparatory talks. One can easily see the extent to which the principle of compulsory arbitration was propounded by many Arab delegations, especially Egypt and Iraq, in the event of an Arab dispute between two or more members of the Arab League. This tendency was fiercely resisted by the Lebanese delegation, which demanded the preservation of the absolute sovereignty of member states. However, a compromise solution was found, with the charter stipulating that it is not permissible to resort to force to settle disputes between two or more member states of the League and if it is not related to independence, the sovereignty or territorial integrity of the states involved and the parties to the dispute resort to the Council to resolve this dispute, the decision then is effective and binding. In this case, the state that is a party in the dispute has no right to participate in the deliberations of the Council and its decisions. In another scenario; if it is feared that a war would erupt between a state of the League and any other state, the Council would mediate between the conflicting states in reconciliation efforts. Arbitration and mediation decisions would be issued by a majority of votes.

This implies that the charter limits the scope and level of procedures at the Council’s disposal[22] Arbitration and mediation are not binding without the consent of the parties to a conflict.[23] Therefore, it could be unreservedly stated that the legal system for the settlement of disputes within the Arab League framework lacks accuracy and effectiveness. On the practical side, looking back at the history of the Arab League, one can find only a handful of cases in which the League contributed successfully to conflict resolution.

Co-operation between the UN and the Arab League

The UN Charter also established special rules for the peaceful resolution of international disputes. Indeed, the charter encourages parties to conflict to seek settlement through resort to regional agencies or other arrangements of their choice.[24]Hence the role of regional organizations, the Arab League included, in conflict resolution is justified and affirmed by the nature of the UN Security Council. It is widely believed that the Security Council is politically charged to the extent that the political price of any settlement it makes could be much higher than the benefits. On the other hand, in many dispute resolution precedents in the Arab region, the Gulf countries in particular often bore much of the financial cost of any UN Security Council Resolutions.

In fact, the Arab League was unable to reach a settlement of major inter-Arab disputes and they ended up at the table of the United Nations’ Security Council. The crisis prompted by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was a crisis that demonstrated the weakness of the League of Arab States and its inability to find solutions to differences among member states.  Initially, the Arab League demanded in resolution 5036 that Iraq withdraw its troops from Kuwait immediately and unconditionally, affirming its strong commitment to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the member states of the League and rejecting any intervention or attempt by foreign powers to intervene in Arab affairs. However, the differences in positions during the Arab League’s summit on August 9–10, 1990 and the debate over the summit’s resolution 195, which called on state members to send troops to Saudi Arabia to deter any Iraqi invasion of its territory, indicate the weakness of the League of Arab States in resolving inter-regional disputes. The above resolution was approved by 12 of the 21 League members. While Iraq, Libya and the PLO voted against the resolution, Algeria and Yemen abstained and Tunisia abstained from the debate and vote. Yet, in the end, the actual decisions to form a coalition of forces that protected Saudi Arabia and liberated Kuwait were taken by the Security Council.[25]

The Arab League and Non-State Actors

As an inter-state organization, the Charter of the League left no room to accept the membership of any non-state entities. In addition, the charter made no specific rules on how to deal with non-state or sub-state entities that were performing political roles, whether affiliated with a member state or otherwise. The foundations of the League were based on the sovereignty of the state and the preservation of the centrality of member states. Therefore, the League always dealt cautiously with non-state entities including the PLO, which was in fact an entity of its own creation.  However, individually, member states of the Arab League had a long history with relating with such actors at all levels.

Initially, the Council of the Arab League chose to consider the Palestinian delegation to represent the “Arabs of Palestine” rather than the full territory. After the Nakba of 1948 and the Israeli occupation of a large part of the Palestinian territories, the status of Palestine within the League did not change. The change took place only after the decision of the League Council in 1952 to consider the Palestinian representative to represent “Palestine” and not merely “Palestinian Arabs”.

That status continued until the formation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was recognized by the Arab kings and presidents at an Arab summit held in Cairo in 1964. In that summit, it was agreed that the Palestine Liberation Organization should be the representative of Palestine to the League of Arab States. Then the PLO was recognized as the only legitimate representative of the State of Palestine at the 1974 Rabat Summit. The League’s Council decided to accept the PLO as a full member of the League of Arab States at a conference held in Cairo on September 9, 1976.

In Hamas’s case, despite initial sympathy, the fear of Hamas’s association with other Arab Islamic political entities invoked dissatisfaction among some Arab governments. Nonetheless, from the outset, the Arab States were divided in their perception of Hamas’s Islamic affiliation and its role in the Israeli Arab conflict. [26] The Arab League dealt with Hamas merely as a national liberation movement in Palestine. The League remained cautious about increasing its dealings with intra-state entities, except when they were part of a government, yet Hamas was an exception. There was always a certain level of interaction with Hamas, many of which came in the context of the Palestinian reconciliation efforts. For example, the League welcomed the Palestinian Parliamentary elections of 2006 which Hamas won. It commented on the election stating that it was fair and transparent with full international recognition. It called on Israel not to use the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections to “stall” the peace process.

In addition, we can trace the League’s engagement with civil society in the sense that the League made space for the participation of civil society organizations in its various activities, particularly, on the Development and Human Rights fronts. Many civil society organizations have attained ‘observer’ status in the Economic and Social Council and its organs. However, still for many commentators this was too little and too late. Although the Arab Charter on Human Rights was adopted in 2004 and the Arab Committee for Human Rights was established soon afterwards; and in spite of the fact that there are indications that the League principles had been partially redrawn to adopt the principles of human rights, civil society organizations were largely left aside and not taken seriously as partners. For example, the Statute of the Arab Court of Human Rights was drafted in 2014 without the participation of civil society organizations or human rights experts, which led to the failure to provide essential mechanisms for monitoring human rights violations and bringing violators to justice. Therefore, there is currently renewed call to modernize the charter in a way that accommodates civil society in the political arena as well.[27]

Assessing the Arab League’s Performance

While acknowledging the existence of deficiencies in the provisions governing the work of the League of Arab States with regard to the settlement of inter-Arab disputes, the League has not completely failed to perform this function. The Council of the League expanded the use of other means of settling disputes beyond mediation and arbitration by resorting to intermediation, using good offices, and fact-finding and monitoring bodies and missions. For instance, intensive institutional efforts and the many initiatives by the League to end the Lebanese Civil had limited success; “in the end it was the individual powers, in this case Syria and Saudi Arabia, that helped end the conflict by convening the Taif Agreement. Technically it was under the auspices of the League, but in reality, Saudi Arabia and Syria were the driving forces.”[28]

Yet, this does not negate the need to amend or develop the texts of the settlement of the Charter. This is what the League has tried to do at times. In its seventy-year lifetime, the League has created new mechanisms including the Political Committee, the League’s mechanism for conflict prevention, management and resolution that was later replaced, and the Arab Peace and Security Council. In addition, the League has played major roles in supporting the liberation struggle in countries such as Algeria, Oman, South Yemen, and Sudan.[29] In addition, it has contributed to the settlement of a few Arab-Arab disputes, such as the Egyptian–Sudanese conflict in 1958, Morocco and Algeria in 1963, and the war between North and South Yemen in 1987.

The League’s ability in doing this was very much dependent on the degree of acceptance it obtained from the parties to the conflict.[30] In addition, the League encouraged Arab-Arab cooperation through a group of specialized organizations formed at different levels both within and outside the League.[31] Similarly, the League represented the Arab countries in various international organizations such as the United Nations and its specialized organizations, as well as the Organization of African Unity. The League also cooperated with the latter on the foundation of a range of joint institutions such as the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA). The Arab League was active too as a party in dialogue with Europe during the 1970s.[32]

Despite immense changes in world politics and huge shifts in international law, members of the Arab League are still looking and dealing with the League in the same way that prevailed at 1945. The restrictions imposed on the dispute-resolution articles were a direct result of the very strong notion of national sovereignty of the states, which was at its climax at the time when the League was established. However, sovereignty has become relative and states can no longer claim their sovereignty in order to evade their international obligations. The principle of absolute non-intervention in the internal affairs of countries has its share of this development; the same way rules of international humanitarian law allow states to intervene to protect civilians in armed conflicts.

Future Challenges Awaiting the Arab League

The League has faced various difficulties during the stages since its formation, some of which took the form of constant challenges, such as the Arab–Israeli conflict. However, the League’s major dilemma has been that of self-determination. With the decline of pan-Arabism, the League lost one of the basic moral pillars. Pan-Arabism by its very nature was the main driving force for the creation of the League, not as a pure ideology but as a manifestation of the fear by the Arab states of the colonial powers. External threats to some Arab countries helped in maintaining the idea of the joint fate of the Arabs. That remained the case after the Iranian revolution and the outbreak of the Iraqi-Iranian war, which was widely seen by most of the Arab countries as a joint struggle against Iranian aggression or the threat of aggression. Nevertheless, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the second Gulf war, when many Arab states participated in the military campaign that left Iraq totally paralyzed, was the closing scene of this pan-Arabism.

Besides, the way Arab regimes define their interests has magnified the urge for more independence and narrowed their characterization of national identity. In part, this was a way to gain legitimacy at the grassroots level.  One of the few exceptions was the Gulf Cooperation Council, which for some time took gradual but firm steps towards coordinating both basic internal public policies and external policies in the Gulf region. Nevertheless, the current Gulf crisis has casted its shadows over the interactions and intra-regional politics of the Arab states.  This split between Arab countries that is influenced by the division within the Gulf has created new dynamics in the region. Two camps have emerged as a direct result of the positions the Gulf states took in response to the Arab League. The first, led by Qatar, initiated wide support for the Arab spring, while the other camp led by Saudi Arabia has been more hesitant to redefine its strategic interests in the light of new reality of the Arab spring.

The Syrian case is a very important example of the shining and consequently fading of the Arab League’s political performance. The appetite for direct positive intervention was very strong at the beginning of the Arab uprisings, particularly in the Syrian context. In fact, the Arab Spring and its profound consequences created a new momentum for the Arab League to act responsively. That was made clear when the Arab League sent a mission to observe the implementation of peace proposals aimed at ending violence in Syria. Later Lakhdar Ibrahimi was appointed as a joint UN and Arab League envoy to Syria. On another front, the Arab League participated actively in organizing the Syrian factions and received many delegations from inside and outside Syria that represented the Syrian opposition. It could be noted that both Egypt (at the time) and Qatar were keen to have the Arab League participating in such efforts. More importantly, the Arab League organized one of the earliest and most successful Syrian opposition conferences in Cairo on July 2-3, 2012. As a result, the Syrian opposition came up with two very important documents, namely the National Covenant and the Transitional Stage.

The Arab League was then involved directly in referring the Syrian case to the UN and in the implementation of the Security Council resolutions. This cooperation between the Arab League and the UN continued when the joint representation of the Arab League and the UN arranged for Geneva talks in 2014.  However, with the arrival of a military government in Egypt and the escalation of the split in the Gulf, a major decline in the involvement of the League in the Syrian crisis was clear.


Changing political and security circumstances, together with a self-definition of interests by each of the Arab states, have created continuous challenges to the Arab League. The malfunctioning of this organization could be attributed not only to the political weakness of the member states themselves, their lack of political will for reform and institutional co-operation, but also to the League’s built-in frail structure. Still, however, the Arab League is an important regional arrangement that could be serve as a base for security and political co-operation. In addition, the League of Arab States is a framework that should not be simply abandoned, as it is the only organizational manifestation of the Arab geopolitical ties. For some, the only way to establish new Middle Eastern robust political and security systems that resonate with the new realities of the region is to get rid of the Arab League. Particularly, they say, given that the common interests of the Arab states have deeply fallen behind their shared interests with other regional actors and superpowers. However, keeping the Arab League alive is a strategic goal, not only for Arab states but also for external powers as well. For the Arab States, it is the only symbolic institution of the joint Arab political existence. For the superpowers, it has always been the source of legitimacy when it comes to implementing an unpopular agenda in the region.


[1] According to Karol Sorby Jr, the aim of the chief of the Arab movement Sharif Husain was to “elicit British support for Arab independence in all the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire from Mersin in the north, the Persian frontier in the east, the Mediterranean in the west and the Red Sea and Indian Ocean in the south. The only temporary exception he was prepared to make was Aden. No doubt he was aware that Britain would not agree to all this, but, like most negotiators, he began with his maximum bargaining position.” See Karol Sorby Jr “The Arab National Movement in World War I”, Asian and African Studies, 15, 2006, 1, pp.40-54

[2] The Ottoman Empire was ruled by followers of Committee of Union and Progress (İttihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti), which toppled Abdülhamid II and implemented discriminatory policies towards non-Turkish subjects in the Ottoman Empire. See Süleyman Demirci, ‘The Methods Employed by the Unionists in Power to Control People Of The Ottoman Balkan Peninsula’, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, 2006/2, 21, available at http://dergipark.gov.tr/download/article-file/219373

[3] Teitelbaum Joshua, the The Rise and Fall of the Hashemite Kingdom of Arabia. C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd (22 Oct. 2001), p.49.

[4] Sykes–Picot Accord was one “of five secret agreements, made during the course of the First World War, foretold the break-up of the Ottoman Empire. The nations involved in this prospective carving up of the Ottoman realm were Britain, France, Russia and Italy.” See Karol Sorby Jr, Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] The objective of the congress was initially in preparation for The King–Crane Commission, officially called the ‘1919 Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey’ that formed in order to investigate the future of Greater Syria after the Ottoman Empire. See Report of the American Section of the International Commission on Mandates in Turkey (The King-Crane Commission), August 28, 1919, available at https://www.scribd.com/document/72247553/The-King-Crane-Commission-Report-Syrian-Congress-Aug-28-1919

[7] They represented most of the Greater Syria cities and towns. They were 85 members represented Damascus, East Jordan, Antioch, Beirut, Tripoli, Mount Lebanon, Palestine, Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Deir Al-Zour and Jabal Addruze.

[8] Attasi Karim, Syria, the Strength of an Idea: The Constitutional Architectures of Its Political Regimes. Cambridge University Press, 2018.

[9] Al-Saqar Khaled, Jordan During WWII. The center of Academic Books, Amman, p.41

[10] Porath Yehoshua. In Search of Arab Unity 1930-1945. Routledge, London and New York, 2013, pp. 257-269

[11] Supporters of the Fertile Crescent vision were divided into two streams: one called for a Federation, or a union with a supreme authority imposing its will on member states, and another that saw a much softer union working on a co-operation and co-ordination basis among the Arab countries, while maintaining their independence Ibid.

[12] In mid-1944, Mustafa Al-Nahhas Pasha activated a Preparatory Committee for the Arab General Conference, which formulated proposals to achieve Arab unity. The Committee met in Alexandria on September 25, 1944, in the presence of delegates from Egypt, Syria, on, Iraq, Eastern Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. It is very important to observe the debate within the committee as it was and still is at the core of the Arab League dysfunctional history. After eight consecutive sessions, the participants ruled out the idea of a Federation that is controlled by a central government and the two major projects of Greater Syria and the Fertile Crescent. The debate was confined to form a union or a regional organization – composed of the willing states – whose decisions would be implemented only by the countries that approve it.

[13] The membership of the Arab countries has largely expanded since the signing of the charter; having started with only seven countries, now 22 members, Comoros was the last to join in 1993. The “League of the Arab Countries” could have called the “Arab Alliance” as proposed by Syria or the “Arab Union” as it was suggested by Iraq. However, the Egyptian delegation stated that the name Arab was more appropriate in terms of language and politics and was compatible with the objectives of the Arab countries. At the end all agreed on that name with a little modification so it became “League of Arab States”. The Arab delegates who attended the meetings of the Preparatory Committee for the Arab General Conference in Alexandria issued a protocol known as the Alexandria Protocol which provides for their approval for the establishment of Arab States.

[14] In a clear desire of compatible with the UN the stressed principles of principles of the United Nations Charter, the legal equality among Member States, the non-interference in the affairs of Member States and the principle of Mutual assistance. The League enjoys a full legal international Character as most of the International and regional Organizations, therefore it has the right to conclude international treaties and to exchange diplomatic representation with States and international organizations. In addition, the League’s premises and staff abroad have the right to enjoy diplomatic immunity in accordance with Article 14 of the Charter. It has three main organs established under its Charter, and other units established by the Joint Arab Defense Treaty in 1950, as well as by resolutions of the Council of the League.

[15] The Council, which is the highest authority in the League, consists of representatives of member states, each with one vote. The summits of Arab kings and presidents were considered as a representation of the Council of the League of Arab States. In accordance with the Charter of the of Arab States, the League represented by the Council respects the implementation of the agreements signed by the member states and support cooperation between the later and international bodies concerned with maintaining international peace and security. The Council also takes the necessary measures to stop any actual or imminent aggression against State members by means of mediation or arbitration. The Council is responsible for the appointment of the Secretary-General of the League, the assessment of member states’ contributions to the League’s budget and the rules of procedure of the Council. The presence of two thirds of the member states constitutes the quorum necessary for the validity of any session of the Council. Decisions adopted by consensus are favorable whenever possible. However, in the event that consensus cannot be reached the decision is deferred to the next session. Yet if the matter is of an urgent nature, a special session shall be convened within one month. After all, if there is no consensus, the vote is regarded as “valid” and the decision is effective by obtaining two thirds of the states present for the decisions on the substantive issues.

[16] The League of Arab States has a permanent secretariat whose primary function is to manage the administrative and financial affairs of the League. The Secretary General is of ambassadorial level who is appointed by the Council of League by a two-thirds majority of the members for a renewable five-year term. The Secretary-General, with the approval of the Council, appoints the Assistant Secretaries and the principal officials of the League.

[17] This was established within the framework of the League of Arab States as one of its main organs under article 8 of the “Arab Common Defense and Economic Cooperation Treaty” signed in 1950 and amended more than once; most recently at the 2004 Tunisia Summit. The Council includes the Ministers of the Arab Member States concerned with economic and financial affairs with a view to achieving cooperation among Member States to promote their economies, invest their natural resources, facilitate inter-trade exchange and, in general, coordinate the economic activities of the Arab States.

[18] Since the early 1950s, Arab relations have witnessed a phenomenon of specialized agencies and ministerial councils operating independently or semi-independent within the framework of the League. The aim was to achieve the League’s objectives set out in Article II of the Charter and the Treaty on Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation of 1950 on the achievement of Arab cooperation in all political, economic and social issues. These councils vary according to their independence and the existence of an independent Secretariat and budgets. For example, the Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior and the Council of Arab Ministers of Justice have their own Secretariat and independent budgets. Other Ministerial Councils supervise specialized Arab organizations including the Council of Ministers of Arab Higher Education, the Council of Arab Ministers of Education and the Council of Arab Ministers of Agriculture. Example of Ministerial Councils whose secretariats are departments of the League of Arab States, the Council of Ministers of Defense and the Council of Arab Ministers of Health.

[19] The problem of member states not paying their share of the budget in full has been very common throughout the history of the League. In 2010, when Amr Moussa assumed the position of Secretary General, the contributions reached 90 percent of the total budget; it was a rare incident.

[20] In many occasions accession of new states triggered controversy within the Council. In 1961, Iraq objected to Kuwait’s request, claiming that it was part of the Iraqi territory. The Iraqi delegate withdrew from the Council in protest against this request. The Council, however, accepted its membership on the basis of Article VII of the Charter, which stipulates that the unanimous decision of the Council shall be binding only on those who accept it. Accepting Somalia and Djibouti in the League also sparked controversy among the Arab countries on the grounds that their official language is not Arabic, but the Council of the League decided that the two peoples are of Arab origin therefore accepted them as full members of the League Arab States. Retrieved from http://leagueofarabstates.net

[21] The Council has the right to deem any member state as not complying with the duties of the Charter and consequently the council could decide to terminate its membership from the League by a decision issued by unanimity of all member states, except the state in question. In addition, if a member state loses its international legal character for any reason, its membership in the League will also be ended. This occurred during the unification between Egypt and Syria in February 1958 after becoming one state as the United Arab Republic.  Also this happened after the unification between North and South Yemen in 1990. However, that does not apply in case the loss of the state’s sovereignty was a result of occupation or use of force, as happened after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, where the Kuwait membership in the League was not affected.

[22] Articles 5 – 6 of the League Charter.

[23] There was an attempt to rectify that shortcoming in the charter by the Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation Treaty on June 17, 1950. The aim of first article of that Treaty was to ease the restrictions contained in Article 5 of the Charter of the League of Arab States but did not really make any changes, as the main factor in the settlement of the disputes is still subject to the consent or non-consent of the States parties to the conflict. However, if the disputes reached a stage of aggression or a threat of aggression the Council could “take measures” upon the request of the state under the aggression or the threat of aggression. Paragraph 2 of Article 6 was amended alongside with Article 7 as mentioned in the note above.

[24] Article 33 of UN Charter states: “The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice. The Security Council shall, when it deems necessary, call upon the parties to settle their dispute by such means.”

[25] O’Connell, Mary Ellen, “Enforcing the Prohibition on the Use of Force: The U.N.’s Response to Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait” (1991), Articles by Maurer Faculty, paper 2085.


[26] The declaration of HAMAS creation took place on 14/12/1987 alongside with the early phases of the first Palestinian Intifada.

[27] Mervat Rishmawi, ‘Can the Arab League Be Civil Society’s Partner for Human Rights?’

December 9, 2015, available at https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/can-arab-league-be-civil-society-s-partner-human-rights. See also the League of Arab States Human Rights Standard and Mechanisms Manual, available at https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/sites/default/files/league-arab-states-manual-20151125.pdf

[28] Quote from Professor Bazzi Mohamad, in ‘The Arab League’, Council on Foreign Relationshttps://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/arab-league. Accessed 28/10/2018.

[29] Such a role was the direct cause of the expansion of the membership to the above, to include twenty-two Arab countries, while the number of countries signatory to the founding charter numbered seven countries. Retrieved from http://www.arableagueonline.org

[30] Ibid.

[31] Within the framework of the League, organizations have been established in several fields, including employment, economic and social development, scientific and cultural affairs, and the means of communication and information. Examples of such organizations are: the Arab Labor Organization (ALO) and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), the Arab League Education (ALECSO), Culture and Science Organization, the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) and the Arab Telecommunication Union (ATU). Outside the framework of the League, it encouraged the activities of trade unions. As a result, many associations for groups such as Arab lawyers, doctors, journalists, jurists, and workers were established. Ibid

[32] Ibid.


Thursday, 14 February 2019 07:08

Bu yıl, 15 Mart 2019’da Suriye’deki siyasi krizin başlamasından bu yana tam 8 yıl geçmiş olacak. Bildiğiniz gibi bugün yaşanan olaylar aslında 15 Mart 2011’de gerçekleşen barışçıl bir protesto sonucu  oldu.

Belki o zaman Rusya ve İran’ın desteklediği Beşar Esad, ciddi siyasi reformlar yapsaydı Suriye’deki durum çok daha farklı olurdu.

Ne yazık ki sekiz yıllık kanlı olayların neredeyse tamamlanmış olmasına rağmen Beşar Esad bugün iktidarda kalmaya devam ediyor.

Beşar Esad’in Suriye halkını değil kendi yönetimini koruması sonucu, binlerce sivil vatandaşın canına mal oldu ve milyonlarca sivil, özellikle de Türkiye, Ürdün ve Lübnan’a sığındı.

Çünkü Suriye’deki savaş İran veya Rusya’nın çıkarlarına hizmet etmedi. Moskova ve Tahran için Esad’e bir alternatif olsaydı hiç kuşkusuz bugün yönetimde o “alternatif” olurdu.

Suriye’de çatışmaların ne zaman biteceği belli olmasa da, Esad’ın bu ülkenin geleceğinde yeri olmayacak. Her şeyden öte iki ülkenin Rusya ve özellikle İran’ın Suriye’de geleceği ciddi soru altında.

Suriye’de İran ve Rusya’nın geleceği, bu iki ülkenin daha önceki politikalarını değil de gelecekteki politikalarını belirleyecektir. Bilinmesi gereken bir şey varsa o da Tahran ve Moskova için o coğrafya, Suriye’deki etkisini artıracak ve dış müdahaleye karşı koruma sağlayacak bir alandır.

Türkiye sınırda güvenli böle oluşturabilse de, PYD/YPG’nin tam olarak tamamen ortadan kaldırılması siyasi nedenlerle zor olabilir. PYD/YPG ABD’den destek alsalar bile, ideolojik olarak marksist oldukları için Rusya’ya bağlı düşünülebilir mesela.

Rusya’nın Suriye’deki geleceği PYD/YPG varlığına bağlıdır da diyebiliriz. Eğer Moskova, Ankara’ya PYD/YPG’nin Türkiye için tehdit oluşturmayacakları garantisini verirse, Rusya Suriye’ye kendi geleceğini teyit edecektir.

İran’a gelince galiba durum biraz farklı. ABD güçlerinin PYD/YPG’ye verdiği destek konusunda Tahran ve Moskova arasında anlaşılmazlık yaşanıyor. Aslında konuyu araştırırsak ABD güçlerinin Suriye’nin kuzeyinde kalması İran’ın da çıkarına.

Bilindiği gibi ABD’nin Suriye’den çıkaracağı güçleri Erbil yakınlarında konuşlandırması ABD’nin İran’a bir adım daha yakın olması demektir.

Bu ise daha PKK’nın İran uzantısı olan PJAK’ın da aktifleşmesi anlamına geliyor ki Tahran bu konuda çok endişeli.

Suriye’de İran ve Rusya’dan farklı olarak Türkiye kendi geleceğini garanti altına aldı. Çünkü unutulmasın ki Ankara, Moskova ve Tahran’dan farklı olarak siyasi rejimi değil Suriye halkını destekledi.


Thursday, 14 February 2019 07:01

By Rufiz Hafizoglu 

The Turkish government has repeatedly made it clear to Armenia's new and old authorities that Yerevan’s all attempts to normalize relations with Ankara are doomed to failure.

Of course, the main reason is the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and, in particular, Armenia’s claims to Turkey regarding the 1915 events.

Earlier, the Turkish government said that the liberation of the occupied Azerbaijani territories is actually beneficial for Armenia itself. Armenia has isolated itself from important regional projects as a result of its occupation policy.

"Armenia must also immediately renounce claims to Turkey over the 1915 events," the government source said.

But so far the Armenian authorities, remaining under influence of the Armenian diaspora, have not taken any steps to normalize relations with Ankara. However, Armenians seem to be looking for methods to settle in Turkey.

It is clear that many Armenians migrate to European countries because of economic problems.

Many Armenians prefer to visit Turkey as "tourists" and "investors".

One must pay attention to the official data to fully understand the situation, and, of course, it will be interesting to start with the Armenian "tourists" who visit Turkey.


According to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 51,800 tourists from Armenia visited Turkey in 2018, which is 7.37 percent more compared to 2017.

According to the ministry, 3,900 Armenian citizens visited Turkey in December 2018, which is 10.26 percent more compared to December 2017. Every month the number of Armenian citizens visiting Turkey grows by at least 3 percent.

According to the Turkish media, monthly at least 200 Armenian citizens stay in Turkey and work illegally. This can be called Armenia’s "people's diplomacy", or rather, the method of settling in Turkey.

But there is another method. Turkey is open to foreign investors and creates favorable conditions for them. The Armenians are trying to take advantage of any opportunity to get benefit. As an example, the data of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) can be mentioned.

According to TOBB, nine companies with Armenian capital were registered in Turkey in 2018. The companies with Armenian capital were mainly registered in Istanbul (eight companies) in 2018.

All these can be called the first steps of Armenia’s "people's diplomacy".


Thursday, 14 February 2019 00:00

Paul Goble

Pan-Turkism has long been a “quite successful” ideological weapon for Ankara, Eurasianist Alem Grekov says; but Russia “has begun to oppose it only now” as a result of the deterioration of Russian-Turkish relations and despite the fact that Turkey has been using this line against Russia and “the Byzantine inheritance” for centuries.

In an essay on Aleksandr Dugin’s “Yevraziya” portal, Grekov says that the best way to understand pan-Turkism is as “’the soft power’ of a hostile policy” rather than as a historical curiosity that contemporary rulers in Moscow and elsewhere can ignore with impunity (evrazia.org/article/2803).

“Russia always was for Turkey an enemy and a geopolitical opponent,” and any temporary cooperation was only driven by economic considerations, he says. Worse, Turkey has inevitably exploited such cooperation to promote via “’soft power’” means its harmful ideology of pan-Turkism first in the USSR and now within the Russian Federation.

Grekov notes that two of the six Turkic republics in Russia – Tatarstan and Yakutia – have not broken ties with Ankara’s Turksoy organization, “and judging from everything, if they do, it will be exclusively on the basis of a direct order which officials in Moscow are not hurrying to give.”

But the problem he continues is “not in some particular regions which do not want in unison with the rest of Russia to break off cooperation with the Turkish Republic. The problem is that pro-Turkish forces … have successfully promoted the ideology of pan-Turkism which is directed at the establishment of the full and total supremacy of the so-called Turkic world under the aegis of the Turkish elder brother.”

Such an ideology, Grekov argues, has led to the deaths of millions and “the genocides of entire peoples” and is incompatible with the rights of those the Turks consider their “younger brothers” whose rights to native language institutions and even identities would be compromised by its acceptance.

“The slogan – only Turkey and only the Turkish language – operates everywhere despite the fact that many peoples of the so-called Turkish world in essence are only Turkophones, that is, peoples of different ethnic roots,” Grekov says – without any recognition that what he is saying about the Turks could with equal or greater force be said about the Russians

“In the context of the new realities,” he concludes, the Russian authorities and representatives of the Academy of Sciences ought to reflect whether they should be giving Turkey the chance to promote its interests in the first instance in the educational and scientific-historical sphere.”

The reason they should be thinking about that, Grekov says, is obvious: “the main victories are won namely on the ideological field and only then on earth and in the air.”

In a related development, another article on the Yevrazia.org portal complains that Moscow is being entirely too liberal in allowing a representative of pan-Islamist views from visiting parts of Russia and spreading his views, despite Ali Qaradaghi’s obvious links with Ankara (evrazia.org/news/44196).

Kaynak: http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/01/moscow-said-lagging-in-opposing-pan.html