Expert Comment

I participated in the January Revolution!


With the hashtag "I participated in the January revolution", social networks in Egypt have been awash with recollections and protestation on the fifth anniversary of the 25 January 2011 revolution. The mobilisation on both Facebook and Twitter in defence of those 18 days of mass protests that led to the overthrow of then-President Hosni Mubarak, has been a breath of fresh air and a change compared to last year's anniversary.

A turning point


The battle for Taksim which has spread across across Turkey in recent days is being waged economically and politically. Taksim is, after all, the hub of Istanbul's European side and a highly symbolic place both collectively and politically. The square is linked to the pedestrian Istiklal Street and its iconic tramway which on weekends fills with crowds from every part of the city and different countries around the world.

From one surprise to another


We have become accustomed to major surprises during Iranian presidential elections. While the 1997 and 2005 elections were won by the least-expected candidates (Mohamed Khatami and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad), and the 2009 elections ended in the biggest political crisis the republic has undergone in its thirty year history, the 2013 elections will be remembered for the rejection of Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar, the two most awkward candidates for the Leader, Ali Khamenei.

The Turkish Spring


Nevruz, the commemoration of spring's arrival, has special connotations in Turkey this year. On Thursday 21 March, Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the PKK (Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Workers' Party) – labelled a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union – announced a ceasefire and called for the PKK's withdrawal from the country.