Roy Gutman

Iran elects centrist to replace contentious Ahmadinejad

Centrist Hasan Rowhani won an absolute majority in Iran’s presidential elections, a surprise outcome that could help raise spirits in a population fed up by the economic distress and international isolation that marked the era of outgoing leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. | 06/15/13 17:57:18 By - By Roy Gutman

Reformist Hasan Rowhani said to win Iranian presidency in surprisingly heavy voting

Hasan Rowhani, the candidate favored by Iranian reformists, won the Iranian presidential elections in a landslide, a source with close connections to the Iranian government said Saturday. | 06/15/13 02:04:16 By - By Roy Gutman

Big question as Iran picks a president: Will reformists turn out to vote?

Iranians vote Friday for a new president to succeed the controversial Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but many voters question the value of their ballot, convinced that no elected government can solve Iran’s economic woes and end its diplomatic isolation. | 06/13/13 18:39:21 By - By Roy Gutman

1 reformist bows out of Iran presidential race in hopes of helping another

The most outspoken reformist in the Iranian presidential race withdrew Tuesday in a move intended to boost the prospects of another reformist, Hasan Rowhani, an experienced government hand who once managed Iran’s nuclear negotiations and is the sole cleric in Friday’s voting. | 06/11/13 14:33:23 By - By Roy Gutman

Turkish PM changes park plans, Istanbul protests likely to continue

Turkey’s combative prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Friday abandoned his plan to build a new shopping mall on one of the few green patches in central Istanbul, but he insisted on razing the park nevertheless, a mixed signal that could prolong week-long protests here and in other cities. | 06/07/13 19:58:03 By - By Roy Gutman

With Recep Tayyip Erdogan away, Turkey’s acting prime minister apologizes

With the country’s combative prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, out of the country, Turkey’s acting prime minister apologized to the country Tuesday for what he cited as a heavy-handed use of force against youthful protesters in Istanbul, which led to four days of clashes across the country. | 06/04/13 18:55:49 By - By Roy Gutman

Nationwide strike call in Turkey likely to inflame anti-Erdogan protests

Police clashed with anti-government protesters in major cities around Turkey for a fourth day Monday as one of the country’s biggest public service unions threatened a nationwide strike Tuesday to show its discontent with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. | 06/03/13 19:13:08 By - By Roy Gutman

Turkey protests over plan to build on Istanbul park reveal deep anger at Erdogan

Tens of thousands of protesters called for the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and fought police firing tear gas in central Istanbul for the second day Saturday. A defiant Erdogan declared he would not back down from a controversial construction project that set off the protests, but then called off the police. | 06/01/13 17:23:05 By - By Roy Gutman

U.S. withholds millions pledged to help Syrian opposition

The United States is withholding $63 million that it had pledged to the main Syrian opposition organization because the Obama administration is frustrated with the group’s disarray and is searching for more credible partners to support in the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad, knowledgeable officials said Friday. | 05/31/13 19:32:38 By - By Hannah Allam and Roy Gutman

Russia pledges missiles to Assad as Britain, France threaten to send arms to Syria rebels

Russia on Tuesday confirmed that it would ship advanced anti-aircraft missiles to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, provoking Israel to threaten military action if the new weapons are delivered and drawing condemnation from the United States. | 05/28/13 19:36:43 By - By Roy Gutman and Sheera Frenkel

Europe sets stage for possible arming of anti-Assad fighters as McCain visits Syrian rebel leader

After a contentious debate over policy towards Syria, the European Union agreed Monday to let its embargo on arms shipments to Syrian rebels – and the Syrian government – expire at the end of the month, possibly the best news that the beleaguered forces battling to topple President Bashar Assad have had since their uprising began 26 months ago.. | 05/27/13 19:48:43 By - By Roy Gutman

Syria says it will attend peace talks as anti-Assad opposition debates next steps

For a fourth day, Syria’s fractured opposition spent Sunday haggling over how to expand their coalition, even as Syrian President Bashar Assad unveiled two new initiatives – accepting an invitation to send representatives to a peace conference to end the 26-month uprising and announcing that Syria would open its borders to “tourists” from Iraq, a move analysts said was intended to allow Shiite Muslim fighters to join Assad’s military defense. | 05/26/13 19:14:54 By - By Roy Gutman

Syria’s exile opposition opens conference in Turkey amid anger, confusion

Syria’s political opposition met Thursday in Istanbul to elect new leadership, choose a government-in-exile and deliberate on a negotiating stance for peace talks, but it hit a controversy when the immediate past president of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, a Muslim cleric who no longer holds any post in the group, presided over the opening session and released a surprise peace initiative without consulting the group. | 05/23/13 18:49:05 By - By Roy Gutman

Turkey’s journalists say press freedom has declined under Erdogan’s rule

Veteran journalist Hasan Cemalwas forced out of his job in March for defending his newspaper’s decision to publish secret protocols that embarrassed Turkey’s ruling party. | 05/13/13 16:04:48 By - By Roy Gutman

An encounter shows Kurdish guerrillas in no hurry to abandon Turkey’s mountains

On the first day of what was supposed to be the pullout of Kurdish guerrilla forces from Turkey, there was no sign Wednesday that any units had crossed the international border, and insurgents told McClatchy it could take up to three months for them to withdraw to northern Iraq. | 05/08/13 18:58:29 By - By Roy Gutman

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