Muslims Discovered the Americas, Claims Turkish President

It is becoming increasingly painful to write about Turkey these days. Every week, there is a controversial incident or statement from Turkey that is difficult to explain to the American public. For this week's outlandish remark, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the Americas were actually discovered by Muslims back in the 12th century, three centuries before Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic.

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Is Spain About to Embrace Chavismo?

When the late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez came into power in 1998, he saw in his movement an answer to capitalism and a solution to Latin America's soaring inequalities. Chávez's aspirations were clearly global, and he even had the gumption to list "preserving life on the planet and saving the human species" as part of his 2012 election platform.

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A Peaceful Kurdish Capital Gets a Brutal Wake-Up Call

ERBIL, Iraq — The call came in the middle of an interview. "There's been a bombing," Zhyar, my Kurdish assistant, told me. "Right in the center of town." We said hurried goodbyes and jumped into our car.

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Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, November 17, 2014

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Larry Jagan explains why paralysis at the top of Burma's government is stalling the country's democratic transition.

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The Turk Has No Friend but the Turk

On the day after Americans observed Veteran's Day, three U.S. Navy sailors were singled out for unwelcome attention in another part of the world. A group of Turkish nationalists staged a demonstration in an Istanbul area frequented by tourists to protest the docking of the USS Ross in Istanbul for four days after a NATO drill in the Black Sea. Members of the Turkish Youth Union (TGB) accosted and manhandled the sailors, even attempting to put cloth hoods over their heads -- a reference to a humiliating incident in 2003, when U.S. troops in northern Iraq arrested a group of Turkish soldiers and held them for three days.

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