Turkey pays hefty price for interest rate obsession

Under government pressure to keep interest rates low, Turkey’s Central Bank has failed to act against the free fall of the Turkish lira, leading to a massive burden on the foreign debt stock.
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 Mehmet Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 3

Khamenei says sanctions must be removed, not suspended

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke in detail about the need for sanctions to be removed, rather than suspended, in regard to the comprehensive nuclear deal.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 3

Small quakes shake loose big fears in Tehran

A recent series of small quakes near Tehran revives fears of the consequences of a major tremor striking the Iranian capital.
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 A correspondent in Tehran for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on September 3

The invisible Saudi king

Though breathless press reports predicted the Saudi leader would attend Russia’s MAKS-2015 air show, it seems that King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud never intended to visit Russia so soon after accepting the invitation to do so and will likely make the trip in the fall.
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 Paul J. Saunders for Al-Monitor on September 3

Is Turkey driving down road to environmental disaster?

The Turkish government’s Green Road Project has turned the quiet residents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s home region into feisty street protesters as they struggle to protect the environment on which their livelihoods and traditions rely.
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 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on September 3

What's next for Abadi?

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's moderate path in implementing government reforms has kept the peace among the governing political parties.
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 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on September 3

Hunger-striking women's group hopes to bring peace to Israel

Members of the Women Wage Peace movement — a group of women from all sectors, ages and communities — hope that their recent meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will add another layer to the public movement they are building for peace with the Palestinians.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on September 3

Bibi's two-state solution: State of Israel and State of the Jews

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told peace activists that he is willing to go to Ramallah, knowing that his preconditions for such contacts will immediately dissuade Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from extending him an invitation.
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on September 3

MK Svetlova: Abbas not ideal partner, but best we have now

In an Al-Monitor interview, Zionist Camp Knesset member Ksenia Svetlova described Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as a "missed opportunity'' and laid most of the blame for the current diplomatic impasse on Israel.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on September 3

Cairo tuk-tuk ban could leave commuters stuck-stuck

Though millions of Egyptians rely on cheap and versatile auto rickshaws to get around, the government has banned the mini taxis in several Cairo neighborhoods after efforts to regulate them failed.
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 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 3

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