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Owen Matthews rss

A demonstration in Istanbul against the ban on Twitter, 22 March 2014

How did revolution become Istanbul's new normal?

5 April 2014
Turkish Awakening: A Personal Discovery of Modern Turkey Alev Scott

Gaber, pp.336, £14.99, ISBN: 9780571296576

On a recent weekend I was thinking of taking my sons to downtown Istanbul to do some bazaar browsing. ‘Bad idea’,  a fellow expatriate warned me, ‘revolution on Taxim Square.… Read more

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-POLITICS-CRISIS

Let Putin have Crimea – and it will destroy him

29 March 2014

David Cameron says that Russia’s annexation of Crimea ‘will not be recognised’. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk promises that ‘we will take our territory back’. They are both misguided. Let… Read more

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Vladimir Putin's new plan for world domination

22 February 2014

It’s been a generation or so since Russians were in the business of shaping the destiny of the world, and most of us have forgotten how good they used to… Read more

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Putin’s own Cold War

17 August 2013

Whose side is Vladimir Putin on? It’s a question worth asking, because of late the Kremlin has come closer and closer to the tipping point between obstreperousness and outright hostility… Read more

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China: the Middle East’s new power broker

22 June 2013

It’s exactly ten years since Iranian dissidents first blew the cover of a secret uranium-enrichment facility under a mountain at Natanz, in a bleak stretch of desert near Isfahan. Ever… Read more

Newsweek Announces It's Going Digital Only, Will End Print Edition

Who killed Newsweek?

29 December 2012

So farewell then, Newsweek magazine, which published its last print issue this week. After 79 years — 15 of them as my employer — the venerable old rag is to… Read more

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Istanbul: Going Deeper

30 June 2012

You’ve done the sights: the Hagia Sofia and the great imperial mosques, the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar, the Bosporus cruise and Basilica Cistern. With the tourist boxes ticked… Read more

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Set art free

10 March 2012

Let’s not waste more millions ‘saving’ Old Masters Last week the National Gallery and National Gallery of Scotland proudly announced that they had jointly raised £45 million to buy Titian’s… Read more

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A crackdown on kleptocrats

4 December 2010

The law is catching up with Russia’s corrupt oligarchs Moscow’s White House is a fairly pleasing pile, at least by the standards of late Soviet architecture. Its colonnaded white stone… Read more

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There’s something rotten in the state of Russia

6 January 2010

There is a chilling sequence in Tsar, Pavel Lungin’s dark and brilliant new film about Ivan the Terrible. Ivan, played by the mercurial rock musician Pyotr Mamonov, steps out of… Read more

Russia’s ignorant still hate Solzhenitsyn

6 August 2008

In Russia, writers are more than just writers. Russians look to their literary heroes not simply for beauty and entertainment, but for a philosophy of life. Writers do more than… Read more

The mystery of Moscow’s empty supermarket shelves

20 September 2006

My local supermarket in Moscow is, by any standards, a well-heeled place. It’s called the Alphabet of Taste, and its mission is to present its wealthy Moscow consumers with refined… Read more

The price of protection in a lawless land

5 July 2006

The village clubhouse at Nikolina Gora, a well-heeled dacha village just outside Moscow, is usually a delightfully sedate place. Local residents Mstislav Rostropovich and Sergei Prokofiev used to give recitals… Read more

Owen Matthews

5 November 2005

Baghdad Just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you, and someone’s definitely out to get us. Last week the Palestine hotel, home to many journalists… Read more

Ankara should be wary of Brussels

16 October 2004

Earlier this month Turkey’s bid to join the European Union crept past the tipping point from possibility to probability. The European Commission recommended that accession negotiations be opened with Ankara,… Read more

Bagged by the USA

29 May 2004

Owen Matthews goes on patrol with American soldiers in Afghanistan’s ‘Indian Country’ and sees them capture and interrogate suspects It was one of those wonderfully luminous Afghan days, the spring… Read more

Something fishy for Haddock

17 May 2003

If there is any justice in the world, Captain Duane Haddock of US special forces is due a medal. He was, we can reveal, the first coalition soldier to find… Read more

‘The minarets are our bayonets’

23 November 2002

Istanbul I have no doubt that Allah moves in mysterious ways. But if He has chosen Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the instrument of His vengeance on the infidel, He must… Read more