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Turkey

Turkey Asks, Erdogan Worries: What Will Gul Do?

The current President of the Republic mulls whether to stand against his old ally Prime Minister Erdogan in upcoming direct presidential elections. Turkey's political future is at stake.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gül attending a ceremony in Istanbul
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gül attending a ceremony in Istanbul
Boris Kálnoky

ISTANBUL — By May 9 we should know the name of the candidate from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for the August presidential elections. Either President Abdullah Gül will withdraw entirely from the political scene or swap places with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who wants to be president.

Gül is the only remaining force in Turkey who can brake Erdogan and repair damaged relations with the European Union. The question is, will he try?

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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