ISTANBUL, Turkey — Obaida, a 22-year-old refugee from an area of Syria controlled by Islamic State, said he tried hard to get a passport the legal way. In May, he paid his way to Istanbul from the border town in Turkey where he now lives. He spent five days waiting in line at the Syrian consulate. He was told to return in a year.
The Great Debate
Police stage a dawn raid on a large-circulation newspaper armed with warrants to take the editor-in-chief into custody. There can be no image quite so potent of a government that has lost its democratic legitimacy or one that has something to hide. It’s happened in Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, and Somaliland. Last Sunday, it happened in Turkey.
It’s easy to get depressed about the Middle East these days. The bloodshed continues unabated in Syria. Islamic State advances across Iraq, sacking towns and slaughtering innocents. Millions are refugees. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seems well ensconced in Damascus, on track to outlasting President Barack Obama in office.