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Weekly Regional Brief

Turkish Interest Rates

On Thursday, October 21, Turkey’s central bank “slashed Turkey’s benchmark interest rate by two percentage points to 16 percent,” a move that further devalued the lira. As of September, Turkey’s annual inflation rate was approximately 20 percent. 

US Airstrike in Syria

On Friday, October 22, U.S. forces conducted a drone strike in Syria, ultimately killing senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar. Only two days prior, Al-Qaeda forces attacked a U.S. outpost in Syria and, according to military officials, Al-Matar’s death will “disrupt the terrorist organisation’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians.”

Coup in Sudan

Since the 2019 overthrow of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan has been ruled by a combination military and civilian government; however, this past month has been filled with protests for an exclusively military-led government and, in response, protests for a civilian-led democratic government. 

On Monday, October 25, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok “was arrested and moved to an undisclosed location after refusing to issue a statement in support of the coup.” Other civilian leaders were arrested as well. The military placed the country under a state of emergency, censored internet, radio, and television communications, dissolved the country’s cabinet, and shut down the capital’s airport. 

Arabic Sources from the Region

“Sudan in the Military’s Grip” 

Many leaders from the civilian wing of the transitional government were arrested Monday, hours after meeting with US envoy to the horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman. Feltman presented proposals to both the military and civilian wings of the transitional government to “get the country out of its current crisis.” Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was taken to an undisclosed location. The Sudanese Foreign Minister, Miriam Al-Saadiq Al-Mahdi, stated leaders would find a way to communicate with each other despite limited internet connection. Al-Mahdi added that the attempted coup against the transitional government was “dangerous” and “unacceptable”, adding, “any coup in the country is rejected, and we will resist it with all civil means.” World leaders reacted with concern for Sudan. The United States condemned the move, adding that continuing the coup could lead to the end of US aid. A representative from the Arab League stated the Arab League is concerned about the situation and wants the parties to return to the original agreement, adding that it is “important to respect all decisions and agreements that were agreed upon regarding the transitional period.”

This article was published by Al-Akhbar, an Egyptian-based Arabic news source owned by the Egyptian government.

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In 2017, Arab Americans began a national initiative to coordinate and advocate for an Arab American Heritage Month. Governmental agencies throughout the United States responded and several cities and states have issued proclamations in recognition of their Arab American communities. TeachMideast curated this collection of resources to introduce students and educators to the history, culture, […]

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