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Turkey-Syria border: All the latest updates | Turkey News



Turkey has launched a long-threatened military operation in northeast Syria to remove Kurdish-led forces from the border area and create a “safe zone” to resettle millions of Syrian refugees.

The move came after the United States announced it was withdrawing its troops from the region, effectively abandoning the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its main ally in the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) armed group.

The SDF, led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), has denounced Washington’s move as a “stab in the back”.

Turkey considers the YPG a “terrorist” group. 

The United Nations, the European Union and other world powers have expressed alarm over the Turkish plan, warning that any military action could exacerbate the suffering of Syrians already beleaguered by eight years of conflict.

Here are all the latest updates:

Wednesday, October 9

UN Security Council to meet on Thursday: Report

The United Nations Security Council will meet on Syria behind closed-doors on Thursday, diplomats told the Reuters news agency.

The discussion of the situation in Syria by the 15-member Security Council was requested by the body’s five European members, Britain, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland, the diplomats added.

SDF halt counter-ISIL operations: Report

The SDF halted operations against ISIL in Syria amid Turkey’s military offensive, two US officials and a Kurdish military source told Reuters.

“The SDF stopped the anti-ISIS operations because it’s impossible to carry out any operation while you are being threatened by a large army right on the northern border,” the Kurdish military source said.

One of the US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the suspension also impacted US training of stabilisation forces in Syria.

Ankara informed Damascus of offensive, Turkish FM says

Turkey sent a diplomatic note to Syria’s consulate in Istanbul to inform Damascus about its cross-border operation into northeast Syria, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said shortly after Ankara launched the offensive.

Speaking to reporters in Algeria, Cavusoglu said Turkey’s operation was based on its rights related to international law and added that Ankara had informed all the necessary actors, including the United Nations and NATO.

Operation Peace Spring begins

Erdogan said Turkey’s mission was ‘to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area’ [Esber Ayaydin/Anadolu]

Two civilians killed by Turkish bombing: SDF

Turkish bombardment of a village west of border town Ras al-Ain killed at least two civilians and wounded two others, the SDF said.

A witness told the Reuters news agency that thousands of people had fled Ras al-Ain deeper into SDF-controlled territory towards Hasaka province. 

Germany accuses Turkey of risking ISIL resurgence

Turkey “is willingly risking further destabilising the region and a resurgence of IS [ISIL]” by attacking northeastern Syria, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

“Syria needs stability and a political process… however, the Turkish offensive now threatens to cause a new humanitarian disaster,” Maas said in a statement, adding that Berlin would “urge Turkey to end its offensive and to pursue its security interests peacefully”.

Turkey launches military operation in northeast Syria

NATO chief urges Turkish ‘restraint’

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Turkey should act with “restraint” and any military action taken should be “proportionate”, adding that it was important not to destablise the region any further.

Stoltenberg told reporters that Turkey had “legitimate security concerns” and had informed NATO about its planned offensive earlier in the day.

“I count on Turkey to act with restraint and ensure that any action it may take in northern Syria is proportionate and measured,” he said after meeting Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. “It is important to avoid actions that may further destabilise the region, escalate tensions and cause more human suffering.”

Turkey-backed rebels vow to strike ‘with iron fist’

Turkey’s rebel allies in northern Syria said they would have no mercy on Syrian Kurdish fighters in the country’s northeast, whom they said had left them no choice but a battle.

“Strike them with an iron fist, make them taste the hell of your fires,” a statement from the so-called National Army, the main Turkey-backed rebel force told its fighters. It also called for sparing civilians and those who defected to the rebels.

A Turkish army's tank drives towards the border with Syria near Akcakale in Sanliurfa province on October 8, 2019. Turkey said on October 8, 2019, it was ready for an offensive into northern Syria, w

A Turkish tank drives towards the border with Syria [Bulent Kilic/AFP]

Turkish warplanes pounding military positions, villages, SDF says

Turkish jets were bombing SDF military positions and villages in Tal Abyad, Ras al-Ain, Qamishli and Ain Issa, the Kurdish-spearheaded group said in a post on Twitter, adding there were initial reports of civilian casualties from the strikes.

“Intensive bombardment by Turkish jets on military positions and civilians villages in #Tal_Abyad , #Serê_Kanye, #Qamishlo and #Ain_Issa. According to initial reports there are casualties among civilian people,” the SDF said.

EU official calls on Turkey to halt offensive

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged Turkey to halt its military operation and warned the European Union would not help finance the creation of any “safe zone” in northeastern Syria.

“I call on Turkey as well as on the other actors to act with restraint and to stop operations already, as we are speaking, underway,” Juncker told EU legislators.

The EU is paying Turkey more than $6bn to help the country cope with millions of Syrian refugees hosted on its territory in exchange for stopping migrants leaving for Europe. However, Ankara is seeking more money amid concerns that thousands of Syrians could soon cross its border.

People flee border town: Report

A witness in the Syrian town of Tel Abyad told Reuters that sounds of explosions rang out and smoke was rising near the border with Turkey, as people fled the town en masse amid the beginning of the Turkish offensive.

SDF appeals for ‘no-fly zone’

The SDF appealed to the US and its allies for a “no-fly zone” to protect it from Turkish attacks.

“The SDF showed good faith to the security mechanism agreement between the US and Turkey. This left our people defenceless,” the group said.

A Turkish miltary convoy is pictured in Kilis near the Turkish-Syrian border, Turkey, October 9, 2019

A Turkish miltary convoy is pictured in Kilis near the Turkish-Syrian border [Mehmet Ali Dag/ Ihlas News Agency via Reuters]

Ankara summons US envoy over Syria operation

The US ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry to be briefed on the military offensive into northeastern Syria, broadcaster CNN Turk reported, minutes after Ankara launched its cross-border operation.

Erdogan announces military operation has begun

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country’s long-threatened military operation in northeastern Syria had started.

“The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, just launched #OperationPeaceSpring against PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists in northern Syria,” Erdogan said in a post on Twitter, referencing the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).

“Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area,” he added.

SDF: Turkish airstrikes have started

SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said Turkish warplanes had started carrying out airstrikes on “civilian areas”.

“There is a huge panic among people of the region,” Bali said in a post on Twitter.

Tens of thousands of Syrian fighters mobilised by Turkey

Tens of thousands of Syrian proxy fighters have been mobilised to take part in the Turkish offensive, a spokesman said.

The Syrian fighters, most of them from northwestern areas controlled by Turkey since previous offensives in 2016 and 2018, were gathered in a former refugee camp in the Turkish border town of Akcakale.
They belong to factions of the FSA, a coalition of groups armed and financed by Ankara.

At least 18,000 fighters are due to participate in the first stage of the Turkish offensive, according to Abdelrahman Ghazi Dadeh, spokesman for Anwar al-Haq, a small faction within the FSA. Dadeh said 8,000 would target the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad and 10,000 the town of Ras al-Ain, Dadeh told journalists in Akcakale.

An undetermined number of additional fighters were also expected to be mobilised for an assault on Kobane. All three towns in northeastern Syria are controlled by the YPG.

Analysis: Could Turkey’s military moves destabilise north Syria?

France’s Macron ‘very worried’ over Turkey operation in Syria

French President Emmanuel Macron is very worried at the prospect of a Turkish army operation into areas controlled by Kurdish forces in northern Syria, his office said.

Macron met senior Syrian Kurdish official Ilham Ahmed at the Elysee Palace on Monday “to show that France stands alongside the SDF as they are partners in the fight against ISIL and that we are very worried by the possibility of a Turkish operation in Syria,” a presidential aide told AFP.

The aide added that Paris would “pass on these messages” to the Turkish authorities.

World Leaders Address United Nations General Assembly

French President Emmanuel Macron met with senior Syrian Kurdish official Ilham Ahmed at the Elysee Palace on Monday [File: Stephanie Keith/AFP]

Macron has on occasion irritated Turkey by hosting in Paris members of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces and its political wing, the Syrian Democratic Council.

Ankara insists such groups are merely fronts for the YPG, an arm of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged a three-and-a-half decade armed campaign against Turkey.

Turkey says it will inform all actors about Syria offensive

Turkey will inform all relevant countries, including the Syrian government, about its planned offensive, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

Speaking at a news conference in Algeria, Cavusoglu said the operation will be carried out in line with international law and that the only target of the offensive is armed fighters in the region.

He said Erdogan had told US President Donald Trump at the weekend that Ankara would launch the offensive after Washington stalled efforts to form a “safe zone” in the region.

Meanwhile, a vehicle believed to be carrying Turkish intelligence agents has arrived at a border point in Akcakale, Turkey near the Syrian town of Tal Abyad.

The white car was seen, which according to police was carrying Turkish intelligence officials, followed by another vehicle, believed to be carrying FSA rebels.

According to local police, the intelligence agents had arrived to carry out inspections.

Arab League chief criticises Turkey’s Syria push

The head of the Arab League said he was alarmed at Turkey’s planned military offensive into northeastern Syria.

In a statement on Wednesday, Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that such an invasion would be a “blatant violation of Syria’s sovereignty and threatens Syria’s integrity”.

He added that Turkey’s planned incursion also threatens to inflame further conflicts in eastern and northern Syria, and “could allow for the revival” of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) armed group.

Fighters from a new border security force under the command of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dance during a graduation ceremony in Hasaka, northeastern Syria, January 20, 2018

The SDF said Turkish warplanes had started carrying out airstrikes on ‘civilian areas’ [File: Rodi Said/Reuters]

Iran calls on Turkey to show restraint

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called on Turkey to show restraint and avoid military action in northern Syria, and said US forces should leave the region.

“Turkey is rightfully worried about its southern borders. We believe that a correct path should be adopted to remove those concerns,” state news agency IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying.

“American troops must leave the region,” he added. “Kurds in Syria… should support the Syrian army.” 

Iran holds unannounced military drill near Turkey border

Iran’s army began an unannounced military drill in the northwest of the country bordering Turkey, Iranian Students News Agency ISNA reported, as Turkish troops prepare to enter the territory of Iran’s ally Syria.

ISNA said the drill included rapid reaction units, mobile and offense brigades, and helicopters from the Army Ground Force’s Air Unit.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said his country’s preparations and deployments for its planned military offensive are continuing.

It was not clear where Akar was speaking from.

Syria’s territorial integrity must be preserved, says Russia’s Lavrov

Syria’s territorial integrity must be preserved, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said as Turkish forces prepared to enter the country.

US actions in the region are contradictory and Russia is urging dialogue between Damascus and Syria’s Kurds, he told reporters during a visit to Kazakhstan following a surprise withdrawal by US troops.

“Americans have violated their promises many times,” Lavrov said, adding that the US are playing “a very dangerous game”.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Nursultan

Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov speaks during a joint press conference held with his Kazakhstan counterpart, Mukhtar Tleuberdi (not seen) in the capital Nur Sultan [Anadolu Agency]

The foreign minister also discussed the issue with Kurdish leaders in Iraq.

“They are extremely alarmed that such a lightweight treatment of this extremely delicate subject could ignite the entire region,” he said.

Syrian Kurds call up civilians

The Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria called up civilians to defend the region against a feared Turkish assault, believed to be imminent.

“We announce three days of general mobilisation in northern and eastern Syria,” it said in a statement, urging all civilians to “head to the border with Turkey to fulfil their duty.”

ISIL fighters hit US-backed Kurdish fighters

A US-backed force and two Syrian activist groups say ISIL fighters carried out an attack in the city of Raqqa in northern Syria.

The attack targeted an SDF-held post in Raqqa, which was once ISIL’s de facto capital.

The attack came as Turkey was expected to launch an offensive against the Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria.

The Kurdish fighters said ISIL launched three suicide attacks against its positions in Raqqa. There was no word on casualties.

Erdogan aide says Turkey to start Syria offensive ‘shortly’

The Turkish military, together with the FSA, will cross the Syrian border “shortly”, Erdogan‘s communications director said as Ankara prepared to start military action in the region.

In a tweet, Fahrettin Altun said that Kurdish fighters there could either defect or Ankara would have to “stop them from disrupting” Turkey’s struggle against ISIL.

Tuesday, October 8

SDF says Turkey is shelling border point

The SDF said Turkish forces were attacking one of its positions near the border.

“The Turkish military is shelling one of our points on #SereKaniye Border with Turkey,” the SDF said in a post on Twitter, referencing the key border town of Ras al-Ain.

“There were no injuries to our forces. We didn’t respond to this unprovoked attack. We are prepared to defend the people and the people of NE #Syria,” it added.

Ras al-Ain was one of the places from which US troops withdrew from on Monday, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Turkish MPs extend mandate for cross-border operations

Turkey’s parliament voted to extend by another year a mandate that allows the government to order cross-border military offensives in Iraq and Syria.

The mandate has allowed the country to battle Kurdish rebels, ISIL fighters and other groups that Turkey views as “terrorists” in Iraq and Syria and has been extended every year since 2014.

The current mandate expires on October 30.

Turkish ambassador urges states to take back suspected ISIL fighters

Umit Yalcin, Turkey’s ambassador to Britain, urged states to take back suspected ISIL fighters amid Turkey’s seemingly imminent military push into northern Syria.

“All the countries should take back their own ‘terrorist’ fighters or ‘terrorists’. That is the ideal thing. Because when they were leaving their countries, they had their nationalities and passports,” Yalcin told UK broadcaster Sky News.

“Those countries should take those people back to their own countries and they can bring them justice, or take them to court or rehabilitate them,” he added.

The SDF is currently holding 12,000 suspected ISIL fighters – some of whom are foreign nationals – in several detention facilities spread across northern Syria, as well as some 58,000 family members, according to reports.

U.S. and Turkish military forces conduct a joint ground patrol inside the security mechanism area in northeast, Syria, October 4, 2019. Picture taken October 4, 2019

Washington has made clear it does not support Turkey’s planned offensive  [US Army handout via Reuters]

Trump consulted Pentagon over Syria troop withdrawal

US President Donald Trump consulted with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley “over the last several days” about a possible Turkish strike in Syria, a spokesman for the US Defense Department said.

“Unfortunately, Turkey has chosen to act unilaterally. As a result, we have moved the US forces in northern Syria out of the path of potential Turkish incursion to ensure their safety. We have made no changes to our force presence in Syria at this time,” chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.

Russia warns against actions that ‘inhibit peace process’

Russia’s security council said it was important to avoid hindering the peace process in Syria, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The influential council discussed the creation of a constitutional committee in the country and “remarked that at this stage everyone should avoid any actions that can inhibit the peace process in Syria,” Peskov said.

Peskov had earlier said Russia was not informed about the withdrawal of the US from the region.

“We still don’t know which troops are being withdrawn, in what amount, and whether they are being withdrawn at all,” he added.

Will Turkey succeed in creating a ‘safe zone’ for Syrians?

Ankara plans to create a “safe zone” in northern Syria within which it can resettle millions of Syrian refugees currently residing in Turkey.

But some critics of the proposal have cast doubts over its feasibility.

Read more here.

Turkey’s Erdogan to visit US next month

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit the US on November 13 at the invitation of Trump, a White House spokesman said.

Trump said Erdogan was visiting as his “guest” in a series of earlier tweets defending his decision this week to withdraw US forces from northern Syria.

How would a Turkey-SDF battle play out?

With Turkey seemingly poised to cross its frontier with Syria imminently, analysts weighed what a military confrontation between Washington’s long-time Kurdish allies and its fellow NATO member might look like.

Read more here.

 Turkish military helicopter flies over as Turkish and U.S. troops return from a joint U.S.-Turkey patrol in northern Syria, as it is pictured from near the Turkish town of Akcakale, Turkey,

Turkey’s defence ministry has said it is all set to launch its military push into northeast Syria [File: Murad Sezer/Reuters]

Britain ‘deeply concerned’ by Turkish military plans

Britain said it was “deeply concerned” by Turkey’s looming move to target Kurdish militias in northern Syria.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the British government had been “consistently clear with Turkey that unilateral military action must be avoided as it would destabilise the region”.

Syrian minister calls on Kurds to reconcile with government

Faisal Mekdad, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, called on Syrian Kurds to rejoin the government side rather than “plunge into the abyss” as Kurdish militias in the country’s northeast brace for an imminent Turkish attack.

“The homeland welcomes all its sons and Damascus will solve all Syrian problems in a positive way, away from violence,” Mekdad was quoted as saying by the pro-government Al-Watan newspaper. 

“We advise those who have gone astray to return to the nation, because the nation is their final destiny,” he added , vowing to “defend all Syrian territory”.

Mekdad’s comments were the first Syrian government reaction since Trump‘s announcement on withdrawing US troops from the northern region.

Syrian Kurds take part in a demonstration against Turkish threats at a US-led international coalition base on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town in Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish border on Oc

Syrian Kurds take part in a demonstration near the Turkish border [Delil Souleiman/AFP]

Trump: US has not ‘abandoned the Kurds’

The US government had not “abandoned the Kurds”, Trump said in a post on Twitter, despite seemingly giving the green light for the Turkish operation by pulling US troops from the region.

“We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters,” Trump said.

Turkey says it is ready for Syria push

The Turkish defence ministry said it was all set to launch its military push into northeast Syria.

Turkey’s armed forces “will never tolerate the establishment of a terror corridor on our borders. All preparations for the operation have been completed,” it said in a post on Twitter.

“It is essential to establish a safe zone/peace corridor to contribute to our region’s peace and stability, and for Syrians to achieve a safe life.”

Read more here.

Will Turkey’s impending operation in Syria affect its economy? (2:07)

Turkish military struck Syria-Iraq border: Report

The Turkish military carried out attacks targeting the Syrian-Iraqi border overnight to prevent Kurdish forces using the route to reinforce northeast Syria, two Turkish officials told the Reuters news agency.

“One of the fundamental goals was to cut off before the operation in Syria the transit route between Iraq and Syria,” a security official said. “In this way, the group’s transit to Syria and support lines, including ammunition, are shut off.”

It was not clear what damage was caused or whether there were casualties.

Russia, Turkey discuss northeast Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the situation in northeast Syria with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, by telephone. 

A Russian foreign ministry statement released no details of the conversation but said the two ministers agreed to continue a close dialogue.

Russia, a major military ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad aiding his forces in the fight against rebels, has emerged as a leading power broker in Syria and has said that the country’s territorial integrity must be respected by all outside powers.

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‘Iranian threat’ gives Israel ‘fundamental right, even obligation’ to bomb whomever it wants – Pompeo — RT World News




Israel should not be constrained by international borders or laws if it feels under threat – and can always rely on US support – US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said following his meeting with Israeli PM and the chief of Mossad.

The US administration has always been “very clear” that it gives Israel a free rein in hunting down any purported sprouts of ‘Iranian threat’ in the region, using national security as an ultimate excuse, Pompeo said in an interview with Jerusalem Post.

Israel has the fundamental right to engage in activity that ensures the security of its people. It’s at the very core of what nation-states not only have the right to do, but an obligation to do.

Also on
Lebanon, Iraq, Iran call out Israel’s ‘declaration of war’ after it bombs 3 COUNTRIES in one weekend

The withdrawal of American troops from Syria raised some concerns in Tel Aviv, but Pompeo rushed to emphasize that the US remains committed to “continuing that activity that the US has been engaged in now for a couple of years.”

We know this is a corner where Iran has attempted to move weapon systems across into Syria, into Lebanon, that threatens Israel, and we are going to do everything we can to make sure we have the capacity to identify those so that we can, collectively, respond appropriately.

Pompeo visited Israel following his urgent trip to Turkey, where he convinced President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to temporarily halt the cross-border operation in Syria, somewhat allowing the Trump administration to save its face after the ‘betrayal’ of its Kurdish allies.

In Tel Aviv, Pompeo held a meeting with the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, apparently reassuring them that the US withdrawal wasn’t a sign of weakness or intentions to reduce its pressure on Tehran.

Also on
3 signs the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Iran isn’t working

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Brexit sparks boom in applications for politics courses




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Getty Images

The country remains deeply divided over the likely impact of Brexit, but one clear winner has already emerged – politics departments at universities.

There has been a 28% surge in applications to politics courses since the debate about Europe took off in the run-up to the 2016 referendum.

Applications went up by from 34,275 in 2013 to 47,445 in 2018 – according to the UCAS, which oversees admissions.

Liverpool University has trebled the size of its politics department.

That trend is largely reflected at institutions across the country and the number of students accepted on to politics courses in the five years to 2018 rose by 27% to 7,990, according to UCAS.

Liverpool University politics lecturer Jon Tonge says that other dramatic political events, such as the Scottish independence referendum and the 2015 general election, have also boosted applications.

And the fierce, often toxic, nature of the debate on social media has also captured the attention of young people, he said.

“It is a terrible thing to say, but the more unhealthy and divisive the debate is, the better it is for politics departments in terms of bums on seats,” said Prof Tonge.

  • Brexit row ‘dreadful lesson’ for children
  • Young Tories on life after May

It is all a far cry from the Blair years, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, dubbed the “tranquil age of politics” by Prof Tonge, when “consensus” reigned and politics courses were “not recruiting in huge numbers”.

Christopher Massey, a lecturer at Teesside University, which has just launched a BA (Hons) course in politics, agrees that Brexit has had a big impact on student numbers but Donald Trump’s presidency and protest movements such as Extinction Rebellion have also played a part.

“You cannot avoid politics now – it has even ousted celebrity culture in the news headlines, as something that shapes their lives,” he says.

‘I enjoy the drama’

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Jake Wilson

Image caption

Ted Hollas and Harry Souter are hoping to study politics at university

Ted Hollas and Harry Souter are A-level politics students at York College and both are hoping to study the subject at university.

Ted, 17, who describes himself as “right wing, but socially liberal”, said: “I hear people saying they are so bored with Brexit but I am really interested in it. I follow every twist of it in Parliament and I enjoy the drama.

“I would like a career in politics. I want to get try to get in there and make a difference.

“I imagine its is very intimidating, and a lot of pressure, but I am not going to let that put me off.”

Harry, 18, a self-described left-winger, said: “I got interested in politics through social media.

“When Brexit and Trump being elected happened there was so much more discourse about politics. Because people have such strong opinions you end up getting into it more. It feels more important.

“I like to know what I am talking about and studying politics helps with that. It is rewarding to be able to have a discussion with somebody and explain how you feel.”

Tim Evans, professor of business and political economy at Middlesex University, says politics is a lot less predictable – and lot “messier” – than it used to be, and students do not fit neatly into categories like Leave and Remain.

“I think it’s the most exciting time to study and to teach politics since the rise of the libertarian right in the 1980s and the collapse of the Soviet Union,” he says.

But like other academics he is at pains to stress that Brexit is not the only game in town. Students are also looking to the global picture and issues such as climate change and artificial intelligence.

Robert Lamb, head of politics at Exeter University, says: “Our students have chosen to study politics because they are increasingly desperate to make sense of the tumultuous and bewildering times in which they live.”

Others see Brexit as a narrow, parochial issue which can put young people off politics.

“The increase in interest in studying politics should not be seen only as a result of dramatic developments in British politics around Brexit but wider shifts in global politics,” says Dibyesh Anand, Professor of International Relations and Head of the School of Social Sciences, at Westminster University.

“In fact, in our case, a very diverse student body has meant relatively tepid interest in British politics but a high interest in politics beyond Britain as well as international relations.

“To an extent, this could also illustrate a challenge British politics faces – it remains dominated by white men – and students from BME background, especially women, do not feel it is welcoming of them.”


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Inside world’s ‘best plane seat’ with 50sq-ft cabin and caviar starters – World News




It is billed as one of the best plane seats that money can buy and at up to £5,000 for a one way ticket will cost you quite a bit too.

The Suites class cabin on offer from Singapore Airlines is the biggest in the world at 50 square feet and comes with its own bed.

The Airline won Airline Ratings’ First Class Award for 2019 for the areas designed to be like small hotel rooms.

And now travel expert Jean Arnas, from The Points Guy UK , has given a glimpse inside the luxurious cabin in a jaw-dropping video.

His first-class experience began at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2 where he was taken to the first-class lounge by an airport buggy and then to the gate.

After being assigned to one of six suites on board, Jean was pampered with Krug Chamapagne and caviar starters.

Jean enjoyed a glass of champagne in a leather-finished chair in his own cabin


There is a wardrobe space big enough to fit an adult within his individual cabin.

During his 13-hour flight to Singapore, Jean got himself was able to relax on a50sq-ft bed with a plush duvet and extra soft bedding.

He told MailOnline : “The space is completely surreal. Having 50 square feet onboard feels super luxurious.

“And because I had no neighbour next to me they also gave me the other half, so I had 100 square feet to myself.”

Jean explained that the two suites at the back are solo suites, while the other four suites can be converted into a double room by lifting the sliding door.

Suite guests are served with top class cuisine

The wardrobe is big enough to fit in a person


But as much as he found the service ‘incredible’ and ‘super friendly’, he revealed there was not a public area to relax unlike the Emirates and Etihad.

He continued: “There are no showers like on the Emirates A380 and Etihad A380. It was better than I was expecting.

“The crew were even nicer, food was much better, drinks were flowing, and the cabin was bigger than I thought. It was the best flight of my life.”

A Krug Champagne comes with the £5,000 ticket

Read More

Top news stories from Mirror Online

A single flight from London to Singapore is around £5,000 but you can also pay part of it with mile points.

Nicky Kelvin, director of content at The Points Guy UK, was able to book the Singapore Suites for as little as £19, with roughly 125,000 KrisFlyer points.

For more information on travel tips and tricks, sign up to The Points Guy UK .


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