Beyond the Coast

Hamid Karzai…Afghanistan…And Others

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun One of the most difficult aspects of writing an opinion piece on world affairs a week before publication date in order to meet deadlines set by the newspaper is the speed which things can change around the world. What seems to be the most important thing on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 15, may be ... Read More »

On Biased Media & Biased Education

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun I spend most my Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings scanning through many foreign newspapers and magazines published either in Turkish or English in order to get a feeling of what the journalists beyond the coast think about the events in our country and interpret these events to their local populations. Some of the stories ... Read More »

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun It has been more than a year since our consulate in Benghazi was attacked by Al-Qaeda associated terrorists (Ansar-Al Sharia/Partisans of Sharia Law) and our Ambassador was assassinated along with two former Navy Seals and a State Department employee. To date, no one has been arrested and all 15 Libyans who cooperated with the investigation ... Read More »

What the World Needs Now…

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun After a self-imposed exile of nearly three months from Coastal Breeze News, I am back. If you are as interested as I am in the affairs of the world in general and the Middle East in particular, you would also have been as angry as I was to the point where I could no longer ... Read More »

Stormy Seas Ahead

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun A very smart and successful businessman from Turkey who was my classmate at Robert College of Istanbul recently sent me the following paragraph: “A short guide to the Middle East” “Iran is backing Assad. Gulf States are against Assad! Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi of Egypt. But ... Read More »

The Chong Chon Gang

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun The Chong Chon Gang is a 450 foot, non-descript aging tramp steamer carrying the Democratic Republic of North Korea flag. When it was stopped by Panamanian authorities on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal last week, it was quite obvious that the cargo manifest she was carrying was as phony as the word “Democratic” ... Read More »

Revolution… Coup… What’s next?

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun After reading as many news articles as possible and watching most news channels for updates about the events in Egypt, I asked myself if anyone was surprised about the most recent events in Egypt. Readers may recall my article about Egypt during the Arab Spring; I was cautiously optimistic about democracy’s arrival in Egypt ... Read More »

What is going on in Turkey…

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun It is common knowledge among my readers and my friends that I was born and raised in Turkey and lived the first twenty years of my life in Istanbul. So it is natural that I have been getting many phone calls, emails and text messages asking me this very question. Being away from the ... Read More »

The Frog and the Scorpion

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun The story may be an old one; but it is effective and meaningful today as it ever was. And it goes like this: The scorpion approaches the frog that was resting on the banks of the river. “Please take me to the other side” he begs. “I will not” responds the frog, “you will ... Read More »

Situational awareness…

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun People, young and old, are packed on both sides of the road at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It is a public holiday in Boston and the perfect day for a marathon. Two young men carrying black backpacks walk amongst the crowd stop and drop off their deadly loads on the curb, ... Read More »


It is getting increasingly difficult to focus on events taking place around the world. It seems like a new story pops up every day in a different part of our troubled globe. Today things are much different from the “good old days” when the world was neatly divided up by the two super powers: USA and the Soviet Union. Whenever ... Read More »

Third Bridge to the “Other Side”

Growing up in Istanbul in the 50’s and the 60’s the “other side” meant either the Asian side or the European side of the City depending on which side you lived on. The Bosphorus Straits, a waterway which divides the city into two distinct parts and carries the cold waters of the Black Sea in Northern Turkey towards the warmer ... Read More »

Senkaku/Diaoyu Crisis…

The Wall Street Journal reported from the Yokota Air Base in Japan that the highest ranking U.S. Military commander in Japan, Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella, expressed his concern about Tokyo’s intensifying territorial dispute with China, calling it a “very bad situation” and blamed the Chinese navy for what he termed “a provocative act that can become dangerous.” “The Senkaku/Diaoyu Island ... Read More »

Mali! Again!

When I wrote about what was going on in Mali a few issues ago as a follow-up to my earlier story about what happened in Benghazi; many readers emailed me wondering the importance (or lack thereof) and the timing of the story. The events of last week in Algeria and in Mali brought this important area of Africa back into ... Read More »


BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun 2012 has certainly been a very interesting, confusing and, in many ways, a terrible year. My only wish is that 2013 will not be a repeat performance. Friday, December the 14, 2012, was and will remain as the worst day of my life. It doesn’t matter how many times I try to get the events ... Read More »

Middle East – A powder keg…

Beyond the Coast Events in the Middle East are heating up rapidly and will most probably be coming to a conclusion; one way or the other very soon. In order for the readers to connect the dots and make their own conclusions, I will list my interpretation of the latest events and the countries involved. SYRIA By far the most ... Read More »

A most memorable Thanksgiving…

  BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun Thanksgiving 1975, will remain as one of the most memorable and strange Thanksgiving holidays for my wife and me. We were living in Istanbul, Turkey while I completed my compulsory military service in the Turkish Armed Forces. My wife and our one year old son lived in the first floor of my childhood home ... Read More »

On Heroes and Cowards

          A hero is defined as someone who deliberately and courageously overcomes obstacles for the benefit of others without regard to personal consequences. A coward is defined as a person who shows disgraceful fear and shameful lack of courage or fortitude under difficult conditions at the expense of others. This week, as we learn more and ... Read More »

A real and growing danger…

BEYOND THE COAST  Tarik Ayasun When the last US troops left Iraq, Al-Qaida terrorists were believed to have around 1,000 fighters remaining in the area. The last intelligence estimates clearly indicate that there are now more than 2,500 fighters; and various new terrorist training camps have opened all around the desert areas of Iraq and the numbers of these terrorists ... Read More »

What Is Going On In Mali?

BEYOND THE COAST Tarik Ayasun Most readers may not be familiar with Mali, a landlocked country in interior Western Africa, twice the size of Texas, divided into three natural zones; the Southern, cultivated Sudanese area; the Central semiarid Sahelian; and the Northern, arid Saharan. It is located to the southwest of Algeria, north of Guinea, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, ... Read More »