If you were a visitor from Venus this week you might conclude that the only news story that mattered was a wedding. But the royal wedding is fast becoming a British telenovela, complete with paparazzi, book deals and sibling fall-outs. It also turns out Princess Meghan has a family tree even more tangled than Prince Harry. It’s a bonanza for royal aficionados. So, we invited the doyen of commentators James Brookes, royal correspondent and director of broadcasting and communications, into the Sputnik studio to take a look at this long-running royal soap opera.
Britain historically propped up Turkish sultans in the ‘Great Game’ of the 19th century – even fighting a war with Russia in Crimea to do so. With the collapse of the caliphate at the end of World War I, the British adjusted easily to the era of the secular ‘Caliph’ Ataturk and even more easily with his dictatorial successors embracing Turkish membership of NATO. However, the rise and rise of an Islamist “sultan” in the form of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been more of a challenge. Turkey’s current position is that of an ally of Russia and Iran, a rival to Saudi Arabia and a disruptor of NATO’s relationship with Israel – all of which have complicated the issues. So, to help us untangle the knots, we invited Turkey expert Adam Garrie into the Sputnik studio.