MIDEAST MIRROR 06.05.15, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)
1-From today’s Turkish press
JUNE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS: Fuat Keyman reveals the root of the ruling party’s approach in centre-left Radikal: "We are getting closer to the [June 7th] elections. As they approach, the parties are using harsher terms in criticizing each other. There is no doubt that this will be the most crucial election of recent years. The AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] is not facing these elections with its usual degree of comfort. The great uncertainty about the results is causing it severe discomfort. The AKP will continue to rule Turkey; this is still a strong possibility, but exactly how strong remains unclear for now. That is why keeping the HDP [pro-Kurdish leftist alliance] from passing the 10% electoral threshold forms the basis of the AKP’s election strategy.”
Mehmet Tezkan depicts a deeply concerned president in centrist Milliyet: "The president [Erdogan] switched tack on Sunday; he shifted gear. He bombarded the opposition leaders. He began establishing a basis for entering a polemic with them. In his heart, he was not pleased by AKP’s progress. He was not satisfied with PM Ahmet Davutoglu's performance. The opinion polls he sees are not pleasing. Sensing that the situation is not good, and that the ruling party has begun to slide down hill, he felt that he had to take charge."
Cuneyt Arcayurek sees no limit to the president’s ambitions in secular, Kemalist Cumhuriyet: "President Erdogan is not imprisoned by the fear of losing power or all these opportunities alone. If the remedy to every problem lies in the Qur’an, then let us know which verse tells us how we are going to resolve the problem of a presidential system. This man [Erdogan] is neither secular, nor a democrat. There is nothing he will not do to satisfy his desires."
Ibrahim Kiras argues that the opposition has chosen a non-ideological approach in centrist Vatan: "The common point between the various opposition parties' election manifestos is the economy. They seem to have given up their former efforts to win the people’s support by pursuing an ideologically driven agenda. This is because the AKP’s 13 years in power allow it to resist ideological attacks thanks to the support it has received from society because of its economy-based performance, and it has always been the winning side in any ideological-based fight due to its centre-right party identity."
Oya Baydar assails the president for violating the constitution in independent Internet T24: "President Erdogan is violating the most basic principles of the constitution every day and at every moment. And, fearlessly, he relies on having been elected by the 52 per cent of the people to legitimize this violation. Everyone knows that even being elected with 100 per cent would not legitimize the violation of the constitution."
Ibrahim Karagul detects a change in the opposition’s discourse in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-government Yeni Safak: "Is anyone paying attention to the discourse that [HDP leader] Selahattin Demirtas has been using in his election campaign? Are they aware of the shift from ethnic nationalism to settling accounts with Islam? He forgot the fight for Kurdish language rights, and launched a war against 'religion' instead. Such a rapid transition from a political discourse based on 'language' to one based on 'opposition to religion' is quite surprising even in a country such as Turkey where the political battle fronts are very harsh."
Kurtulus Tayiz charges the HDP with planning violence in centre-right, pro-government Aksam: "Without waiting for the elections’ results, we have begun to discuss the HDP's ‘Plan B’ should it fail to pass the election threshold. Demirtas must believe that his party will not pass the threshold since he is already talking about his post-election plans rather than his election plans. What is being described as 'Plan B' is no more than an open threat; if the HDP does not enter parliament, it will activate the Kurdish streets. Unfortunately, the HDP's axis rapidly shifted even before the elections; the Kurdish movement has left the democracy path. Moving closer to the CHP [main opposition Republican People' Party] and the Gulen movement, they moved away from the peace process and democracy."
2-From today’s Iranian press
NUCLEAR TALKS: Conservative Siyasat-e Ruz is downhearted: "As time passes, the problems and obstacles in the nuclear talks do not seem to have been resolved; rather they have increased. On the eve of an agreement, new problems posed by the U.S., UK and France have appeared. With new difficulties in various fields; the new challenges in the negotiations have created serious problems for reaching an agreement."
GCC/FRANCE: Conservative Khorasan berates the French: "French President Francois Hollande's attendance of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council’s summit continues the opportunistic path of his country and that of some Arabs. The socialist government of France is involved in commercial activity in the region. In return for its political support of Arab requests, the French government sells weapons and enjoys Arab investment in France. This policy has reduced France from a natural player with diplomatic status to a trivial trader. This policy will lead France to lose its credit in the region."
IRAN-SAUDI RELATIONS: Reformist Sharq laments a lost opportunity: "If Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanjani as head of Iran's Expediency Council had paid a political visit to Saudi Arabia to lead the two countries out of the dark political atmosphere to a brighter future, the American anti-Iranian front would not have emerged and the Saudi order of succession would probably not have been reshuffled. The effects of this lost opportunity will be felt more in the future."
SAUDI ROLE IN THE REGION: Reformist E'temad opines: "The weakening of Iraq, Egypt and Syria and, to some extent, the withdrawal of American forces from the region has led Saudi Arabia to abandon its conservative and supportive role in the region and seek to play an active and aggressive part. Saudi Arabia has started its aggression from Yemen, the weakest point in the region. The abandonment of the path that Saudi Arabia has chosen would be costly and will aggravate the power gap in the Arab world. The U.S. and its western allies might not accept such a gap. The absolute defeat of Saudi Arabia will be heavy and unacceptable and the consequences of failure would possibly impact Saudi domestic affairs."
ISIS THREATS TO GERMANY: Conservative Resalat is puzzled by German inaction: "German authorities are anxious about Takfiri and Salafi manoeuvres in their country. German Security agencies have repeatedly voiced their anxiety in this regard over the past year. The unification of Takfiris and Salafis in Germany with ISIS has further strengthened these groups. Why have German officials remained silent about Salafi activities in their country and even supported them? Saudi Arabia has financially supported many of them. Currently, German authorities frequently warn over terrorist activities in their country; these warnings seem to have come a bit late!"
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