MIDEAST MIRROR 05.05.15, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)
1-From today’s Turkish press
JUNE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS: Murat Yetkin takes note of a new potential coalition in centre-left Radikal: "As President Erdogan underlined in Diyarbakir on May 3rd, he is not expecting to secure the votes of 400 MPs (which would guarantee the presidential regime he seeks) from the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] alone this time round. If the AKP cannot open the presidential door to Erdogan, whose support would he seek for this purpose? The HDP [pro-Kurdish leftist alliance] seems to have ruled out such a possibility. Opposition CHP [Republican People's Party] leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu also did so long ago. Thus, only one party is left, and that is the MHP [Nationalist Movement Party]. Erdogan and PM Davutoglu have apparently begun to calculate the prospects of forming an alliance with the MHP, after seeing that the AKP cannot guarantee the goal of a full presidency."
Mehmet Tezkan describes a dysfunctional system in centrist Milliyet: "The president claims that this election is that of a transition to a presidential system. The other parties, including the ruling AKP are not in the same mood. Is the president acting like a president as defined in the constitution? No. Is the current system that of parliamentary system? No. Does the current regime have a name in the existing political literature? No, it does not. This unnamed regime will continue. If one were to ask until when, no-one would have the answer!"
Mustafa Balbay blames the president for a host of ills in secular, Kemalist Cumhuriyet: "As we head towards the June 7th elections, Turkey’s most serious problem is Erdogan, who is currently occupying the presidential chair. In every sphere, ranging from the manner in which he uses the media, to his AKP support that extends beyond the government; from his approach to Turkey's basic problems to his intervention in politics; we are dealing with a president who is not only constitutionally irresponsible but in every other manner as well. The state has turned into a tool in the hands of the government, and Erdogan is responsible for this."
Mumtazer Turkone believes the president is leading his party towards defeat in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-Gulen Zaman: "Erdogan's election campaign is going well. Since his name is not written on the ballot paper, the party that is losing is the AKP. Erdogan's insistence on the presidency and his effort to turn the elections into a referendum to pass a presidential regime are not the sole reasons behind this paradox. Democratic rivalry must be conducted in equal and fair conditions. This is not only valid between the parties; it is also one of the priorities of the electorate that is going to vote. The president’s use of his constitutional position in a manner that damages the climate of equal and fair competition has become a direct source of vulnerability for the AKP. The hegemony that Erdogan has established over the elections by using every opportunity before him, is dragging the AKP towards inevitable defeat."
Hakan Aksay takes comfort in that nothing lasts forever on independent internet T24: "Erdogan, who began to rule us when he was 49 years old, is now 61, and he continues to do the same job with even greater enthusiasm. Apart from heading his party, he has been prime minister three times, and was elected as president last summer. Now he has fixed his eye on a full presidency. Who knows what will enter his mind later on. We know that a man may make the mistake of thinking that his era is eternal. Erdogan's time to rule (as president of the republic, as full president, as sultan and party chair) will also end one day. It has already begun to crack over the last few months."
Ergun Babahan argues that Erdogan has reached his political end in centrist Millet: "One issue that President Erdogan is right about: The Republic that we know is almost at an end. This is directly due to the person leading it. Turkey is witnessing a president who is making election propaganda for a party and openly violating the constitution, while ignoring almost a hundred years of tradition, his oath to obey the constitution and the condition that he should stand at equal distance from all parties. When a politician takes the Quran in his hands at the election arena, this means he has come to the end of his political life."
Resul Tosun makes a case for a presidential regime in centre-right, pro-government Star: "Our politicians see their opponents not as rivals but as enemies. This approach is affecting the electorate as well, and people who belong to different parties now see each other not as parties to a sweet rivalry, but as enemies in different camps. I would not be exaggerating if I say that the presidential system will diminish this polarization. Because the sharp division of forces springs from a system in which attention is not focused on parties but on their performance."
2-From today’s Iranian press
NUCLEAR TALKS: Reformist Sharq is sceptical: "Since America has been the main opponent of Iran's nuclear programme, the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 have turned into direct and bilateral negotiations between Tehran and Washington. There is hope that if problems on the nuclear issue between Iran and the U.S. are resolved, a final agreement will materialize. These talks have led to many feats such as the Geneva deal and the Lausanne statement, but it is clear from remarks by U.S. officials that even acting in accordance with their fact sheet, will not work."
Conservative Resalat does not trust:" The P5+1 have left no room in their historical and political record for Iran to trust them! If the texts and confidential information related to the nuclear talks are published, none of the P5+1 will have a good reputation with Iranians. We should not forget that the other side has the potential and readiness to violate transparent and firm agreements; it is clear how they would act towards an agreement that has a little syntactic ambiguity or a legal paradox."
IRAN/SAUDI ARABIA: Conservative Khorasan calls for unpleasant realism: "Since Saudi King Salman took power, despite all the positive steps by Iran, no positive Saudi response has been registered. Up till now the two countries have had different views, but now, we should acknowledge that our strategic interests are in conflict. The probability of a nuclear deal has increased Saudi concerns about Iran's power in the region. The young Saudi leaders have not left any room for revision of their insane policies of supporting terrorism and fighting the resistance. Our best policy is not to cut the diplomatic channel while fundamentally revising our strategic ties with Riyadh. The visit of a high-ranking Iranian official will not make Saudi Arabia change its approach as some claim. No Saudi leader is willing to establish stability in the region."
SAUDI ARABIA/YEMEN: Hard-line Keyhan reflects: "Saudi Arabia's irrational and brutal attacks on Yemen were planned by the U.S. and the Zionists. Forty days of attacks have achieved nothing for the Saudis. On the contrary, the Yemeni people are more supportive of the Houthis and political turmoil in Saudi Arabia has intensified, as demonstrated by the royal succession changes and the absence of a number of princes from the allegiance ceremony of the new crown prince."
Conservative Hemayat insists that Iran has been an inspiration: "Yemen's recent uprisings to change the political structure of this poor and tribal country were completely a domestic issue. The majority of Yemenis are affected by the Islamic and humane school of thought. Despite significant ups and downs in the past 36 years, our Islamic revolution has never stopped influencing others. Even with foreign pressure and Saudi airstrikes, the Yemeni people seek to follow the pattern of the Islamic revolution of Iran and will never give in to foreign threats."
Conservative Khorasan argues that the goal is to divide Yemen: "Saudi Arabia seeks to divide Yemen in order to maintain its access to Bab-el-Mandeb. The Saudis have convinced the U.S. and Israel of the danger of a unified Yemen dominated by the Houthis. The attack on Yemen is in accordance with Saudi Arabia's Western supporters."
TERRORISM: Centrist Jomhuri-ye Eslami insists that the U.S. and the West are the main supporters of ISIS: "21 countries supply weapons to ISIS and America is the largest contributor. The West and its regional allies are the main source of weapons for terrorist groups active in the region, especially ISIS. Last year, the U.S. together with some Western countries and regional affiliates formed the so-called anti-ISIS coalition, which was a sham. After nearly a year, it has been fully proven that this coalition is useless. Selling weapons to regional countries, suppressing anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist resistance groups, safeguarding the existence of the Zionist regime and harming the reputation of Islam are the objectives that the colonial powers and the Zionists are trying to achieve in their secret political and military support for the terrorist groups."
Conservative Siyasat-e Ruz accuses many: "America's focus on the Middle East will diminish in the next decade. France seeks to fill America's place in the region; the UK and Germany are also interested. Regional players are helping to change the regional balance using terrorists to fulfil their unfulfilled dreams."
U.S./AFGHANISTAN: Conservative Quds contends that the U.S. is only attentive to its own interests: "One of the most important reasons for the Afghans signing a security pact with the U.S. was their hope that foreign forces will establish security and fight terrorism. Former President Hamed Karzai declined to sign this pact, which was strangely and hastily signed in the first days after the inauguration of President Ashraf Ghani. Months have passed and instability has considerably and unexpectedly increased across the country; foreign troops have not fulfilled their commitments and only observed. The U.S. commitment to provide Afghan forces with modern weapons was not honoured. It is clear that the deal paved the way for the U.S. to fulfil its demands, while Afghanis were left alone in the battlefield."
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