MIDEAST MIRROR 30.04.15, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)
1-From today’s Turkish press
TENSION WITH NORTHERN CYPRUS: Kadri Gursel identifies the sources of President Erdogan’s discontent with the new Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) president in centrist Milliyet: "President Erdogan has wasted no time attacking Mustafa Akinci, who has been elected as new TRNC president with 60.5 per cent of the vote. Erdogan's discontent stems from three main reasons: The first is that Akinci's victory symbolizes the resistance of a secular and unique Turkish Cypriot identity. And this is not an outcome desired by Erdogan's AKP (ruling Justice and Development Party). The second reason is that the TRNC headed by Akinci will make it difficult for the AKP to maintain the tutelage regime that it established during former TRNC president Dervis Eroglu era. We should also remember that if Cyprus takes the path towards a peaceful solution, Turkey's EU bid, which was left to die, would come to life again."
KURDISH PROBLEM/TURKISH ELECTIONS Cengiz Candar links between the Kurdish problem and the upcoming general elections in center-left Radikal: "If there was no Kurdish problem and if talking about it is separatism (as Erdogan claims), logically, there would be no solution left to achieve. On all issues, Erdogan has been consistent with himself. We will have to wait for June 7th to see any progress on the Kurdish peace process. It is impossible for any such progress to happen without the HDP [pro-Kurdish leftist alliance]. The HDP should clear the 10% electoral threshold barrier and, more importantly, it should resist acts of provocation."
Orhan Bursali detects some electioneering tactics in secular, Kemalist Cumhuriyet: "Is Erdogan really altering his peace process policy fundamentally? Should we interpret what he has said recently as a permanent new policy, rather than an attempt to win votes before the election? The latter seems to be a strong possibility. The AKP is trying to prevent the HDP from entering parliament."
Mehmet Metiner comes to the president’s defense in centre-right, pro-government Star: "Erdogan has to resolve the Kurdish problem by giving up on the previous policies of rejection, denial and assimilation. Thus, saying that the ‘new Turkey’ does not have a Kurdish problem anymore does not entail the denial of the Kurdish people and their rights. The Kurds of this country are very aware of what Erdogan did for them."
Writing in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-government Yeni Safak, Ali Bayramoglu has low expectations of change in the HDP: "If the HDP clears the electoral threshold, would this put it on track to be a Turkish party with a stable voter base? This is very uncertain. The HDP is split between the option of becoming a national Turkish party, or remaining a purely Kurdish project. Combining the two would require the HDP to become relatively independent from the other elements of the Kurdish movement, namely, Imrali [imprisoned PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) leader Abdullah Ocalan] and Kandil [Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq]. But I guess that this is not a very realistic expectation."
Hasan Cemal puts Erdogan’s stance on the Kurds in historical perspective on independent internet T24: "Let us think calmly. If there is no Kurdish problem, no parties, no negotiation table, where have all the gains of the past two years come from? Did the improvement in relations between Ankara, Imrali and Kandil help Erdogan to win time and an election? Apparently, this is the case. In saying that there is no Kurdish problem, Erdogan is expressing his own opinion. In other words, whatever the conservative leaders of the past may have thought about the Kurdish problem, Erdogan thinks the same. Whatever the Kemalist leaders believed, Erdogan believes the same. Erdogan is also a Turkish nationalist, just as they were.”
2-From today’s Iranian press
SAUDI RESHUFFLE: Reformist Aftab-e Yazd is calmly concerned: "The seismic changes in Saudi Arabia will affect Iran/Saudi relations. Saudi Arabia will possibly redouble its efforts to undermine the nuclear talks. Events in Saudi Arabia are linked to Iran more than ever. We should not, however, be unduly concerned about the impact of such measures on the talks, but if we do not preserve ethical diplomacy with Saudi Arabia, bilateral relations will become tense."
Conservative Resalat warns of an impending coup: "The recent political earthquake in Riyadh is a sign of a chronic crisis that will bring the ailing king and his son to their knees in the near future. The generational change in the ruling family has turned into an acute calamity. Riyadh is in a critical condition; some princes will not accept the changes and will go for a coup."
Reformist E'temad is dramatic: "All these changes in Saudi Arabia are a game of Western intelligence services. Adel al-Jubeir as foreign minister will not help relax tense relations with other regional countries including with Iran, but may lead to further tensions. Following the Islamic awakening in Arab countries, the house of Saud has been concerned that unrest might spread to Saudi Arabia. But the crisis in Saudi Arabia is much deeper and cannot be resolved by the coming and going of a number of princes. The problem of Saudi Arabia is rooted in its autocratic political system; Saudis have no role in political decision-making and determining their own destiny, which is left to foreign powers that play a significant role in determining their fate."
Conservative Siyasat-e Ruz gives two reasons for the changes: "What are the main reasons behind this change and why has Salman followed this path? Because of his old age, Salman understands that he is not able to manage the country and wants to keep his son in power. Saudi decisions are formed in line with Western demands and after the death of King Abdallah, the West insisted on moving to the next generation of the royal family."
Conservative Hemayat has a simple explanation: "Current developments in Saudi Arabia are a cover to prevent a political earthquake inside Saudi society that will trigger opposition to Saudi illegitimate and unacceptable authorities who seek to suppress democracy movements in Bahrain, Syria and Iraq and stay in power."
Moderate Iran predicts a total collapse: "Recent changes in Saudi Arabia are caused by deep differences among Saudi princes over the Yemen attacks. Saudi failure to form an international coalition against Yemen has angered King Salman as Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal failed to take advantage of the country's diplomatic capabilities in order to convince the world over the necessity to attack Yemen. The changes show that Saudi Arabia seeks military hegemony, but this extremism will lead to the collapse of the ruling family, because world public opinion, especially in the region, is seriously against Saudi policies. The gap, which has been created among Saudi princes increases with each passing day and will lead to the collapse of this regime."
YEMEN: Centrist Jomhuri-ye Eslami writes of a Saudi defeat: "The war in Yemen continues with Saudi atrocities and the shedding of the blood of the defenceless Yemeni people. The Saudis have even prevented humanitarian aid from reaching war victims. However, these measures cannot cover up Riyadh's defeat and failure. With the announcement of the end of 'Operation Decisive Storm', Riyadh tried to cover up its retreat as a tactical move."
NUCLEAR TALKS: Hard-line Javan is adamant: "We have shown that we need negotiations and are interested in their results. We have been playing by the enemy’s rules. With this decision, we provided the biggest service to our enemy and inflicted the highest damage to the national interests of Iran."
Hard-line Keyhan is gloomy: "Sanctions have depleted the government's funds and brought hardships. What is the government's plan to fight and change this situation? Let us be a little more explicit! The government plans to promote an open economy through dialogue and reconciliation by signing an agreement with those who have created the problems in the first place. Is it reasonable and practical to expect economic prosperity through the same people who are responsible for the current situation? There is strong and undeniable evidence that the West will not abandon the sanctions weapon, because they have nothing else to use against the Islamic Republic but this weapon."
IRAN/U.S.: Reformist Arman is well pleased: "The Islamic Republic of Iran has great power to resolve regional issues. The problems of the United States and Western governments in the Middle East are numerous and they know well that their traditional allies are unable to resolve these crises. The fact that, contrary to Saudi Arabia and the Zionist regime's will, the American administration has entered a dialogue with Iran shows that U.S. strategies in the Middle East are changing. Secretary of State John Kerry's symbolic move of entering Iranian territory at the UN in New York, which was unprecedented for at least three decades, indicates that if things go well in Iran, the Americans are willing to take the initiative and take a step forward. This is a historical opportunity, by which Iran can strengthen its status further among its regional rivals, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia."
ELECTIONS: Reformist Mardom Salari rejects discrimination that favours current MPs: "Giving lifelong rights to MPs is an obvious example of injustice and negligence of the Islamic revolution’s values. Determining the candidates' eligibility has become a point of conflict and political dispute because many people disqualified by the Guardian Council did not belong to any political wing and were disqualified merely based on consultative supervision."
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