MIDEAST MIRROR 22.04.15, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)
1-From today’s Turkish press
HDP ELECTORAL MANIFESTO: Murat Yetkin welcomes the pro-Kurdish leftist alliance HDP's electoral manifesto in centre-left Radikal: "The manifesto presented by HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag matches the party’s goal of moving beyond acting as a Kurdish party, and developing objectives for all of Turkey. This is what ‘normalization’ means; it entails having an opinion on the problems facing the entire country. Regardless of whether the HDP passes the 10% electoral threshold or not, it has already begun to normalize, and to enrich not only Kurdish, but Turkish politics as well."
Asli Aydintasbas sees a net gain for Turkey in centrist Milliyet: "The HDP has already become a Turkish party. Actually, the idea of uniting the left first came from imprisoned PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) leader Abdullah Ocalan. However, even Ocalan could not imagine that the HDP project would develop so rapidly and create its own dynamics. No one can tell the HDP anymore that 'you are a Kurdish party'. Its election manifesto was about all the problems facing Turkey, ranging from women's rights to the LGBT, from the minimum wage to the use of the Internet. Even this, namely, an ethnic-based movement turning into a political coalition that produces solutions to the country’s problems, represents a serious gain for Turkey."
Gungor Mengi calls for greater clarity from all sides in centrist Vatan: "Human rights and democracy cannot be realized via force and terror. The ruling AKP’s (Justice and Development Party) election manifesto says that there will be a transfer of authority to local administrations, and that the state system will be totally changed; so it must discuss in detail what this will result in and share its findings with the people. And the HDP must also make it clear whether [PKK] arms will be laid down for peace and security, and whether it will support the creation of a presidential system or not, rather than resort to vague slogans."
Fadime Ozkan emphasizes the need to lay down arms in centre-right, pro-government Star: "The Kurdish political movement is showing the courage and strength to address Turkey for the first time. This is a significant success for Turkish politics and the peace process. However, as in the case of the CHP (main opposition People’s Republican Party), the HDP also makes the mistake of repeating what has no equivalent, or what is already being done. What the HDP must now do is not to be provoked by a handful of marginal elements, but to see that the main body of the Turkish society has distanced itself from violence and has a problem not with the Kurds, but with the PKK, and that it support the peace process on condition that the PKK lays down its arms."
Abdulkadir Selvi gives credit to the president in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-government Yeni Safak: "If the HDP is talking about becoming a Turkish party today, they have come to this point along the path opened by Erdogan. It is possible to criticize Erdogan, even fight to prevent him from being elected president. But was he hostile to [the Kurds] you"?
ARMENIAN ISSUE: Melih Asik warns of a slippery slope in centrist Milliyet: "PM Davutoglu published the 'April 24th condolences' message [to the Armenians] in a hurry yesterday. He has come much closer to offering an apology. The 1915 incidents, which no one recalled during the first 50 years after the deportation, have come on to the world agenda with the [Armenian] ASALA terror since 1974. This issue has gradually turned into a crusade against our country. Those who ruled the country during the last 12 years could not find strength to defend the truth. Every year, several more steps back are taken."
Joost Lagendijk looks for bold leadership in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-Gulen Zaman: "The calls on Turkey from foreign governments and parliaments to acknowledge the Armenian genocide are damaging. They are strengthening the nationalist reflex that denies any kind of mistake, and that weakens the brave attempts that seek to get Turkey to come to terms with this dark page of its history. After April 24th, we need fearless politicians who will dare speak the truth, and guide Turkey toward a better understanding of its history, while volunteering to regulate relations with neighbouring Armenia as well."
2-From today’s Iranian press
NUCLEAR TALKS: Conservative Siyasat-e Ruz reviews the pre-agreement landscape: "The final nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 has not yet been achieved, but some are optimistic that there might be an accord. The situation is characterized by substantial ups and downs. There have been major disagreements between the two main American political parties over the issue. The American side insists that in case of an agreement, nuclear sanctions will not be terminated, but will be lifted gradually. If that is the case, positive economic effects for Iran cannot be expected."
Reformist Sharq glimpses at some developments in light of Lausanne: "The Lausanne statement has affected the political scene. President Putin's decision to lift the ban on delivering the S-300 air defence missile system, President Obama's supportive stance on the issue and the emergence of a coalition of eight Arab countries for the war on Yemen are some of the positive and negative consequences of the Lausanne statement."
Conservative Resalat writes of a powerful Iran: "The acceptance of a powerful Iran is neither idealistic nor abstract; it is realistic. It is not a surprise that a pragmatist like Zbigniew Brzezinski, U.S. National Security Adviser under Jimmy Carter's presidency, has openly urged Bush and Obama to accept a powerful Iran and change their previous wrong path. In other words, whatever has forced America and other members of the P5+1 to sit around a table, negotiate and make concessions, shows their incapacity to confront a powerful Iran."
YEMEN: Reformist Arman goes to the heart of the matter, "when the Houthis have the upper hand on the ground, they will go to negotiations with greater power. A new government will be installed in Yemen that will protect the interests of Shiites, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Saudi Arabia. Otherwise, Yemen has the potential of turning into another Syria and fall in the hands of Al-Qa’ida. If this happens, Iran will not lose; it is Saudi Arabia and its Western supporters that will be severely damaged. These factors have led Iran and Saudi Arabia to reach a common understanding on Yemen without negotiating with each other."
Centrist Jomhuri-ye Eslami comments: "The Saudi attacks on Yemen have increased international odium for them and revealed Saudi incapacity to subdue the Yemeni people. Above all, the exposure of their brutal nature showed that they have surpassed the Zionists in the killing of a Muslim nation."
Hard-line Keyhan expects Saudi Arabia to pay a heavy price: "After 28 days, the Yemen war has reached its end point. It is possible that the aggressor may continue for a few more days, as it has not achieved even its minimum goals in this unjust war. The Americans did whatever they could to prevent the defeat of Saudi Arabia, hence, they are partners in all the crimes committed against the innocent people of Yemen and should be held accountable. This war leaves a profound impact on our region. Saudi Arabia now has a serious enemy along its borders. From today, every action of this enemy against Saudi Arabia will be morally justified even from the perspective of international rights. The Saudi regime will pay a heavy political and security cost to overcome this reality."
Conservative Khorasan sounds ominous: "The Saudi-led attack on Yemen was a proxy war by Israel against a part of the Muslim world. The Saudis, both in terms of military dominance and dignity, are the biggest losers of this crisis; Saudi princes should expect severe domestic and external shocks because of their historical mistake."
IRGC: Hard-line Javan defends the IRGC: "By focusing on the activities of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC] and accusing it of violence, coup attempts, terror and being politicized some pro-liberal revisionist media outlets try to tarnish its popularity among the people. They are trying to accuse the IRGC of moving beyond its legal duties and responsibilities and deviating from its course."
IRAN-WEST: Conservative Hemayat contends that the West does not give up its machinations: "After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, various conspiracies and hostile measures have been carried out against the Iranian nation in the shape of terror, bombings and imposed war. Since 1985, Western intelligence and security organizations have concluded that they cannot fight Iran and overthrow the people’s regime. The West deploys its pawns to crush Muslim countries. The war between Taleban and ISIS is a show aimed at achieving Western goals."
EGYPT: Reformist E'temad sees a wider goal: "The Egyptian government seeks greater goals by sentencing ex-president Mursi to 20 years in jail; it wants to remove its opponents from the political scene through legal means. The Egyptian government not only deprives the leaders of one of the most important opposition political parties from participating in the forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, but also denies them any political activities. In other words, the Muslim Brotherhood will not be able to use its influential political power in any future elections."
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