MIDEAST MIRROR 20.04.15, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)
1- From today’s Turkish press
OPPOSITION PARTY ELECTORAL MANIFESTO: Ugur Gurses praises the opposition Republican People's Party’s (CHP's) election manifesto in centre-left Radikal: "There are two main differences between the CHP and AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] election manifestos. First, while the AKP is looking at the past, the CHP is looking towards the future. Second, while the AKP has adopted a pro-security policy framework, the CHP’s manifesto has designed a framework that addresses the individual at every level, protects individual freedoms and talks to the younger generation. The pluralism and participation that are largely lacking today have been highlighted, and the manifesto has settled on a much more social democratic line."
Mehmet Tezkan is impressed by the CHP’s economic program in centrist Milliyet: "The CHP wants to challenge the government with the economy. In short, it has targeted the seven million unemployed and 17 million poor people, the tradesmen who cannot pay their debts, the farmers who cannot work, the pensioners who have problems making ends meet, those who have to work even after retirement, and the five million people who have been stuck in an interest rate quagmire after they could not repay their loans. But when we look at the manifesto in a much more comprehensive way, we can see that Turkey will be rebuilt. CHP will address every single area."
In another piece in the same paper, Murat Aksoy detects a significant shift to European style social democracy: "The manifesto is the most specific form of the slow but determined change in the CHP. It reflects the structural change that took on a significant aspect with the primary elections to select candidates inside the party. Going back on this change is not possible anymore. The election manifesto stands up as a document that is not only aimed at the elections, but takes the CHP out of its narrow environment and turns it into a European, leftist and social democratic party."
Centrist tabloid Posta endorses the CHP manifesto: "The CHP’s promises are extraordinary. They are almost all financial promises that will reach the citizens’ pockets. Every vow that CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has made saying 'I give you my word' represents the basic necessities of social democracy. That is why there is significance to his principle 'we will first produce, and then share'. The most positive thing in the CHP manifesto is that it neither mentions nor criticizes the ruling AKP, nor the other parties, but simply focuses on its own goals!"
Cigdem Toker approves of the CHP’s priorities in secular, Kemalist Cumhuriyet: "Its goal is to reduce poverty and create employment, and then move on from a labor-intensive economy, to an information-intensive one. It encourages an economic growth with innovative technology in agriculture and other production areas. The first priority is to end poverty."
Abdulkadir Selvi only sees old wine in new bottles in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-government Yeni Safak: "The CHP did not make a move similar to the AKP’s 'New Turkey pact'. It was not ambitious enough to allow Kilicdaroglu to declare it as a 'vision document that is beyond an election manifesto'. It was nothing but a document that targets the streets and presents the old Turkey in a new package. The dominant thing was the populism of [former Turkish politician] Suleyman Demirel who said 'I am offering more than what the other parties are doing'."
Kurtulus Tayiz charges the CHP with looking backwards in centre-right, pro-government Aksam: "Even if the CHP's election tactics change, its vision for Turkey does not. It has no dream of a new Turkey and that is reflected in its entire election manifesto. Some 200 pages of promises reflect a deep nostalgia for the old Turkey instead. With a very retrograde political rhetoric, the CHP is trying to bring back the old Turkey."
2-From today’s Iranian press
SUPREME LEADER’S SPEECH: Hard-line Javan writes of empty threats: "The Supreme Leader remarked on the contradictory behaviour of the West towards Iran's defensive power. The current strategic configuration indicates that U.S. military threats against the Islamic Republic are unrealistic and nonsensical. These empty threats have been made in order to force Iran to abandon its military plans. The West and the Zionists are targeting our military programme in the nuclear talks."
NUCLEAR TALKS: Conservative Khorasan is defiant and confident: "Any trust in the West is pure naiveté. Iran's strategy for the path ahead is not to trust the opposite side and test their political will. Any future cooperation with any of these countries will be based on their current behaviour in the talks. The Saudis and their oil dollars, Israel and the influential Zionist lobbies, Congress and its little-informed pretentious senators can destroy diplomacy more actively than before. U.S. punitive measures against Iran's commercial partners have lost their logic for some time. The failure of the talks caused by the incapability of the West to fulfil its commitments will lead to the loss of consensus on sanctions against Iran. Therefore, the failure of the talks will not necessarily mean further sanctions. This is a reality that will force some in the West to try to reach an agreement."
Conservative Siyasat-e Ruz compares Wahhabism to Zionism: "If a nuclear agreement is reached, regional countries will exhibit mixed reactions. Some will continue hostile policies against Iran and others will proceed with friendship. The methods adopted by the Saudis and some other Arab countries do not strengthen the Muslim world. The dictatorial leaders of these countries will do anything to stay in power and fulfil the goals of their masters. Saudi Wahhabism is no different to Zionism. Both of these evil ideologies seek to weaken the Muslims."
Reformist Arman complains about local sceptics: "It is natural, that there will be more pressure because of U.S. Congress and it will be more difficult for Iran to reach an agreement with the U.S.. However, the basis of an agreement is unlikely to be distorted. Despite all the achievements, those Iranians concerned about the course of the talks are still putting pressure on our negotiating team. Iran's stance is clear and there is no need for an Iranian factsheet. It is natural that our diplomats should bargain in the talks and try to defend our national interests."
Conservative Resalat targets the Saudis: "The Saudi ambassador to Washington has announced his support for a final nuclear deal with Iran on condition of the gradual removal of sanctions and intrusive inspections. These are the remarks of the representative of a country known as a symbol of terror and barbarism. Riyadh's ambassador has conveyed to the White House Riyadh's distrust of U.S. claims regarding the Lausanne statement. Meanwhile, the Arab leaders of the Gulf have been invited to Camp David to be personally briefed by the President. The Arab-Jewish lobby, headed by Riyadh and Tel Aviv, seeks to stand against Iran in the region by any possible means."
IRAN/RUSSIA: Conservative Hemayat foresees a new partnership with Russia: "The unexpected consent of President Putin to hand over the S-300 missile system to Iran is important for both Moscow and Tehran. Russia was due to deliver this system in 2010 but refused because of sanctions. Iran was able to manufacture domestically a more advanced type of the S-300 missile system, which surprised even Russian experts. Iran expects Russia to determine its security and military policies based on its own national interests. Putin seeks to attract new partners. With its high political and military capabilities, Iran is a reliable future partner for Russia. The dispatch of the S-300 missile system will create new opportunities for Moscow and Tehran. Iran and Russia hold similar views on the risks of terrorism to regional countries."
IRAN/AFGHANISTAN: Moderate Iran is for better relations,"the Afghan President's visit to Iran is a sensible measure for expanding ties within the framework of preserving the national interests of both countries. There are some regional countries that seek to weaken the friendly ties between Tehran and Kabul. For instance, on the issue of Yemen, the Saudis tried to force the Afghani government to adopt a stance contrary to that of its public opinion. Iran and Afghanistan face challenges in the region that cannot be resolved without coordination and cooperation."
Reformist E'temad is a tad patronizing: "It is clear for President Ashraf Ghani that Afghanistan cannot have the same commonalities that it has with Iran, particularly cultural and religious ones, with any other country. The common border between Iran and Afghanistan cannot be ignored; these borders can lead to vital and constructive ties between the two countries. Ashraf Ghani's visit to Iran can be very effective in improving relations. Afghanistan cannot ignore its significant neighbour on its path to development and progress; hence it should try to always have Iran's support."
YEMEN: Reformist Sharq vilifies British return to the Gulf: "When the British announced they were seeking to establish a military base in Bahrain and return to the Persian Gulf after more than four decades, it became clear that the situation in this strategic region will change and that peace would depart from the region. Today, as Yemen becomes more chaotic and on the threshold of turning into another Syria, Libya or Iraq, one can understand the reason behind Britain's military return to the Gulf. Yemen is different from other countries because of its location in the Peninsula; this is why Yemen faces unpleasant events."
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