MIDEAST MIRROR 15.06.15, SECTION B (THE ARAB WORLD)
1-Doomed to failure
2-Damascus adopts a new strategy
3-Erdogan’s ‘soft putsch’ option
1-Doomed to failure
Yemen's legitimate [Hadi] government has always proven its seriousness about saving the country. The [Houthi-led] putschists on the other hand have consistently demonstrated the opposite in all their actions. If they are once again waiting for Tehran's directives to find which direction to take, they are once again mistaken. The compass has veered away from Tehran after [the Saudi-led] Operation Decisive Storm and after the UN resolution banning their armament. In other words, there is no longer any prospect that Iran may save them from what it has implicated them in. Their only escape is to look to their local and Arab environment and cooperate with it so as to end the crisis and return to cohabit with the other constituents of Yemen--Saudi al-Watan
There is nothing so far that will force the Ansarullah and the supporters of Ali 'Abdullah Saleh to squander the cards they hold and that allow them to impose their terms, instead of conceding their gains, as the advocates of 'legitimacy' are trying to get them to do. Even if it is held, the Yemeni Geneva meeting is doomed to failure and collapse. Not holding it at all may be a better option, because the road to Geneva is currently paved with bad intentions. And this means that the time has come for both parties to the conflict (including their regional backers) to climb down from the high tree, and leave the entire matter to the Yemenis themselves, free from any threats and the beating of the war drums, or from seeking the help of competing regional capitals--Mohammad Kharroub in Jordanian al-Ra'i
The Yemen conference scheduled to be held in Geneva today (Monday) will be a waste of time unless it is based on the fixed principles of the 2011 Gulf Yemen Initiative, the Riyadh Conference resolutions, and UNSCR 2216, insists the editorial in a Saudi daily. The Geneva meeting is doomed to failure because the attending parties seem unwilling to recognize the facts on the ground and continue to seek the help of regional powers to alter the balance, maintains a Jordanian commentator. The best solution would be to leave the Yemenis to resolve their own problems free from any outside intervention.
PUTCHISTS’ DISAGREEMENTS: "While the representatives of the legitimate [Hadi] Yemeni government head to take part in the consultative meeting that is meant to begin today, the procrastination, postponement and leaks about disagreements between the [Houthi-led] putschists have continued," writes the editorial in Monday's Saudi daily al-Watan.
This means that the meeting is likely to be postponed again if the putschists pursue the same path and in the same manner. In such a case, failure will be the inevitable outcome of the proposed meeting.
Yemen's legitimate government has always proven its seriousness about saving the country. The putschists on the other hand have consistently demonstrated the opposite in all their actions. If they are once again waiting for Tehran's directives to find which direction to take, they are once again mistaken. The compass has veered away from Tehran after [the Saudi-led] Operation Decisive Storm and after the UN resolution banning their armament. In other words, there is no longer any prospect that Iran may save them from what it has implicated them in. Their only escape is to look to their local and Arab environment and cooperate with it so as to end the crisis and return to cohabit with the other constituents of Yemen.
The Houthi putschists and the supporters of the deposed president Saleh need to understand that the equation has changed, and that what they used to believe were achievements have become a burden on them. The popular resistance to them has awakened and is confronting them, siding with legitimacy and with Yemen and its people. These forces seek Yemen’s interest and not that of Tehran and that its expansionist policy that has begun to turn against it after all of its cards have been exposed. In fact, Iran will soon wake up to the shock that it has squandered a lot of money, time, and human life in the pursuit of irrational ambitions and failed schemes, one of which was to control Yemen’s decision via the Houthis.
If the Geneva meeting is postponed or not held at all, this will only foil the chances of a Yemeni solution. What is being said of disagreements between the Houthi putschists and the deposed Saleh over their share of representation in their delegation to Geneva is merely a continuation of the anarchy that they have inflicted on Yemen. For the putschists did not disagree when they decided to stage their coup. They did not disagree when they occupied the capital Sana'a and other cities before confronting the forces of the Arab coalition, and then that of the popular resistance. But when the time came for them to supposedly agree on saving Yemen, reports appeared of disagreements over minor issues when viewed from the perspective of the Geneva meeting’s aims.
Let the putschists squabble among each other as much as they like. But let them know that there are fixed principles they cannot evade if Yemen is to be saved. The most important of them is that the Geneva meeting needs to be based on the Gulf Initiative, the Conclusions of the National Dialogue, the Riyadh Conference, and UNSCR 2216.
"Anything else would be futile and a waste of time," concludes the daily.
LEGITIMACY: "Unless the unexpected happens at the last moment, the Geneva Yemeni meeting – note the expression 'meeting' – between the disagreeing camps in Yemen will be held today," writes Mohammad Kharroub in Monday's Jordanian daily al-Ra'i.
The two camps are the following: On the one hand, there are those who cling to the nonsense about 'legitimacy' when, in fact, they control nothing on the ground, despite their claims that the militias loyal to Ali Salem al-Beidh that they describe as 'a popular resistance,' follow their orders. On the other hand, there is the coalition between the Ansarullah (Houthis) and the supporters of former president Ali 'Abdullah Saleh, especially in the Yemeni army, the majority of whose members are still loyal to him in one form or another.
So the 'meeting' is supposed to be held today in the beautiful Swiss city that has become the capital of negotiations, dialogues, and meetings. It will be mediated by the UN, whose Envoy Ismail Ould al-Cheikh will be moving between the two delegations as a 'postman.' This is because they refuse to sit face-to-face, now that the gap between them has widened and is difficult to bridge. Or, to be more accurate, now that the various sponsors, financiers and allies of the two camps, have made sure to prevent this.
All parties have reached a dead end after using all available military means, and after the land, naval, and aerial sieges have failed to achieve their purpose. Nothing remains in Yemen but destruction, starvation, and the lack of basic services, primarily water and medical care. Thousands of people have fallen and thousands of others have been wounded in a futile war, even though those who initiated it could have opted for different means and approaches to those whose futility and failure to secure any political aims have been proven.
In fact, such aims are even more difficult to achieve by military means in light of the complex Yemeni map with its heavy burdens of a horizontal and vertical matrix of tribal and clan legacies. Moreover, this matrix continues to change and metamorphose as a result of complex factors, of which the ceaseless pressures and temptations of neighboring countries are a significant element. Nor should we ignore the sectarian and confessional factors that are fed by numerous parties that have an interest in keeping Yemen hostage to its poverty and tearing apart its social fabric, ensuring that its political, party-political, and military – and especially clan and tribal – 'elite' remains subject to outside powers' grants, monies, and (especially) promises.
So, today, the Yemeni parties are supposed to meet – and they are in fact just two camps – based on an agenda announced (in fact imposed) by one of them, namely, that of the government camp that claims legitimacy. On its way to Geneva that camp has said that there can be no talks or dialogues with the 'putschists' and that the 'meeting' merely aims to implement UNSCR 2216 which calls for the Houthis' withdrawal from the 'occupied' cities and an end to the firing at civilians and deployment of international observers to monitor the ceasefire.
But regardless of whether these preconditions are realistic or not, what is noteworthy is the fact that 'Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi's government clings to them even though it and those backing it must realize that nothing will compel the 'putschists' (as they describe them) to implement them. After all, the latter are in a relatively comfortable situation on the ground and have not suffered any real defeat or major setback. On the contrary, they are achieving daily gains, at a time when there are growing disagreements and hostilities within the camp of 'legitimacy'.
In fact, the formation of the government delegation headed by Riad Yassin was merely the product of the escalating disagreement between Hadi and his deputy, PM Khaled al-Bahah. In addition, all hope has been lost of liberating any Yemeni province or administrative district either in the north, or especially in the south, where 'legitimacy' would establish its headquarters, allowing those who support it to continue their backing it now that it may have turned into a burden on them.
So where do we go from here? Unless both sides back away from their prior conditions, the prospects that the Yemeni Geneva meeting, whatever its form or agenda, may succeed seem to be nil. (It is ironic to note in this regard that each camp claims that it has agreed to head to Geneva without any pre-conditions). These preconditions appear to be totally contradictory. The 'putschists' insist that the basis of any dialogue be the Peace and Partnership Agreement reached last September  among all Yemeni parties, including Hadi and his backers. Meanwhile, the 'legitimacy advocates' are entrenched behind UNSCR 2216 and the Riyadh Conference resolutions, a conference that was not attended by the Houthis and Saleh's supporters.
The latter camp [the advocates of 'legitimacy'] is totally disregarding the current balance of power, which is not in their favor. Or rather, let us say that there is nothing so far that will force the Ansarullah and the supporters of Ali 'Abdullah Saleh to squander the cards they hold and that allow them to impose their terms, instead of conceding their gains, as the advocates of 'legitimacy' are trying to get them to do.
Even if it is held, the Yemeni Geneva meeting is doomed to failure and collapse. Not holding it at all may be a better option, because the road to Geneva is currently paved with bad intentions. And this means that the time has come for both parties to the conflict (including their regional backers) to climb down from the high tree, and leave the entire matter to the Yemenis themselves, free from any threats and the beating of the war drums, or from seeking the help of competing regional capitals.
Foreign intervention, whatever its discourse and justification, can only exacerbate and aggravate the crisis, preventing the Yemenis from reaching an accord. There are many such examples and they are clear for all to see.
"All that we have to do is to look at what is happening in Syria, Iraq, and Libya," concludes Kharroub.
2-Damascus adopts a new strategy
It appears as if this is the hour of decision, amidst a media war that recalls the first months of armed clashes between the Syrian army and armed groups. Meanwhile, developments on the ground in Iraq, political developments in Turkey, and what is happening in the Iranian nuclear negotiations with the West, all appear as decisive factors in the Syrian dossier, giving rise to widespread expectations of harsher and more difficult months ahead…Amidst this madness, Syria’s leadership and its allies in the region and the world are acting with the aim of preventing any further territorial losses, while strengthening their defensive capabilities in order to repulse any attacks in the south, north, or center. And this calls for greater coordination between them. It has become clear in fact that better organized operations rooms have been established that include Syrian, Iranian, and Hizbollah leaders, in tandem with the increase in Russian military support for the Syrian army--Ibrahim al-Amin in Lebanese al-Akhbar
[A senior pro-Syrian regime says] that with the rise of hard line and moderate organizations, factions, and brigades in the Syrian opposition (around 175 different factions, some independent and others allied to one another) and in light of the West's determination and the insistence of certain Arab states implicated in the Syrian situation on backing and providing expertise, equipment and financial, intelligence and training support to the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad's regime, and in light of the West’s readiness to turn a blind eye to ISIS as well as the Nusra Front’s expansion – amidst all these factors, the Syrian regime and its allies in their common fateful battle have decided that pursuing a strategy of seeking to bring all areas back under state's control would be delusional and tantamount to a suicide mission--Elia Mighnayer in Kuwaiti al-Ra'i al-'Am
Syria seems to be on the verge of a phase of even more intense fighting and bloodshed over the coming weeks and months, as the armed opposition and its supporters try to push more forcefully to topple the regime, and as the regime's allies bolster its defenses, argues the editor-in-chief of a Lebanese daily. Developments on the Syrian battleground have forced the army and regime to change tactics, reports a Lebanese commentator in a Kuwaiti daily. These new tactics call for withdrawal from the countryside, while maintaining the regime’s hold over the major cities and population centers.
INTENSIFYING BATTLE: "The battle over Syria is intensifying," writes Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim al-Amin in Monday's left-leaning Beirut daily al-Akhbar.
The local parties are at the peak of mobilization, and the regional and international powers are more deeply implicated in the conflict than ever before.
It appears as if this is the hour of decision, amidst a media war that recalls the first months of armed clashes between the Syrian army and armed groups. Meanwhile, developments on the ground in Iraq, political developments in Turkey, and what is happening in the Iranian nuclear negotiations with the West, all appear as decisive factors in the Syrian dossier, giving rise to widespread expectations of harsher and more difficult months ahead.
It is becoming manifestly obvious that the Turkish/Qatari/Saudi/French understandings have failed to bear fruit in the Syrian north by bringing the political and military situation there under control. Every time the armed opposition advances on the ground, the disagreements between its various constituents intensify. And all this is being accompanied by the further marginalization of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the opposition representative preferred by the aforementioned sponsor states.
On the other hand, the areas under the terrorist groups’ control have witnessed wild battles that leave thousands of people killed or wounded, and terrible destruction. But even more dangerous is that these battles have flung open the door to the forced displacement of tens of thousands more civilians, either towards the areas controlled by the state or to neighboring countries.
Since the exact scale of the U.S. program for backing the armed opposition in Syria has been revealed, as has been the extent of American training and scheming in the southern part of Syria, it is becoming evident that the states sponsoring the armed opposition are currently seriously considering concentrating their efforts on the southern front. This is based on calculations that have led them to conclude that they will be in a better position to control the political and military situation in these areas, and that it would be possible to eliminate ISIS in the entire area that stretches from Damascus's southern countryside up to and including Der'a and Suweida. Contacts are underway to establish a new alliance that includes 15 Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions together with the major Islamist factions, especially the Nusra Front and Jayshul Islam.
Against this background, this new alliance is preparing for a series of strong military offensives in Der'a and al-Qunaitra provinces, and to intimidate the people of Suweida' with the aim of driving a wedge between them and the state, either by war or by political means and pressures. And it is, of course, a mere 'coincidence' that among those taking part are those forces led by [anti-Syrian regime Lebanese Druze leader] Walid Jumblatt in Lebanon as well as certain Druze elements working with the Zionist institutions in Palestine. Meanwhile, the states that are supporting these schemes are bearing in mind the need to establish some form of coordination between the various forces that would safeguard Jordan and Israel's interests on the one hand, and strengthen Saudi Arabia and the U.S.'s influence, on the other.
Amidst this madness, Syria’s leadership and its allies in the region and the world are acting with the aim of preventing any further territorial losses, while strengthening their defensive capabilities in order to repulse any attacks in the south, north, or center. And this calls for greater coordination between them. It has become clear in fact that better organized operations rooms have been established that include Syrian, Iranian, and Hizbollah leaders, in tandem with the increase in Russian military support for the Syrian army.
Based on the available indications, the camp that backs the Syrian state seeks to achieve the following:
- First, to consolidate a military deployment that prevents the armed opposition from any further military gains
- Second, to regain control of certain strategic points such as Ariha, Jisr ash-Shughour, and southern Idlib [in the north], while expanding the zone of military safety south of Damascus.
-Third, to complete the process regaining control of all border areas with Lebanon in the Qalamoun and the Anti-Lebanon mountain range, as well as al-Qa' and al-Zabadani.
-Fourth, to introduce adjustments in the techniques and nature of forces in the field as part of a broad effort to raise battle readiness with the help of thousands of fighters from the countries that are members of this axis.
- Fifth, to create mechanism and frameworks on the ground that would permit greater participation from the local population in the operations, with the aim of bolstering the points of contact with the enemy and consolidating a military deployment that prevents any new breaches by the [opposition] armed elements.
In addition, there is certain unpublicized concern to confront U.S./Israeli efforts in the Syrian south. It seems that a fierce covert battle is raging with the Israelis who are seeking to raise the level of their intervention in Syria, and who face the threat of a confrontation, either with the Syrian army or with Hizbollah across the entire region. According to knowledgeable sources, the Americans are trying to create facts on the ground that would block any direct Israeli intervention, for fear of expanding the zone of confrontation, and out of concern that the influence of the extremist groups may increase. This is because there are those in Jordan who are worried that these groups may take control of the borders, and they will find those [armed Islamist elements] on the Jordanian side who will meet up and connect with them.
Syria seems about to enter a phase of extreme tension. But what is being said in the media of the powers and states that are backing the armed opposition most clearly recalls what this very same media has done over various phases throughout the past four years.
"Their efforts were confined to stoking political illusions, while the results of their incitement have always been greater bloodshed," concludes Amin.
A DIFFERENT CONVICTION: "A senior source from the Joint Operations Room in Damascus has informed this newspaper that 'after the death of over 50-thousand soldiers in the Syrian army alone, Damascus has come to a military/political conviction that is different to that that has determined its actions over the five years of war in Syria'," reports Elia Mighnayer in the Kuwaiti daily al-Ra'i al-'Am.
The source said that with the rise of hard line and moderate organizations, factions, and brigades in the Syrian opposition (around 175 different factions, some independent and others allied to one another) and in light of the West's determination and the insistence of certain Arab states implicated in the Syrian situation on backing and providing expertise, equipment and financial, intelligence and training support to the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad's regime, and in light of the West’s readiness to turn a blind eye to ISIS as well as the Nusra Front’s expansion – amidst all these factors, the Syrian regime and its allies in their common fateful battle have decided that pursuing a strategy of seeking to bring all areas back under state's control would be delusional and tantamount to a suicide mission.
As a result, the leadership decided to adopt certain constraints:
- First, it has decided to maintain control over the main cities, such as Latakia, Tartous, Homs, Hama, and Damascus. For these cities constitute the regime’s backbone, and it can survive through them indefinitely, using them as vantage points from which to appear at international forums in the Syrian government's name and its decision-making capital, Damascus.
- Second, the leadership has decided to redeploy Syrian soldiers and officers so as to ensure that every individual would serve in their own hometown, amidst their own families and relatives. The idea is that every individual would then fight ferociously in defense of his or her land and family.
Therefore, it was decided that the Syrian army would not defend any city whose inhabitants do not offer to fulfill their army service. This, for example, is what happened in Der'a and its countryside, and Suweida' Province, where 27 thousand Syrian soldiers and officers failed to join their military units and preferred to remain in their own areas. One reason for the 52nd Brigade’s retreat from the region stems from the absence of a large number of soldiers and officers from the battlefield. And that, in turn, led the Brigade’s withdrawal due to its inability to repulse any expected assault.
According to our same aforementioned source, the withdrawal from any city will be followed up by the establishment of two strong defensive lines to protect other cities, such as what happened in Damascus. Therefore, if the people of Suweida' fail to join the army, the latter is likely to withdraw from the town leaving it a battlefield between ISIS and the Nusra Front.
- Third, the regime and its allies have reached the conclusion that they will not enter any battle that offers no horizon for liberating a Syrian city or countryside. This should determine a new map in which Syria will be divided up. ISIS now controls an important part of the country, while the Nusra Front and the factions backing it hold another. The Syrian army shares this control with them; it controls that part of Syria that is open to the sea – in Latakia and Tartous – as well as a number of military and civilian airports. But the main problem remains that of the sources of oil, gas, and valuable minerals, such as phosphate and other resources, over which the regime is at loggerheads with ISIS. For the regime wants the sources of energy in the cities under its control.
- Fourth, the regime and its allies will resort to protecting the cities they control and ensuring that no other force can approach them. And the regime and its allies will carry out major attacks to divert the opposing forces, especially in Aleppo, Idlib, Jisr ash-Shughour, Deir az-Zour, al-Qunaitra, and the Aleppo and Damascus countryside. The aim is to ensure that these areas remain as an arena for continuous military operations, thereby engaging the anti-regime forces without resorting to open maneuvers that would leave the regime's forces vulnerable to counter strikes. This is especially important because the so-called 'moderate forces' have acquired considerable firepower, including advanced equipment and laser-guided missiles.
- Fifth, the regime and its allies have decided to ensure that the Eastern Ghouta and Idlib should act as a magnet, where the regime can make some advances.
- Sixth, the Syrian regime will henceforth no longer take it upon itself to ensure public order, thereby satisfying civil society's needs in the areas that are out of its control. Therefore, Damascus will not pay public salaries in those areas that are under the opposition's control. For this effort, which represents two-thirds of the entire war effort, is now beyond the means of the regime and its intentions. So the burden of medical care, civil administration, electricity, gas, roads, and education –will now all fall on the opposition that seeks to take control of any particular village or city from the regime.
- Seventh, the Syrian army’s withdrawal does not have a negative effect on the strategy of winning and losing. In other words, the fall of Der'a, Idlib, or al-Raqqa does not mean that the regime itself has fallen or that its influence in Syria or in various international forums has waned. For, for every player in Syria now has a political role; and the same goes for the two main forces, ISIS and the Nusra Front, which have been and remain major players. But according to the same source, Idlib will not remain in the Nusra's hand for long; a campaign is being prepared with the aim of bringing it back under the central government’s authority.
- Eighth, note that ISIS, the Nusra Front, and their allies in the Syrian opposition, all recognize the Syrian Lira. The one-thousand lira banknote carries a picture of late president Hafez al-Assad, while the two-thousand lira banknote bears the image of President Bashar a-Assad, which is used by people in all areas.
"Therefore, even when regime withdraws from al-Raqqa, Der'a, and Idlib, its symbols continue to circulate in the opposition factions' hands," concludes Mighnayer.
3-Erdogan’s ‘soft putsch’ option
The Turkish president may try to subvert the last election’ results by calling for new ones but this is unlikely to improve his or his party’s position, says 'Urayb ar-Rintawi in today's Jordanian ad-Dustour
The establishment of a Turkish coalition government in which President Erdogan's party does not have the final say on a number of sensitive issues will open up files that both the ruling AKP (Justice and Development) and Erdogan wish to keep firmly closed, says a leading Jordanian commentator. All indications suggest that the president and his party are thus merely going through the motions before calling for early elections, but there are no guarantees that these elections will produce any different results.
DIFFICULT TO BELIEVE: "It is difficult to believe that Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accepted his electoral defeat," writes 'Urayb ar-Rintawi in Monday's Jordanian daily ad-Dustour.
The controversial leader may have overcome the 'shock' and read summaries of the thousands of articles and analyses that explained the features and implications of his personal setback at length. But we are dealing with a resilient leader who is obstinate and obsessed by his messianic leadership. Such figures do not acknowledge defeat easily, and it is certain that the man is preparing to wage one of his most ferocious counterattacks for which he is famous.
It is true that he accepted the elections results after an unprecedented silence that lasted for four days. It is also true that he urged the various parties to come together in a coalition government, and not give priority to their narrow interests over Turkey's national interest (consider just who it is who is criticizing such personalization of interests!). But it is also true that many observers are waiting with growing interest for what Erdogan may be cooking up in his legendary new presidential palace, away from the eyes of the curious and the 'cockroaches' [that Erdogan claims forced him out the former presidential palace into a luxurious new one].
Mr. Erdogan will initiate consultations with the parties to form the next coalition government. There are signs that he will ask his 'shadow,' [current PM] Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu to form the new government, despite the terrible defeat the party has suffered under his uncharismatic leadership. But the question here is this: What directives will Davutoglu bring with him from the 'Master of the Palace,' and with what intentions will he manage the coalition negotiations?
Will we be facing a farcical show whose sole purpose is to offer sham respect for the customary constitutional measures with the aim of convincing the Turks that their 'leading' party respects the rules of the democratic game in both word and deed? Or is the man really serious in his efforts and sincere about his words and deeds regarding the need to uphold 'Turkey's supreme interests'?
Most assessments suggest that the former is the more likely. If the Turkish opposition refuses to submit to the ruling AKP's terms for forming a government or if Davutoglu fails to form one, it is unlikely that the president will ask the next party in line – the People's Republican Party (CHP) – to form a new government. The level of mistrust, and the AKP and Erdogan's fear that the many files that they have kept tightly shut will drive the president to resist the pressure to accept a peaceful transfer of power. This is especially likely since he is fully aware of the fact that a government in which his party does not constitute the backbone and whose actions he does not personally control, will not refrain from opening all such files. And some may be extremely embarrassing for the president, the [former] government, and the ruling party.
The corruption file, whose stench has spread everywhere, is one of the most important such dossiers that Mr. Erdogan does not wish to hand over to a government made up of parties other than his own before the statute of limitation has passed and the evidence, data, and witnesses have all disappeared.
There is also the file of the [Erdogan/AKP government’s] 'forbidden love' with ISIS and Turkey's direct support for it with arms and men, and in the oil and stolen relics and black market trade. This is yet another file that the president does not want to leave in the hands of those who will show him no mercy.
Then there are the Islamization and 'empowerment' projects that simply bypassed the constitution and the law in many cases and that are among the files that the 'Sultan' [Erdogan] wishes to keep under strict cover.
If the opposition forms the next government, Mr. Erdogan's entire political future will be in jeopardy (there are those who claim that the last elections have taken his leadership to its last station). In such a case, Mr. Erdogan would fail to fulfill his dream of leading Turkey and heading the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic [in 2023]. But even more seriously, the man could face the same fate that he inflicted on his opponents – the leading figures of the army and the country’s former secular leadership.
Early elections may be Erdogan's last 'putschist' option. But for such a coup to succeed, it must be 'soft' and consistent with the text of the law, even if it conflicts with the spirit of the constitution. To this end, we are likely to witness marathon consultations and negotiations whose first and last aim is to pave the way for early elections without stirring the suspicion that such a 'coup' is underway.
But there are no guarantees that the results of early elections will be any better than those of the last [June 7th] ones. There is nothing to reassure the AKP that it will return to rule Turkey all by itself. More specifically, there are no guarantees that Mr. Erdogan will be able to realize his dream of remaining in the presidency with extensive – that is, absolute – powers.
"In fact, the magic may turn against the magician and the winds may once again blow in directions that the leader's ships do not desire," concludes Rintawi.
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