MIDEAST MIRROR 08.06.15, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)
1-From today’s Turkish press
GENERAL ELECTIONS RESULTS: Murat Belge sees a personal defeat for President Erdogan in leftist Taraf: "We will continue to calculate who has won what, but there is someone who has lost: Erdogan. There is no doubt that he will first turn on PM Minister Davutoglu etc. But I do not believe that many people who will accept this, even among his own grassroots. I also do not think that he will understand the electorate’s response that has cracked over his head like a whip. I cannot guess what kind of manoeuvres he will resort to, and I do not even want to think about that. We will see. But in June 2015, we have passed a very significant barrier, brothers!"
Murat Yetkin detects a significant political shift centre-left Radikal: "The HDP’s [pro-Kurdish leftist alliance’s] success is the product of the most serious act of solidarity presented by voters in Turkey in recent times. Some 2-3 per cent of the leftist urban vote, who could have easily voted for the CHP [main opposition Republican People's Party] under other conditions, gave their votes to the HDP instead, for two reasons: The first is HDP leader Demirtas' promise not to allow Erdogan to introduce a presidential regime. Second, they believe in the need for Kurdish politics to become part of Turkish politics and support that goal. The HDP’s entry to parliament, not narrowly but with a comfortable margin of some 80 MPs, will not only alter Turkey’s political life but Kurdish politics as well. This is the end of Erdogan's rise in Turkish politics."
Mehmet Tezkan believes that the results may signal new elections in centrist Milliyet: "A coalition means that the president will stay outside. For that reason, the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] will not agree to such a coalition. In short, establishing a coalition that can rule Turkey for the next four years is beyond difficult; it is simply impossible. What will happen then? We will have early elections, either in the autumn, or in a year’s time. All the calculations point in this direction. Can the AKP form a minority government? It can, but only under certain conditions, such as that of new elections. The president is the biggest loser from the elections."
Hikmet Cetinkaya calls on the HDP’s leaders to remember the aspirations of those who voted for them in secular, Kemalist Cumhuriyet: "The situation is clear; the HDP has destroyed the barrier of an anti-democratic, pro-coup era; the law on parties and election has been bankrupted. The HDP and its co-chair Selahattin Demirtas are the winners of the elections. The HDP’s senior ranks and Demirtas must not forget the votes that have supported his party! The people of Turkey want peace, fraternity and unity, not separatism; they want social compromise, not alienation. Our democracy, our people, have won!"
Ali Bulac argues the HDP has benefited from the AKP’s mistakes in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-Gulen Zaman: "The HDP has played its key role successfully. The majority of the votes it received have come from Kurdish-rooted citizens, no doubt. In no other elections have Kurdish voters supported a Kurdish nationalist party to such an extent. In this election, the religious Kurdish voters gave up on AKP. But votes went to the HDP, not only from Kurdish electors, but from the AKP, CHP and the SP [Felicity Party that gave birth to the AKP] as well. It would be no exaggeration to say that votes went to it even from the MHP [Nationalist Movement Party]. Even if they did not want to do so, the people have voted for the HDP for a compelling reason. This has to do with the serious mistakes that the AKP has been committing for a long time, of course."
Hasan Cemal has high hopes for the future in independent Internet T24: "There is no reason to beat around the bush. There is only one loser in the election: Tayyip Erdogan. And the winner is Selahattin Demirtas and the HDP. This is the victory of peace and democracy. It represents Erdogan’s collapse. On June 7th, he put himself up to the vote, and lost. The June 7th elections, and the fact HDP has destroyed the 10% threshold (which is quite shameful for a democracy), represent a turning point for democracy. It is a turning point for the state of law. It is a turning point for peace. The ‘New Turkey’ that the AKP often refers to will now actually be built. I believe in that."
Nasuhi Gungor predicts stalemate and new elections in centre-right, pro-AKP Star: "Altogether we will see whether the party that promotes ethnic identity and political understanding [the HDP] will be able to open a new page that overcomes its past or not. Another important result is that no strong model of government will emerge from the elections. It is clear that a government formed by the three other parties (CHP/MHP/HDP) will not last long. We are entering a new era with surprising results and many questions. I am one of those who believe that new elections lie ahead."
Ibrahim Karagul anticipates a period of political uncertainty in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-AKP Yeni Safak: "The HDP is the surprise of these elections, of course. I always thought that it would pass the electoral threshold but I did not think that it would receive so many votes. The growth of the HDP and the MHP has fed each other and these two changes have overturned the elections’ results. It seems that a serious number of votes have shifted from the AKP to the MHP, and that the Kurdish conservative electors have shifted to the HDP. The growth of the HDP has seriously come at the expense of the CHP. It seems that the CHP's centrist and pro-status quo role has ended with these elections. An AKP-MHP coalition may be a strong government. But still, it is very premature to raise such a difficult prospect. There may be those who think about a CHP-MHP coalition and a government that can be supported by the HDP from outside. This too will be a disaster for the country and will not have a long life."
2-From today’s Iranian press
NUCLEAR TALKS: Reformist Mardom Salari is self-righteous: “Iranian decisions are based on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of 2013, on international law and the nation’s basic rights. They are based on transparency, honesty and support for the negotiating team. On the other side, the decision-making crisis in the United States is more obvious than ever. The Western strategy of isolating Iran has come at the expense of democracy based on participation and civil rights. Western support for authoritarian regimes in the region, alliance with terrorist groups and opposition to Assad’s regime are due to their hostility to Iran. The failed fight against Takfiri groups in Iraq and ISIS shows that the Middle East is the main challenge for the Obama administration.”
Moderate Iran berates the hardliners: “When the hard-liners’ plan to launch street protests against the nuclear talks was banned, they launched a campaign in the social media. They replaced street protests with the collection of signatures for a petition and asked those whose professions have nothing to do with foreign policy to declare their position on the most professional and technical part of the nuclear negotiations - namely access to Iran’s nuclear and security sites.”
SANCTIONS: Conservative Khorasan questions the president’s wisdom: “It is surprising that President Rowhani speaks about sanctions from a position of weakness. It is surprising that he disregards the progress achieved during his own administration despite the problems imposed by sanctions and considers the resolution of the country’s problems dependent on the lifting of sanctions. The two sides’ weapons in the talks are clear to see. The West has the weapon of sanctions and pressure on Iran and on our side we have the resistance weapon and some nuclear technical achievements. Amidst this scene and approaching the final act, the president’s stance in pumping up the other side’s weapon - even if this is not an exaggeration - is contrary to the principles of prudence and hope. We should hope he will compensate for this error.”
Conservative Siyasat-e Ruz counsels: “Since the revolution’s victory, Iran has been under harsh U.S. and Western sanctions. Our Honourable President has linked the solution of all economic and environmental problems such as youth unemployment and diminishing water resources to sanctions. Undoubtedly, the sanctions have affected the economy, but experts have asserted that sanctions have less impact on Iran’s economic problems than perceived. The government should not concentrate all options on the results of the negotiations.”
KHOMEINI: Hard-line Keyhan remembers the Imam: “The ‘establishment of the pure Islam of Muhammad against American Islam’, ‘faith in the promises of God and no trust in the arrogant powers’, ‘faith in the will and strength of the people and against a focus on government’, ‘concrete support to the poor against the rich’, ‘firm opposition to international bullies and oppressors’, ‘national independence and rejection of submission’ and ‘national unity and fight against divisive plots’ are the main principles of Imam Khomeini. These pillars of the Imam’s thought are a thorn in the enemy’s eye.”
YEMEN: Conservative Hemayat is outraged by Saudi behaviour: “The Saudi justification for bombing Yemen is irrational, illegal and inhuman. They claim that the legitimate Yemeni government has asked them for support and that in order to bring the legal government back to power, they have launched the war. This justification is not in line with their actions. Killing defenceless people, destroying public sites, the national infrastructure and food stocks and blockading Yemen from ground, air and sea are not in line with this logic. Who has allowed the Saudi government to attack a country to defend its government?”
TURKISH ELECTIONS: Conservative Resalat reports: “The People’s Republican Party, which is the main critic of Erdogan’s policies towards Syria, has managed to win the votes of the Alevis of Turkey. Turkish Alevis, who have very close ties with Syrian Alawites, seek to prevent the ruling Justice and Development Party from taking full control of parliament.”
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