MIDEAST MIRROR 02.06.15, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)
1-From today’s Turkish press
JUNE 7th GENERAL ELECTIONS: Oral Calislar describes Turkey’s elections’ eve climate in centre-left Radikal: "With every passing day, the leaders are gradually stepping up their rhetoric in order to boost their support and persuade the voters. Because the opposing sides’ media have become involved, the climate is becoming confused. Observing matters from a distance, the scene appears gloomy. One can say that CHP [Republican People's Party] and the MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] voters have hope for change with regard to their parties. A sense of calm is much more apparent especially in the MHP. Those left behind are the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] and HDP [pro-Kurdish leftist alliance] voters."
Nihat Ali Ozcan questions the Kurds’ commitment to peace in centrist Milliyet: "Even if the HDP acts as if it were independent, the true power is imprisoned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Ocalan and his party. The HDP cannot decide by which means to pursue politics at the strategic level, and including extra-democratic methods. The HDP has been assigned two roles in Ocalan’s and consequently, in the PKK's political-military strategy: One is the visible part of the iceberg and it is the legal fight at the ballot box. And the other is the use of force, which is the sine qua non of the PKK’s political-military strategy. It is important to determine which role the HDP will undertake in the coming era, rather than the number of its MPs in parliament."
Sukran Somer downplays the significance of the ballot box in secular, Kemalist Cumhuriyet: "In our world, and especially as we look around us, there are many authoritarian dictatorships in the Middle East and Muslim world that came out of the ballot box. If one ignores the [Arab] kingdoms that are a legacy form the past and that have survived thanks to their strong relations with the U.S., the Western world and its imperialist interests and all the shari’a-style dictatorships that are based on different sects, use ballot boxes."
Sahin Alpay has a simple remedy in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-Gulen Zaman: "If one does not want Turkey to head in the direction that President Erdogan wants, if one does not want to see the gradual suppression of freedom of the press, the opposition and democracy, if one opposes Erdogan, then there is no remedy other than saying yes to [HDP leader Selahattin] Demirtas. It seems that Erdogan and his supporters’ biggest fear is that the HDP will pass the 10% electoral threshold."
Erhan Basyurt fears the country’s ruin in centrist, pro-Gulen Bugun: "Cumhuriyet newspaper has been subject to a political lynching after it published pictures of the illegal transfer of weapons to terrorist organizations in Syria in January 2014. HDP Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtas has summed it all up: if the AKP emerges from the elections strong, it will launch an operation against all its opponents. Turkey is moving away from freedom and democracy and turning into a poor, authoritarian country in which everyone is suspect. Those who do not accept illegal acts are punished and those who obey them are praised. The country is being dragged towards the abyss. The retreat from democracy is ruining Turkey."
Hasan Cemal argues that Erdogan faces growing opposition even from within his closest circles in independent Internet daily T24: "Yes, it is true; Turkey's problem is Erdogan, full stop! Please note this as well; those who have become aware of this fact are growing not just among the AKP’s senior ranks, but within his own inner circle as well. The price of Erdogan is gradually growing bigger. It is no secret that behind closed doors inside the AKP, meticulous calculations are being made as to 'how to get rid of Erdogan'. Their calculations are linked to June 7th. If the HDP passes the 10% threshold on June 7th, the Erdogan problem will be solved."
Murat Kelkitoglu accuses the HDP of seeking to scuttle the peace process in centre-right, pro-government Aksam: "The HDP problem’s is not that of the peace process at all. Its only goal is to hamper President Erdogan, who is the architect and guarantor of the peace process. They make no effort to hide that. If the HDP passes the electoral threshold, the Republic of Turkey’s most valuable project, namely, the peace process, will come to an end."
2-From today’s Iranian press
CRITICS OF NUCLEAR TALKS: Reformist E'temad is confident: "Those protesting against the negotiations ignore the vote and decision of the people to elect Hassan Rowhani in June 2013. This minority cannot have a serious impact on the talks. These critics make clear to the West that there are some in Iran who want to obstruct the negotiations, which would probably work in Iran’s favour in the talks. An agreement that the people and regime want will be reached soon."
Reformist Arman does not believe the critics are being helpful: "For some time now, critics of Rowhani's government have sought to influence public opinion instead of providing support based on logic. There is no sign of constructive criticism. Moreover, some have tried to hold illegal gatherings and provoke public feelings. This will have the opposite effect. Perhaps the opponents want to copy the other side, hoping that the protests will pressurize them. However this behaviour is such that it does not have a psychological impact on the opposite side, but further pressurizes our own officials."
YEMEN: Hard-line Keyhan finds an opportunity for the Houthis: "The war in Yemen is not helping the Saudi ruling family and can be the biggest opportunity for the Houthis. Unwittingly, Saudi Arabia is forcing them and the rest of the Yemeni people to think about their own defence requirements. Dialogue has lost much of its relevance; the proposed Geneva talks will not secure an achievement for the Houthis and there is no point in holding them. The Houthis should not sit and wait for the Geneva conference to define the fate of Yemen. They should form their own cabinet and formally announce it. The persistence of the Saudi aggression will lend it legitimacy."
Hard-line Javan compares Yemen to Gaza: "Although the Arab League and the Islamic Cooperation Organization were established to support Palestine, they are silent regarding current developments there, including the human tragedy in the Gaza Strip. This has laid the way for the continuation of the Zionist regime's expansionist and repressive measures. The silence and passivity of these two Islamic and Arab institutions in Gaza and Yemen is led by Saudi Arabia. Conditions in Gaza and Yemen are similar in many respects; both countries are the victims of the Saudi/Israeli coalition."
For conservative Resalat the war in Yemen is nothing less than a war against Islam:" The war in Yemen will lead to Saudi Arabia's defeat and will pave the way for the disintegration of the country as well as the weakening of Islam by the hegemonic powers. Leaders of Islamic countries should not forget that the expansion of proxy wars, like Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen, is a new conspiracy to create discord among Muslims, and destroy Islam and Muslim countries at the hands of the Muslims themselves and in the name of Islam. The war will lead to nothing but Muslims serving America, Israel and other arrogant countries."
FIGHTING ISIS: Conservative Quds writes about the expansion of ISIS: "ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq have not been weakened - rather they enjoy more power and military capability. The media and propaganda concentration on events in Iraq aims at distracting attention and strengthening ISIS in Syria to pave the way for their expansion into new regions, including Yemen, Libya, some parts in Lebanon as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan. The threat in Afghanistan and Pakistan is more serious. In recent weeks, the name of ISIS has been frequently heard in circles of active terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Concern over the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan has reached Tehran, and a Taleban delegation visited Tehran for consultations about this new crisis."
Moderate Iran counsels Syria: "Following the latest round of terrorist attacks of Takfiris in Syria and the fall of the city of Palmyra and the Idlib Province, concerns regarding ISIS operations have increased in public consciousness. Because of the military support of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the Syrian army should think about strengthening its lines of defence, so that it can prevent the widespread advancement of Al-Nusra and ISIS and gradually rescue Syria from terrorists by recruiting forces from within the Syrian people."
Conservative Khorasan argues for one front, one fight: "Since the emergence of the terrorist group ISIS and the spread of other Takfiri groups in the region, the only force that has seriously fought them has been the popular resistance movement in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. However, it is entirely naive to think that the defeat of ISIS in Iraq will resolve Iraq’s problems. Ignoring the terrorists' backup resources in Syria will slow down their elimination and will ensure that the shadow of terror will remain over Iraq. Although the resistance front is ideologically strong, the battlefield gap between their forces in Iraq and Syria has made the fight against the Takfiris more difficult. The drying up of the evil tree of ISIS will not be realized unless an integrated resistance front is formed with the entry of Iraqi popular forces into Syria and the broader presence of Lebanese Hizbollah from Baqubah in Iraq to Latakia in Syria and from Dara'a in Syria to the Beqaa in Lebanon."
U.S./PAKISTAN: Conservative Siyasat-e Ruz contends that Pakistan is repeating the same mistake: "A Pakistani delegation is in the U.S. to participate in a new round of strategic negotiations between the two countries. The Americans claim that they seek to increase military assistance to Pakistan in order to strengthen its defensive capability, especially in the fight against terrorism. Pakistani authorities insist that by improving strategic and military relations with the U.S., they will develop their capability in the fight against terrorism and gain superiority over their rival India and even Afghanistan."
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