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1-From today’s Turkish press


TURKISH MILITARY INTERVENTION IN SYRIA: Ezgi Basaran denies that Turkey has grounds for a humanitarian intervention in Syria in centre-left Radikal: "A 'humanitarian intervention' is universally considered to be legitimate when it follows violence, such as genocide or a massive massacre. For example, if Turkey had entered Syria to rescue the Yezidis who were being massacred, this could have been a credible explanation. But one cannot talk of a 'humanitarian intervention' while saying 'we will establish a buffer zone for ourselves'. Getting into Syria to establish a buffer zone is against international law. It is illegal. Do not drag this country even further into the Syria quagmire."

Writing in the same paper, Cengiz Candar argues that Ankara is fixated on Assad and the Kurds rather than ISIS: "President Erdogan and PM Davutoglu’s approach to Syria was never 'ISIS first', but 'Syrian President Assad’s regime first'. That is why, regardless of their statements to the contrary, the AKP [Justice and Development Party] government conducted a policy that tacitly backed ISIS. Erdogan's problem is not about Jarablus ending up in the hands of ISIS or Azaz [in Turkey] being under the ISIS threat, but the probability that the region between Kobani and Afrin cantons may gradually get under the control of the PYD [pro-Kurdish Democratic Union Party]."

Melih Asik warns against a potential disaster in centrist Milliyet: "Assad has not yet been toppled. He is defending his country like a man. We stopped pursuing Assad a long time ago. The PYD-PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] and ISIS are fighting each other on our border, seeking to take control of the region. There are reports that there will be a military operation against Syria. Whom will we be fighting after we enter Syria? Assad, the PYD, ISIS and the Nusra Front will all be against us. If Ankara is not bluffing, a military operation against Syria will be the final point in Turkey's disaster."

Ozgur Mumcu charges the president and government with playing with war in secular, Kemalist Cumhuriyet: "The president of the republic who is not the President [as in a fully presidential system] and the government that is not permanent are playing a war game. The president whose legitimacy has been stripped away and the government that will soon depart if a coalition is formed are seeking to take up arms to extend their power. They are dreaming of a military operation that is being presented internally as one against the PYD (PKK) and externally as being against ISIS. The goal is to establish a buffer zone. A dream of war, which has no real legal, political or economic basis, is being enacted."

Mehmet Cetingulec calls for a referendum in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-Gulen Zaman: "Turkey is discussing an operation to establish a buffer zone and enter Syria, which will have significant economic and social consequences. To do that, a new government must be first formed and the new parliament must approve it. Moreover, why not ask the nation before making a decision that might cause a war - our neighbor Greece is even taking the EU debt bargaining to a referendum? An incursion into Syria is not a simple matter."

Beril Dedeoglu suggests that Turkish intervention is in the offing but its framework remains undecided in centre-right, pro-government Star: "ISIS is putting Turkey in a difficult situation and threatening France. Only France and Turkey have openly taken a stand against Assad. In the end, ISIS is forcing Turkey and France to go for a joint operation. Since there is also the U.S., which is bombing various areas in Syria, such a coalition will probably be under a NATO umbrella. Yet if Turkey intervenes, it is unclear what the framework for this intervention would be."



2-From today’s Iranian press


NUCLEAR TALKS: Conservative Siyasat-e Ruz repeats: "The West and, in particular the Americans, prefer any agreement to not signing one. The U.S. sole option is an agreement; it does not have any other options. The talk of a military option is a bluff since Americans are well aware of Iran's defence capabilities, even though they lack essential information. In fact, their insistence on gaining access to military sites is an attempt to obtain vital information about our armed forces. For Americans, the failure of the negotiations is not an option, because they do not have any other options. Military threats are a form of psychological warfare and political bluff." 

Hard-line Javan defines a good agreement: "All parties speak about a good agreement. Some contend that the extension of talks for a few days is fine in order to reach a good agreement. Each side has its own interpretation of a good agreement. The main, and the most important, objective is to preserve our nuclear industry; that is the fundamental pillar of a good agreement." 

Reformist Mardom Salari is both suspicious and hopeful: "It is most important to achieve an unambiguous, transparent and permanent text because the West is deceitful and easily resorts to duplicity. It is also necessary for legal advisors to be extremely precise in formulating the articles of the agreement to prevent Western misinterpretations. The lifting of sanctions should occur immediately after a UN resolution. We hope that by reaching a final deal and lifting sanctions, we will make peaceful use of nuclear energy and trust towards Iran will form in international public opinion. The West believes that by lifting sanctions they will gain a great opportunity to make investments in Iran. That is why France's investors have strongly criticized French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius for taking a hard line and not paying attention to French economic interests."

Centrist Jomhuri-ye Eslami is realistic: "On the eve of the deadline, the main concern of people is whether an agreement and the lifting of sanctions will improve the economy and their livelihoods. We should not expect the economy to experience any extensive and rapid changes, even if all sanctions are removed. The fact is that the factors that affected the economy over the past several years have caused great harm. To compensate for the losses, a lot of time and work is needed. The lifting of sanctions would make the necessary work easier and quicker. However, removing sanctions alone is not sufficient, since a large part of the preliminary work is related to changing unhealthy habits, both in the economy and lifestyle." 

Hard-line Keyhan is despondent: "The nuclear negotiations have reached the final station. Over the past 12 years, public opinion has grown familiar with this regularly repeated mantra. Iranian negotiators - from Hassan Rowhani to Ali Larijani, from Jalili to Zarif - have gathered quite valuable experience about the malice of the U.S. and the West. After 12 years of confidence-building and voluntary restrictions, trust in us remains suspended. After 12 years of unprecedented inspection, the International Atomic Energy Agency is still not willing to admit the absence of violations in our nuclear programme. Is a good and dignified deal, based on our national interests, possible? Is any agreement that our team accepts good - and do they have the confidence of the blank cheque of support from the Leadership?" 

Reformist Arman targets France: "France tries to fill the Zionist regime's empty seat in the talks. At the same time, France's few billion dollars’ worth of deals with Saudi Arabia have caused the French to lobby for Saudi Arabia's positions in the talks. These relations have led France to play a negative role in the talks. But if a deal is reached, it is unlikely that France will be able to disturb it."

Reformist Sharq comments: "In the last week of talks, there are still differences between the two sides. An agreement could be at risk if one or both sides do not retreat from their contentious positions. Europe lacks its previous competence due to the presence of the U.S.. The European economy has been vulnerable, weak and affected by the U.S. economy; it is not ready to compete with the American economy. The U.S. is the main side in the current talks, but it also has a lot of problems in foreign policy and needs Iran's help." 

Moderate Iran berates domestic opposition: "Instead of being concerned about threats and pressure from the opposing side, Foreign Minister Zarif and his assistants have been much more worried about the false attacks of domestic opponents. After 20 months of talks, the Iranian diplomatic team can claim that it has been able to clean up most of the negative positions and dark PR of the outside world about Iran. But, none of these changes have had any impact on the attitude and behaviour of domestic opponents. This inflexible and hard stance by a domestic minority opposed to the nuclear talks is a strange mystery."

Reformist E'temad is pleased: "A nuclear agreement is a victory for the stability of Iran and the region. One implication of a deal is that the world's major power recognizes Iran's role in regional stability and the peaceful orientation of Iran's foreign policy, which does not seek to dominate the region." 

Conservative Khorasan urges more attention to NGOs: "The challenging nuclear talks with the six major world powers, who collectively have countless more hours of experience in negotiations, bargaining and the use of complicated techniques - in complex international and strategic areas - reveal the need for Rowhani's prudence and hope government to pay more attention to non-governmental professional organizations than before." 



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