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MIDEAST MIRROR 30.06.15, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)

 

1-From today’s Turkish press

 

TURKISH MILITARY INTERVENTION IN SYRIA: Ezgi Basaran argues that Ankara has no legitimate grounds for military intervention in Syria in centre-left Radikal: "Is the Syrian operation that the government has ordered the Turkish army to launch legitimate? No it is not. Saying 'we will enter Syria and create a buffer zone because of ISIS activities' is not self-defense but occupation. A 'preventive operation', will also be considered to be like the 'preventive strike' that former U.S. president Bush worked hard to justify but could not turn into something legitimate. Moving onto the territory of another country while claiming a possible attack from the other side is considered to be occupation. This is an attack. This is an occupation. Full stop."

Nazli Ilicak takes a similar line in centrist, pro-Gulen, Bugun: "Turkey is seeking to establish a buffer zone in the region to the west of Kobani. Such an action will confront significant problems. A government that has lost an election cannot take this decision. The claim that this measure is aimed against ISIS militants is not convincing as they have been crossing the border quite easily and have been protected up until now. Syria is a state and Turkey moving onto its territory might mean an occupation in international law. Have the UN and the West been persuaded of this issue?"

Mehmet Tezkan warns against war fever in centrist Milliyet: "The atmosphere in Ankara has changed. Suddenly the war drums have begun to beat. Some say 'let us enter Syria soon'. It is easy to enter, but hard to get out! On how many fronts will we fight, and against how many organizations? What will be our aim even if we do fight? We cannot occupy half of Syria. We cannot conquer Damascus. This government is lame duck. There is no emergency; it cannot give the order to go to war!"

Writing in the same paper, Ergun Babahan charges the government with acting in its own narrow interests:  "The whole world knows that the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government is supplying arms to radical elements including ISIS and making it easier for them to cross the border. For this reason, no one will be deceived if the government were to enter Syria while claiming that this is meant to combat ISIS. There can only be one reason if no one objects: this will be because they want Turkey to enter and face the outcome. We are dealing with the AKP’s mentality that is getting ready to cast the country into the furnace in order to serve its own ambitions."

Okay Gonensin does not believe that this is the moment for military action in centrist Vatan: "While Turkey's intervention in the region is being discussed, the desire to eliminate the PYD [pro-Kurdish Democratic Union Party in northern Syria] by using the ISIS excuse is also being revealed. Turkish military intervention in this complicated region should without doubt be viewed as a last resort. It is very easy for the Turkish army to enter Syria but it is always much harder to get out."

Mustafa Balbay detects a classic political ploy in secular, Kemalist Cumhuriyet: "This is a classical case; a leader who is cornered inside the country produces a foreign policy problem and then drags attention towards it, which means that he is looking for ways to enhance his position. This is the first thing that comes to mind after the AKP has invented a big threat in Syria and asked to move to eliminate it. The Syrian problem was not born yesterday. It has been in place since 2011. The AKP has brought matters to this point by sitting right at the centre of the problem. Put aside losing out in Syria, President Erdogan does not even want to share power at home. To that end, he will do anything he can."

Abdulkadir Selvi believes that military action is inevitable in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-government Yeni Safak: "Are we getting into a war against Syria? No. Are we getting into a war against ISIS? No. Are we getting into Syria? I guess we are. What will we do? We will establish a buffer zone. If we return to the question as to whether Turkish troops should cross the border, the answer is: ‘it would be better not to need to cross the border’. But looking at the situation as it stands, this does not seem possible."

 

 

2-From today’s Iranian press

 

NUCLEAR TALKS: Hard-line Keyhan believes that basic conceptual differences will make reaching a deal impossible: "Throughout the 12-year old nuclear challenge, we and our rivals have been pursuing a good deal preferring no deal to a bad deal. The difference is over how we define a good deal. In our view, a good deal is one that allows our nuclear industry to continue to function. We are willing to agree to some concessions in the give and take of negotiations. If the outcome of negotiations is not the lifting of all sanctions and the continuation of our nuclear industry, the talks lose their legal and political meaning. The other side has another notion of a good deal, which is totally contradictory to our view. In the eyes of the U.S. and its allies, a good deal is an agreement that results in the total dismantling of our nuclear industry and its irreversible destruction. As long as the problem persists in its current form, reaching an agreement will be impossible." 

Reformist Sharq is upbeat: "Even though Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's return to Tehran was pre-planned, some linked his consultations in Tehran to the latest decisions to be made in Vienna. This could indicate that the parties are close to reaching a final deal. There is little chance that Zarif's return was due to the emergence of a serious deadlock. With the exception of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, foreign ministers from other countries at the talks also returned to their capitals. It can be concluded that the joint action plan and its annexes are almost ready and the foreign ministers of seven countries have gone to their countries for the final approval of their respective governments." 

Conservative Khorasan is cautious: "In the final hours before the deadline, reports indicate significant obstacles. It is clear that lifting the sanctions can create economic opportunities in Iran. But with this psychological atmosphere, as well as the clever American network created for the continuation of sanctions, is any commercial entity in the world ready - on the assumption of a deal - to think that America's problems with Iran have been resolved and economic ties with Iran can be resumed? We should not expect the immediate removal of the complex sanction structure. The government should think about resolving our current economic problems irrespective of a deal. If a good deal is reached; it will be a bonus."

Conservative Siyasat-e Ruz considers Amano’s attendance a bad omen: "The nuclear negotiations will resume today when Foreign Minister Zarif returns to the talks. The West seeks to hide its destructive role in the failure of the talks and portray Iran as the guilty party. The attitude of IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano should also be considered. For the first time, Mr Amano was present at the negotiations for two consecutive days and, yesterday, he met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry." 

Hard-line Javan is deeply doubtful: "America's main goal in the negotiations is Iran's humiliation and surrender. An agreement on the technical aspects of Iran's nuclear programme is a small matter for them. By imposing a deal on Iran, they want to declare that, after 36 years, they have managed to defeat Iran's revolution." 

Conservative Resalat is also suspicious of Amano’s role: "Yukiya Amano is trying to play a significant role in the Vienna talks. His record of misconduct suggests that we cannot be optimistic about his role. Amano has often been silent on the issues and disputes that have recently been discussed and does not adopt clear stances. For example, the statutes of the IAEA, the NPT and even the additional protocol are not his guidelines in determining inspections. His behaviour in recent years has been determined by the concerns and objectives of the arrogant powers led by the U.S.. If Amano wants to continue playing his hindering role, he will be a factor in the failure of the talks."

Reformist Arman looks around: "We are close to the deadline and extremists are screaming to prevent a deal. The Zionist regime is on the first line of confrontation. American radicals, who do not know where Iran is located, are in tow. The reaction of the German Foreign Minister, on the side lines of the talks, was more encouraging. The British Foreign Secretary's reaction was conservative; the British consider themselves less interested in the talks than Germany."

 

ECONOMY: Reformist Mardom Salari looks forward: "Either we remain isolated and have a self-financing economy, moving closer to North Korea or, by understanding the conditions of global competition, link ourselves to this changing world and benefit from its development. In one of the clauses of the Lausanne agreement it is stated that, following a possible final deal, the U.S. will not hinder Iran's membership of the World Trade Organization, which is our rightful demand. If the government resorts to price controls to regulate inflation; that would be contrary to joining the global community."

 

SAUDI ARABIA/YEMEN: Centrist Jomhuri-ye Eslami argues that the Saudis will face definite defeat whichever way they turn: "At the beginning of its aggression against Yemen, the Saudi royal family was confident about winning the war. They thought that, by endless bombing, they would destroy all the military capabilities of Houthi rebels and Yemen's economic infrastructure. Al-Qa’ida forces from the southeast, and the supporters of Mansour Hadi from the south, would finish the job. But the exemplary zeal of the Houthis and the heroic resistance of the Yemeni people have foiled all of Saudi Arabia's calculations and dreams. They have just two options now: accept military defeat with all its consequences and, to protect their throne, acquiesce to a political solution, or in addition to their criminal and crazy air attacks, bring in the army. That, of course, will eventually lead to nothing but a bigger and more disdainful defeat and the definite fall of the ruling family." 

 

GREECE: Moderate Iran considers grim prospects for the future of Europe: "Greece's exit from the euro zone will be the first crack and rupture in the unity of Europe. This will make Britain even more determined to withdraw from the European Union. It will also contribute to the campaign for the Austrians' exit from the Union. If the European Union cannot solve Greece's problem with banknotes and cheque books, then its collapse will start from the southeast. The only thing that will remain of the desire for a united Europe will be memories." 

 

TURKEY/SYRIA: Reformist E'temad counts on the army and public opinion: "It has been reported that the Turkish government has ordered the army to enter Syria, but it seems impossible that the army will obey the order. A Turkish attack on Syria would be a violation of Syrian sovereignty and would certainly be condemned by other countries in the region and the world. The opposition and public opinion in Turkey strongly opposes the move, even though Turkey has supported terrorists over the past years."   

 

 

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