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1-From today’s Turkish press


TURKEY/EU: Taha Akyol explains what lies behind the growing EU rift with Turkey in center-right Hurriyet: "One reason for the breakdown in EU-Turkish relations is related to Europe and the growth of the ultra right and Islamophobic populist trends, and the decline in Europe's expansionist dynamic. The second reason is about us: The impression of authoritarianism that emerged before the FETO [Gulen] issue came to light and the fact that this is becoming stronger are fodder for the extreme right and Turkey's opponents in Europe."

Writing in the same paper, Murat Yetkin, sees both farce and tragedy: "The European Parliament's decision is farcical, because the EP does not have binding authority over the European Council in the first place. In fact, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn was in Ankara when it was clear that the vote would be held that day as if to say 'let us take care of our own business'. Secondly, the negotiations are, de facto, not under way. They are only on paper. But it is tragic from our point of view, because the same parliament that applauded Turkey in 2004 during the period of EU harmonization reforms, yesterday told us that we are not wanted to our face."

Guneri Civaoglu detects a temporary reprieve in centrist Milliyet: "If tensions in the EU-Turkey relationship continue to soar until 2019 [when constitutional amendments take effect in Turkey], this latest tendency towards 'suspension' could penetrate the EU bodies that have the authority to officially suspend the accession talks. For now, Turkey's stance, as EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik has announced, is 'to return the file on the European Parliament's decision without even opening its cover'".

Soli Ozel downplays the problem in center-right Haber Turk: "This decision does not have much significance, in fact, for two reasons: First, the parliament's decision is not binding. Therefore, its decision will not make it possible to suspend negotiations. Second, negotiations are still pending in any case. Both sides for their own reasons, and without having the courage to unplug the life support system and kill the comatose patient, are pretending that the negotiations process, which has de facto ended, is continuing."

Kurtulus Tayiz notes that the Turkish people have turned against Europe in center-right, pro-government Aksam: "The colic in Turkey-Europe relations is undoubtedly not limited to the European Parliament report. Europe has taken many negative decisions regarding Turkey of late. The EP's latest decision will lead to a cooling in attitudes towards the EU in Turkish society, and more radical demands being made regarding relations with the West. Europe must also realize this: The Turkish people long ago gave up on negotiations with Europe, which supports terrorism. It is the government, not the people, that persists with negotiations."

Mustafa Kartoglu examines how the process may develop in center-left, pro-government Star: "The decision is non-binding; the final decision will be made by the EU Council consisting of the leaders of 28 member states. While EP lawmakers' decisions are influenced by their respective domestic politics, the leaders will decide using the current 'state-mind-set'. This is why two issues will be key: Relations at the leadership level; and greater contact with parliamentarians who did not take part in the vote or abstained, and who support the continuation of negotiations with Turkey."



2-From today’s Iranian press


THE ECONOMY: The head of the IRGC Construction Headquarters (KAHQ) has said that the IRGC undertakes those projects that the private sector cannot do. Commenting on the new major energy deal between Iran and France's Total, he said KAHQ has completed semi-finished projects abandoned by foreign contractors. IRGC commanders have been defending their role in development projects following remarks made by President Hassan Rowhani on their involvement in the country's economy and development projects.


G20 SUMMIT: Iranian news network IRINN and English-language Press TV reported on the massive protests staged in Hamburg ahead of the G20 summit. Press TV said the demonstration was dubbed "Welcome to Hell" by the alliance of anti-capitalist groups who organized it. Both agencies showed footage of clashes and the police dispersing protesters with water cannon.


SOCIAL MEDIA: Iranian users continue to comment on a social media campaign launched in June against a law that forces women to wear a headscarf as an Islamic dress code under the title 'whitewednesdays'. "The most ridiculous criticism of 'whitewednesdays' I heard on Wednesday is why people use one kind of hijab to fight the mandatory hijab," wrote one user. Another user posted a photo of an alleged Turkish couple in Iran as tourists, where the man is wearing a headscarf. He wrote: "A Turkish tourist who came to Tabriz with his wife was saying that he wore a head scarf to sympathize with his wife since she had to wear one." Another user published a photo showing a number of women with white headscarves sitting next to prominent Tehran-based political activist Mohammad Nurizad. The user wrote: "Nurizad in support of 'whitewednesdays'."