MIDEAST MIRROR 5.10.18, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)
From today’s Turkish press
LOCAL POLITICS: Ahmet Hakan sees hope for change in center-right Hurriyet: "The CHP [main opposition Republican People's Party] recently held a meeting in which they said that they would henceforth adopt the language of the right-wing. For example, instead of talking about the U.S. consultancy McKinsey issue, which would not even attract the attention of 70 percent of the people and would drown them in technical details, issues such as inflation, cost of living, and unemployment should be stressed. The CHP has been doing exactly the opposite so far, but let us not go back to talking about its 'hopelessness.'"
Sadrettin Karaduman maintains that the government has shifted policies to no effect in pro-Islamic opposition Milli Gazete: "Remember how President Erdogan recently called out the U.S.? Some people nearly jumped out of their skin, wondering what was going on. Well, this only lasted until it evolved into an agreement with McKinsey. Now, tense relations were repaired during the Germany visit. We have gone back to square one in relations with both the U.S. and the EU. In other words, the government has climbed mountains and crossed valleys, but it has gone nowhere fast."
Melih Altinok is unimpressed by partisan attempts to reach out to the public pro-government Sabah: "The other day we read the MHP's [Nationalist Movement Party's] 152-page guidebook on behavior that it has published for its candidates. This includes detailed guidelines and recommends using vitamins and antidepressants before interacting with the public. Yesterday, we also learned about a lecture on 'effective communications techniques' that the CHP deemed necessary in order to emphasize 'its proximity to the people'. One wishes that this education could have been provided at a much earlier stage."
KURDISH ISSUE: Yilmaz Ozdil laments the price of war in nationalist opposition Sozcu: "Nearly 8,000 martyrs, more than 20,000 veterans, and 45,000 dead: This is the result of 35 years of struggle. And yesterday we offered eight more martyrs in the Southeastern province of Batman. What was the name of one of them? Suleyman Aydin! In 1984, Suleyman Aydin. In 2005, Suleyman Aydin. In 2015, Suleyman Aydin. In 2018, Suleyman Aydin."
Ahmet Kekec takes aim at the leading Kurdish party in pro-government Star: "The HDP [pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party] has never felt the need to distance itself from the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party]. The reason is very clear: The HDP is not a political party, nor is it a legitimate structure created by the 'sociology' of the region. It is a 'fiction'. It emerged as a manipulation of insecurity (during a certain period), and grew under the shelter of tolerance for those who consider the PKK to be just a matter of 'public security'. The HDP's sole objective is to legitimize PKK terror and defend its actions. Therefore, the HDP should never be expected to denounce PKK terror."
MEDIA: Emre Tansu Ketene argues that the government has silenced the independent media in pro-Kurdish opposition Yeni Yasam: "Handing the Dogan Media Group over to the pro-government Demiroren Group amounted to a shift from the AKP's [ruling Justice and Development Party] attempt to tame the mainstream media to destroying it. We can now say there is nothing left that can be defined as the 'mainstream media.' Demiroren is a capital group that is stationed as an on-duty guard [for the government], rather than as a patron of the media."
Iran media watch
(Please note that Iranian newspapers do not publish on Fridays and Channel One (IRTV1) does not air its morning news bulletin.)
LEADER'S SPEECH: State radio VIRI led its morning bulletin with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i's speech to a gathering of Basij members at Tehran's Azadi Stadium yesterday. VIRI said Khamene'i's remarks were focused on "the strength of the Islamic Republic" and "the invincibility of the people of Iran". In his speech, Khamene'i said Iran faced a "sensitive time" because of threats from the United States and its own economic problems and that the West was using "dangerous" media to confront Iran.
TRUMP'S REMARK ON SAUDI KING: Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted to President Trump's remark that the Saudi King would not last "two weeks" without U.S. support. English-language Press TV reported on a Tweet by Zarif where he criticized Trump for "humiliating" the Saudis. "This is the recompense for the delusion that one's security can be outsourced," he wrote, adding that Iran extends its hand to its neighbors to build a "strong region".
CENTRAL BANK CHIEF IN RUSSIA: The governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Abdolnasser Hemmati, is in Moscow to discuss the prospect of abolishing the U.S. dollar from bilateral transactions with his Russian counterpart. Rolling news channel IRINN and VIRI reported on his trip.
U.S. BIOWEAPONS LAB IN GEORGIA: Press TV this morning took part in Russia's intensifying campaign around the U.S.-funded Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Georgia. The report outlined Russia's claims that the center is being used to develop biological weapons and that its location near Russia's southern frontier is significant in this regard. The channel interviewed Gordon Duff, Ohio-based senior editor of the Veterans Today conspiracy website, who endorsed Russia's narrative.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter users have been extensively commenting in Persian and English (over 73,000 Tweets in the last day) as the third round of lorry drivers' strike continues nationwide. According to an unofficial tally, security forces and judicial authorities have arrested over 170 people, mostly on charges of "road disruption" or "banditry". "Iranian truckers began another – longer than usual – nationwide strike to protest rising costs, three months after an earlier lengthy strike drew international support and caused shortages at petrol stations," one user Tweeted in English. "Please be the voice of Iranian truckers on strike. They want nothing but a normal life such as yours," another user wrote addressing foreign activists and social media users. Many pro-regime users highlighted Khamene'i's remarks at Tehran's Azadi Stadium yesterday where he addressed a large gathering of Basij paramilitary forces and spoke of Iran’s glory and defeating sanctions.