MIDEAST MIRROR 10.10.18, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)
From today’s Turkish press
EU REFERENDUM: Sedat Ergin is concerned about Turkish President Erdogan's statement on a potential EU referendum in center right Hurriyet: "If there were a referendum in Turkey on pursuing the talks on EU membership, Erdogan would probably not be satisfied with the position of an impartial referee, simply asking 'End them, or continue with them', and he would express his choice. The outcome of a scenario whereby he would take a stance against full membership could lead to a grave loss of ground in Turkey's pro-Western perspective, and drive the river to take a different course. All these developments could rattle the balance in Turkish foreign policy at a time when relations with the U.S. have derailed."
Batuhan Yasar argues that the president is merely reflecting reality in pro-government Turkiye: "The president's statement that 'we could go to an EU referendum' has attracted a lot of attention. The EU nations' ambassadors in Ankara are trying to understand what is going on. Some are asking whether 'he has made the final move'. Others are inquiring whether Turkey would really go for such a referendum. Surely, it would: But why should the president make a final move? He has just summarized the realities: What is happening and what is likely to happen."
THE ECONOMY: Murathan Murat dismisses a potential economic move in nationalist opposition Sozcu: "Everyone might as well be given a 10% discount coupon. This is nothing like combating inflation, but is simply a final seasonal discount. The 10% discount is one element in the inflation basket. Therefore, it will temporarily bring inflation down. But then what? It will be the turn for price increases again. I wish things were that easy! Because while discount campaigns are being requested by chain supermarkets, small shop owners will be shutting their doors early."
Israfil Bayrakci depicts a possible economic meltdown in pro-Islamist opposition Milli Gazete: "The wolf enjoys uncertain weather. The constant increase in foreign currency prices followed by sharp drops must have played into the hands of some suspicious people since the number of millionaires has gone up dramatically. In other words, those who know how to fish in murky waters strike it rich. It is the poor and ordinary citizen who pays the price. Poverty and hunger are steadily increasing. The discrepancy between rich and poor keeps widening, and price increases come down like rain."
Ismet Ozcelik takes aim at the government in left-wing opposition Aydinlik: "The government is in despair. It does not recognize the law or anything else. The unemployment fund is not being utilized for the workers. It is being left as capital for the banks. Although the presidential spokesman has referred to this as an established method since former president Ozal's time, the law is very clear. This practice is a crime! The government is startled. It tries to save the day. Everything is in turmoil."
KURDISH ISSUE: Kurtulus Tayiz defends the government's 'anti-terror' measures in pro-government Aksam: "Certain circles will criticize and oppose the 'government-appointed trustee model' [for HDP (pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party) municipalities where mayors are accused of terror links] and find this 'undemocratic'. However, anywhere in the world, especially in Europe, which is regarded as the cradle of democracy, not only is the political space locked against parties and personalities affiliated to terror organizations, heavy sanctions are also in place. We have seen this clearly in the example of [Catalan leader] Batasuna in Spain."
Iran media watch
HALEY'S RESIGNATION: The resignation of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was the top international news across Iranian broadcast media. During her tenure, Haley pushed for a tougher line on Iran and tried to rally support for President Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal, which Iran signed with six world powers. Rolling news channel IRINN said her resignation was a "sign of chaos" in the White House, while Radio Iran (VIRI) quoted "experts" as saying that she stepped down due to her role in "isolating" the United States. Iran's envoy to the UN said Haley "entered the United Nations with a unilateralist view but in practice was melted by the process of multilateralism and is leaving the United Nations with no achievements". "New sheriff in town is no longer," quipped the Iranian UN mission's press secretary on Twitter, referring to a speech last year by Haley in which she described herself as a "new sheriff" at the UN. IRINN said Dina Powell, former deputy national security advisor to President Trump and "Ivanka Trump's best friend", was a likely candidate to succeed Haley. Haley's resignation featured prominently in Iranian newspapers today. Reformist Etemad led with "Resignation of Iran-phobic Sheriff", while financial daily Jahan-e Sanat described Haley's departure as "An Unexpected Separation". Government-run newspaper Iran dubbed Haley "the enemy of the nuclear deal". Top conservative and hardline outlets made no mention of the news on their front pages.
KHASHOGGI'S DISAPPEARANCE: English-language Press TV led its morning bulletin with the mysterious disappearance Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has not been seen since he entered his country's consulate in Istanbul on 2 October to obtain a marriage document. The TV said Turkish security officials had concluded that Khashoggi was assassinated in the consulate on orders from "the highest levels of the Riyadh regime". The channel also aired a video report about the "controversial disappearance" of a number of Saudi critics in recent years.
SOCIAL MEDIA: A number of Iranian social media users are calling for an uprising on 29 October. The relevant hashtag has been used more than 4,200 times over the past 24 hours. The day is celebrated annually by thousands to commemorate Cyrus the Great, who founded the Achaemenid Persian Empire some 2,500 years ago. Many gather to mark the occasion in Pasargadae, in Fars Province, where the Tomb of Cyrus is located. "Nationwide strikes prepare the ground for the uprising, leading to the explosion of the dollar on 4 November, which will ultimately cripple the regime," wrote one. The United States will impose sanctions targeting Iran's key petrochemical sector on 4 November. The first round of sanctions, which went into effect in early August, hurt the economy and contributed to the rial's steep devaluation. "The uprising will not only be in Pasargadae. It will be all over the country", another user posted.