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MIDEAST MIRROR 13.07.15, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)

 

1-From today’s Turkish press

 

COALITION TALKS: Murat Yetkin sees benefit in a new (Justice and Development Party) AKP-led coalition in centre-left Radikal: "A coalition with the HDP (pro-Kurdish leftist alliance) will put an end to the unlawful intervention in public security affairs and will reactivate the Kurdish peace process. As urgently as it needs this process, Turkey also needs to take the initiative in dealing with the economy, administrative reform, the judiciary, freedom of expression and the democratization of political life. A coalition with the HDP will speed up these initiatives. An HDP coalition will facilitate the AKP’s efforts in the areas of education and labor, as well as its economic policies."

Nuray Mert lambastes AKP members in secular, Kemalist Cumhuriyet: "Some AKP members will not stop short of calling those who suggest a coalition traitors! What is their true position on politics and Turkey? Are they Islamists, democrats, conservatives, or what? What are they after? If they do not believe in democracy, why are they talking about a coalition? Let us stop this deceit."

Perihan Cakiroglu hopes common sense will prevail in centrist, pro-Gulen Bugun: "It is naturally difficult for those who got used to one-party rule to form a coalition. But life itself is a coalition. PM Davutoglu will pander to the CHP (Republican People's Party) and the MHP's (Nationalist Movement Party) whims, even if unwillingly. If Davutoglu and CHP leader Kilicdaroglu attempt to act 'strategically' rather than based on common-sense, we can forget about an AKP-CHP coalition."

Abdulkadir Selvi calls on the opposition to open up to President Erdogan in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-government Yeni Safak: "On June 7th, our nation showed that it wants a new political discourse. But one cannot say that the opposition has fully understood this. What are the opposition leaders saying? ‘Let us force the republic's president to withdraw within the constitutional remits.’ It would be more productive if the opposition approached the process of forming a coalition not despite Erdogan, but together with him."

Oya Baydar exposes the AKP’s intentions in independent online T24: "Those who were talking quite positively about 'national will', and were interpreting it only as the will of those who voted for them, were not at all happy with the June elections’ results. In the period preceding early elections, they will be carefully calculating how to increase the AKP’s votes and how many MPs were lost with how many votes; how many votes should be stolen or bought there; which measures are needed to determine which candidates should be prevented from running again and where, etc. But the most important thing, of course, is how to ensure that the HDP will be discredited and compromised in the eyes of voters."

 

MIDDLE EAST: Ali H. Aslan argues that Ankara may have lost out to Tehran in the West’s eyes in moderate Islamist, pro-Gulen Zaman: "Turkey was the Muslim country that the international society had chosen as a model for the region in the first decade of the 21st century. If Iran can overcome its nuclear problem and become a constructive player, its star may shine this time round. While there are widespread comments in Washington nowadays about Turkey losing a decade, Iran is causing growing excitement. By losing its breath at the end of the marathon it began at good speed, the AKP has left Turkey lagging behind in terms of its foreign policy. The time to hand the baton over to a new national team has been a long time coming."

Vedat Bilgin offers a stout defense of Ankara’s foreign policy in centre-right, pro-government Aksam: "When one takes into account that the Syria issue has targeted Iraq, the Northern Iraqi Kurdish Administration and the southeast of our country with the help of terror organizations such as the pro-Damascus PYD [Kurdish Democratic Union Party] and ISIS, it will become clear that this does not concern this country alone. In this case, the call 'to compromise with Syria' would entail accepting a new Sykes/Picot based on the same Western system in this area. Those who say that Turkey's foreign policy should change are uncomfortable with Erdogan and Davutoglu’s liberalization of this country, and are promoting their own political calculations at the cost of the country’s gains. It is as if Turkey had benefited greatly in the past as a result of its former submissive and reticent policy."

 

 

2-From today’s Iranian press

 

NUCLEAR TALKS: Conservative Khorasan cautions not to deviate from the Islamic revolution’s path: "Following a possible nuclear deal, not losing our perspective on the foundations and ideals of the Islamic revolution is crucial. Comparing current Iran to its state before the revolution shows that the value system of the revolution has been effective. Today, no issue in the region is settled without our opinion. We are not an ordinary player and, in order to maintain our position, we must never become an ordinary player. If a deal is reached, it is important that the main orientation of the Islamic revolution does not alter. The smallest change can modify the overall alignment and turn Iran into a dependent country. The prerequisite to prevent this is not to lose the revolution’s path."

Conservative Khorasan believes it is up to the U.S.: "Bringing up national security issues that are beyond the scope of the talks has made the talks more challenging. The Americans are still being obstinate. This can only be resolved if the U.S. retreats from demands that are beyond the nuclear issue under negotiation. The Americans only have two ways: either destroy everything that has been achieved so far or propose an agreement that can entirely change the future of global politics and lead to peace and stability."

Reformist E'temad argues that success will spill over to domestic policy: "The miracle of the talks is Iran's best achievement. The diplomacy of the moderate government of President Rowhani has demonstrated that, with patience and the power of analysis; one can deal with differences and perform tasks very well. With Iran's experience of two years of talks with six world powers, the moderate government will be able to also perform well in domestic policy." 

Conservative Siyasat-e Ruz does not let bygones be bygones: "Some Iranians imagined that after a nuclear agreement and face-to-face talks with the U.S., relations between the two countries will improve. Some even tried to improve the opinion of the public of the U.S. and weaken the "Death to America" slogan. All the Iranian people, including the current generation, are familiar with American crimes, from the downing of the Iranian passenger plane to supporting Saddam Hussein in the war against our country. They will never be able erase these events from history." 

Conservative Resalat writes about Obama’s predicament: "President Obama has a very limited window to make the necessary decision to reach a final agreement with Iran. Obama wants to be remembered as a history making president, not as the one who betrayed George Washington's heritage! He is dying to reach a nuclear deal, but needs to satisfy unhappy senators and the Zionist lobby. The opinions and policies on the nuclear deal of anyone who will succeed him in power in 2016 are not important to him. He wants to be recognized as a symbol of change, but is hesitant to take the required and decisive step." 

Reformist Mardom Salari analyses the French role: "France's power outside the UN Security Council is less than in the Council. So, France wants to gain an upper hand in talks with Iran through the Security Council. It seeks a role equal to America's and views talks with Iran as a place to show its power. By presenting Iran as a threat, France was able to conclude an arms contract of about $30bn with the Arabs. Each of the P5+1 separately seek to penetrate the Iranian market and they have disputes amongst them in this regard. Through its arms sale to Israel and the Arabs, France wants to prevent American and Russian dominance of the arms trade and to express more understanding of Arab and Israeli concern about Iran than the U.S.. France's other goal is to increase its political clout in the EU and with Germany."

For hard-line Javan, the struggle continues: "After a decade, the nuclear negotiations could reach an agreement. If the talks are fruitful and lead to a deal, how will that impact anti-arrogance policies? Some are trying to pave the way for the normalization of relations between Iran and the U.S.; they describe a possible nuclear deal as a starting point for reforming ties. This means that a nuclear deal will put an end to the era of fighting against arrogance and the U.S.. Those who wish for relations to be re-established and speak about reopening the U.S. embassy should take into account that our enmity and friendship with other countries is based on Koranic teachings. We should not focus on the possibility that U.S./Iran relations will improve after a deal and that fighting against the U.S. will come to an end." 

Reformist Sharq explains: "After months of negotiations, the talks have reached their final and fateful stage. A change has taken place in global security so that the U.S. cannot act like it used to in the previous environment. Americans have realized that they will not be able to fully impose their demands on Iran; if they could, they would have already done so. So, they have no other option but to reach an understanding with the new players."

 

DOMESTIC POLITICS: Reformist Arman does not want MPs to resort to unacceptable practices: "MPs are in the Majlis to defend who and what they represent and to protect the country's interests. They should play their role through legal mechanisms. Otherwise, by resorting to other tools, they will not resolve any problems and will also create an unhelpful process. Such circumstances are not defendable and are not legally justifiable. They create instability in the branches of power and the retaliation can endanger the foundation of the three branches". 

 

ECONOMY: Centrist Jomhuri-ye Eslami comments: "Private (bank and non-bank) credit institutions’ debt to the Central Bank has increased more than 275 per cent since last year. There has also been an increase in government and state-owned companies' debt to the banking system in the same period by 21 per cent. The government's overall strategy seeks to find new finance mechanisms – including refining market instruments, attracting foreign investments, facilitating production activities by improving the business environment and increasing the role of capital markets in the economy." 

 

SAUDI ARABIA/YEMEN: Hard-line Keyhan argues that the Saudis are caught between a rock and a hard place: "The Saudi regime, 108 days since the start of the war, is violating the ceasefire and blaming the Houthis. Both continuing the war and stopping it are dangerous for the Saudi regime. The danger in continuing the war is that the battlefield could expand from Saudi border areas to central regions. The leader of the revolutionary Houthi movement clearly said in his Quds Day speech that they would widen the battlefield and are preparing to use new tactics. The Saudis know perfectly well that that is possible. Ending the war is also risky, because immediately after a ceasefire, the question will arise as to why the war was started and what it had achieved. If Saudi Arabia agrees to end the war, which sooner or later it will, and any of its two demands – the return of the Hadi government and Houthi retreat from Aden and Taiz - are not fulfilled, it will have to accept defeat."

 

 

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