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MIDEAST MIRROR 29.10.18, SECTION C (TURKEY & IRAN)

 

From today’s Turkish press

 

REPUBLIC DAY ANNIVERSARY: Rauf Tamer celebrates the Turkish Republic's foundation day in centrist tabloid Posta: "It is not only the Republic; it is the Secular Republic. We will always commemorate Ataturk and his comrades with gratitude and thankfulness, looking at the fire of hell in our region and the regimes in our neighboring countries. The aim of contemporary civilization is our shared enthusiasm."

Orsan Oymen charges the president and ruling party with betraying the founder's legacy in opposition Sozcu: "What President Erdogan and the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] are trying to do is akin to Greece trying to go back to the Byzantine Empire, or Italy to the Roman Empire. This is a tragicomic situation. There is no government on earth that hates the founder of its own country so much, erases his name from every corner, places dynamite at the base of the country's founding principles, limits those who celebrate the anniversary of their country's foundation and national day, and serves as the instrument of imperialism while doing so! This is how Erdogan and the AKP will go down in history, no matter how many airports they may open."

Melih Altinok takes pride in the opening of a new airport in pro-government Star: "No one has any problem with Turkey's founding leader, the leader of the republican revolution. The only ones who have a problem are those who cheat Ataturk's system by exploiting his legacy. Anyway, we should feel proud of our republic, which will celebrate its 95th anniversary today by opening a majestic monument, one of the world's biggest airports, rather than boring receptions in Ankara. That is how to feel proud, work hard, and be honest. May this holiday be a joyful one."

 

SYRIA MEETING: Zekeriya Kursun sees hope for progress in Syria in pro-government Sabah: "The Istanbul meeting between those [Turkey, Russia, France, and Germany] that have opposing views and conflicts of interests and the expression of their common will should be seen as a sign of a transition from the era of war to that of armed peace in which diplomacy plays a more active role. The most important demonstration of the quartet's common will is their wish to activate a constitutional commission for Syria."

 

WOMEN'S RIGHTS: Ozge Yurrtas is concerned about the erosion of women's rights in pro-Kurdish opposition Yeni Yasam: "Women's guarantees at work, and for their future are being snatched out of their hands one by one. After all these misogynist policies in the social, legal, and cultural aspects of life, we are almost out of breath. By expanding women's exploitation in the workplace, the AKP's main political line on the issue of women's rights, and especially labor, is adding to the inequality women are already subjected to. Ultimately, this is our government: Old, selfish men who do not consider women their equal rule over us. Is this not the case?"

 

LOCAL POLITICS: Zeki Ceyhan takes aim at the ruling party's spokespeople in pro-Islamist opposition Milli Gazete: "The AKP spokespeople need to straighten themselves out, rather than try to advise people. This course of events does not bode well. What good can come from people who try to strangle each other in a teacup? Everyone stares at the leader and expects everything from him. Their leader, meanwhile, complains about being sick of interfering with them." 

 

Iran media watch

 

ARBA'EEN: Iranian media report extensively on the final preparations ahead of the mass gathering of mourners in Karbala in Iraq, to mark the 40th day after the anniversary of the third Shiite Imam Hussein's death in the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD. Rolling news channel IRINN quoted the Arba'een HQ and central bank officials as ensuring that infrastructure and other services are in place for Iranian pilgrims in Iraq. IRTV1 (Channel One) reported on a large group footslogging from Najaf to Karbala. While the main event is expected to take place tomorrow, the TV said more than 20 percent of Iranian pilgrims have already returned home. State radio VIRI said there has been a 30 percent rise this year in the number of foreign pilgrims travelling to Iraq through Iranian border. First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri has called Iraqi Prime Minister 'Adil Abdul-Mahdi to thank him and the people of Iraq for hosting Iranians, the radio added.

 

PASSIVE DEFENSE: Conservative dailies Hemayat, Resalat, and Siyasat-e Ruz pitched into yesterday's remarks of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i, who urged the country's "passive defense" to confront "all infiltration by the enemies" of the regime.

 

OIL: Most reformist and business dailies cover the start of sales of crude oil at the Iranian Energy Stock Exchange (IRENEX). Iran began selling crude oil to private companies for export yesterday, part of a strategy to counter U.S. sanctions that will come into effect on 4 November to stop the country's vital crude exports. For its front-page headline, moderate Arman-e Emruz ran a quote from First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri who said yesterday: "We will sell oil regardless of U.S. intention". Business daily Kharidar (buyer in Persian) quoted Jahangiri as saying that "there is no replacement for Iran's oil". Government-run Iran pointed out that oil trading was now being run by the private sector – even though there is not enough clarity as to what exactly is considered private in the Iranian economy. Business daily Jahan-e Sanaat wrote: "The stock exchange smells like oil". English-language Press TV described the move as "a landmark strategy to dodge the impact of returning sanctions".

 

SOCIAL MEDIA: Pro-regime users continue to post comments under different hashtags to mark the major Shiite ritual of Arba'een. Many Tweets have been re-posted by recently created accounts lacking proper profile pictures and names. Several thousand Persian-language users have commented on the occasion of the 7 Aban (29 October) uprising, which is commemorated, though unofficially, by many in Iran as Cyrus Day. Cyrus the Great enthusiasts say this was the day the Achaemenid king "peacefully" conquered Babylonia in 539 BC. A user shared a picture of the Tomb of Cyrus in Pasargad near the Southern city of Shiraz, along with a poem depicting how a simple monument made of stone has frightened the Islamic regime. "I will come to see you, thou King of the good ones, to mortify the ill-intentioned," wrote another user. Some called for unity against the Islamic regime by sharing photos of the U.S.-based Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah of Iran, at a meeting with members of the newly formed opposition group Farashgard in Washington last week.