Itongadol.- Three papers comment on the situation in Turkey:
Yediot Aharonot says: "After a decade of Islamist rule, the general feeling is that power has gone to Erdogan\’s head. He intends to entrench his personal rule by [holding] presidential elections. He has no real rival and he has no opposition. He is arrogant: Democracy for him is the tyranny of the majority. He is heavy-handed. He is dangerous. The young people feel towards him the same way Israelis feel towards him every time he opens his mouth." The author concludes: "Ataturk (Mustafa Kemal), the founder of modern Turkey, was an uncompromising secularist. Erdogan wants to gradually destroy his legacy. He is relying on brilliant economic success, an efficient regime that is less corrupt than its predecessors and his great popularity in rural districts. It is not only the secular against the religious – it is city vs. village, and west against east. It is no wonder that the vendors in Taksim Square last night were selli ng t-shirts with Ataturk\’s likeness."
Yisrael Hayom suggests: "Erdogan\’s biggest problem, first of all, is Erdogan himself," and adds: "Erdogan is blaming everyone but himself." The author believes that the Turkish Prime Minister is a polarizing figure who, after a decade in power, is utterly unable to appreciate the concerns of Turks who did not vote for him or who object to his efforts to muzzle the press and restrict personal liberties.
The Jerusalem Post comments that “The riots in Istanbul have exposed the dark seamy underside of his rule that Erdogan prefers nobody see, and they have revealed his unmistakable anti-democratic inclinations and alacrity to cruelly crush dissent.” The editor believes that “His domestic troubles are guaranteed to only make the already quarrelsome Erdogan all the more nervous and confrontational,” and adds: “Erdogan can be counted upon to divert attention from himself by directing reinvigorated vitriol against Israel, as in his much-touted plans to visit Gaza.”
Ma\’ariv predicts that "Within a few months we will find ourselves facing the \’Iraqi crescent’: The decade-old deadly chaos in Iraq, which spread to Syria two years ago, will engulf Lebanon." The author says that Lebanese-Syrian border, in practical terms, has broken down and asserts that the Shiite-Sunni conflict in Iraq and Syria will soon spread to Lebanon.
Haaretz criticizes the lack of transparency in the budgets of Israel’s clandestine services, which impairs public scrutiny of security expenditure representing a large chunk of the Israeli economy. The editor notes that “In recent years Israel has promoted freedom of information, and the Shin Bet and the Mossad have come out of the shadows in which they operated in the past,” and states: "The time has come to stop playing hide-and-seek with the budget and present the annual cost of the secret services alongside the rest of the security establishment.” The editor believes that “There is no security risk in doing so,” and asserts that this is “Only a reminder that the Shin Bet and the Mossad are also state institutions, which must also stand up to the scrutiny of the public they serve, just like any other government authority.”
[Nahum Barnea, Boaz Bismout and Dr. Shuki Friedman wrote today’s articles in, Yediot Aharonot, Yisrael Hayom and Ma\’ariv, respectively.]