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Claire Berlinski, Ed.'s Posts

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The big news from Turkey

 

I know you’re all wondering what’s new in Turkey. This is the big news. I also know it makes little sense to anyone outside of Turkey, so let me explain the two key points. If you remember these, you’ll be able to fake your way through any dinner party. Or Senate hearing, for that matter.

1) The AKP has been able to dominate Turkish politics since 2002 not because everyone here loves them so much, but because there’s been no credible opposition. The reason there’s been no credible opposition is that the main opposition party, the CHP, has been under the control of the elderly, authoritarian, singularly uninspiring Deniz Baykal. Think John Kerry’s populist touch mixed with John Edwards’ feel for fine ethical judgments. The big news — huge, from the Turkish perspective, although I’m aware it barely registered outside of Turkey — is that somehow, by means of a devilishly ingenious and typically Turkish conspiracy, Baykal’s enemies have finally forced him out. They caught him on tape with his mistress. Who caught him? Beats me. It’s not the kind of thing anyone claims credit for, really. But they got him. And he’s out. No, I haven’t seen the tape: The man is 71 years old, for God’s sake, that’s the last thing I want to watch.

Claire Berlinski, Ed.

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