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Behind Protests, Turkish Officials See Conspiracies, Cabals, and Shadowy Deep States

The Turkish government’s heavy-handed reactions to weeks of protests have damaged Ankara’s diplomatic standing, rattled the Turkish economy, And eroded the standing of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Observers worry that – rather than attempting to reestablish some measure of political legitimacy and address the demonstrators’ concerns – Turkish officials will instead resort to incitement, conspiracy mongering, and scapegoating. Some of Erdogan’s allies have already raised the spectre of a Jewish conspiracy behind the domestic unrest and its diplomatic consequences.

Erodgan has already blamed the protests on “foreign conspiracies”:

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the main opposition party of inciting weeks of protests and vowed to strengthen police in “every way” to fight a “conspiracy” by traitors and foreign agitators… Erdogan said his government foiled a conspiracy that was well planned by “traitors” backed by “circles abroad,” including international media and a group he calls the “interest rate lobby.” Ministers have said a group of international banks and individuals is stoking the unrest to keep Turkey’s interest rates high and benefit on speculative trading.

Meanwhile tensions with Germany are being written off as the machinations of a dark “German deep state”:

[Der Spiegel] used a photo of a Turkish woman holding a sign with the slogan “Do not surrender” on the cover and had a 10-page story in German and Turkish about the recent events… Professor Faruk Sen, president of the Turkish-German Foundation for Education and Scientific Research (TAVAK)… argued that Der Spiegel’s latest cover was prompted by the “German deep state” in order to turn the German elites against Turkey. According to Sen, the magazine, which normally publishes 1.2 million copies, published 1.6 million copies this week for this reason.

The economic fallout generated by the unrest is being attributed to cabals and lobbies:

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Capital Markets Board launched an investigation into market transactions to determine whether a cabal the government calls the interest-rate lobby—comprising investors, economists and journalists—was behind three weeks of demonstrations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. An official told The Wall Street Journal that the board was conducting a “routine” probe… “Interest-rate lobby, set yourself in order. For years you have exploited the sweat of my nation. No more..” Mr. Erdogan said on June 9 in one of his repeated warnings that authorities will be probing any sign of speculation.

[Photo: Randam / Wiki Commons]