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Turkey’s Conspiracy Entrepreneurs

Conspiracy theories are becoming an industry in Turkey.
A street vendor sells Turkish flags bearing images of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first president of Turkey, as demonstrators gather for an anti-government protest on the main Istiklal Street in central Istanbul August 3, 2013.  REUTERS/Murad Sezer (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTX129LP

It’s been a tense summer in Turkey this year. In June, the world’s eyes were on Istanbul’s Taksim Square, watching the protests sparked by anger toward the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Rumors that a new shopping mall would be constructed on the few remaining centrally located parks in Turkey’s biggest city set in motion an unforeseeable chain of events.

The polarization in the aftermath of the protests is even more disturbing for the country’s well-being. Part of this hullabaloo has been a series of government-created conspiracy theories that seek to explain the Gezi Park turmoil. Acronyms like the CIA, CNN and BBC are heavily tossed around, as are theories of the “bad guys” represented by entities like Lufthansa, Twitter and the “interest rate lobby.” Each supposedly has a specific strategy to harm Turkey and stir unrest against the government that was executed through the Gezi protests.

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