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Turkey: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Of the Hakan Fidan Story

During a 10-day holiday break, a series of Western news reports roiled Turkey's pro-government establishment.

Turkey is just emerging from the lethargy of a 10-day-long holiday thanks to combining Eid al-Adha with weekends. Tens of thousands of Turks went abroad or traveled inside their home country. During the holiday, Turkey’s polarized and tense political atmosphere also took a vacation despite one event after another that would have otherwise created a furor. The cause of these developments was reporting by influential and important Western newspapers.

First, there was a news report on Oct. 10 in The Wall Street Journal by two writers who charged that Turkey had been supporting radical Islamist groups attacking the Kurds in northern Syria despite warnings by the United States. The writers gave the impression that they had had access to what was discussed at the May 16 meeting in the White House between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The foreign ministers and intelligence chiefs from both countries participated in the meeting. The article focused primarily on criticism of Hakan Fidan, Turkey’s intelligence chief, who is known to be Erdogan's most important confidant. The authors claimed that Fidan was privy to Iranian intelligence targeting Israel.

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