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Assad Is a HeroFor Turkey's Neo-Nationalists

For at least 20% of the people in Turkey, Bashar al-Assad is the only hope for toppling Erdogan.
Turkish men flash nationalist gestures while carrying a poster of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad as they drive to the Oncupinar border crossing during a demonstration in support of Syrian government near the Turkish-Syrian border town of Kilis, Gaziantep province, January 12, 2012. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR2W6OM

Turkey experienced an amazing episode last week when Yilmaz Ozdil, the favorite writer of Turkey’s neo-nationalists who support the military against the ruling AKP, reacted to an interview of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad aired by a pro-main opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) TV channel, and was instantly branded a "traitor" by the neo-nationalists who adored him.

Ozdil, a columnist for the mainstream daily Hurriyet whose motto is "Turkey is for Turks," was a guest speaker on a program hosted by neo-nationalist Ugur Dundar, a big, veteran name in Turkish television. A part of the program discussing current issues was a 20-minute segment of an interview Assad had given to the pro-CHP Halk TV. Among other things, Assad said:

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