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The coming Turkish spy state

A proposed law turns the MIT from an "intelligence-gathering" organization into a "powerhouse" outranking many Turkish ministries.

Just before the start of the Syrian civil war, I wound up discussing the Jan. 25, 2011, Tahrir Square uprising with a group of dedicated Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporters at a cafe in Athens. When one of them claimed Syria would fall shortly after Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, I said this would not be the case because of Syria being a spy state (mukhabarat) — meaning that it was highly skilled in crushing any civilian movement. I explained in detail how the Syrian regime had generated a rather elaborate system (four different agencies) to gather and process domestic intelligence to sustain the Baath regime. 

In the last couple of months, those critical of AKP’s cycles of “new regulations” have been complaining about an evolution of Turkey into a mukhabarat state. Is Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan following in the footsteps of Syria’s former ruler Hafez al-Assad?

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