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The revival of Turkey’s 'lynching' culture

Nationalist and religious fervors have revived Turkey’s tradition of physical and political "lynching," with the victims ever unprotected and the assailants ever untouchable.
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Turkey’s collective memory is heavily burdened with state-provoked, politically motivated mob violence attempts against minority groups, colloquially described as "lynching." In recent weeks, hundreds of violent incidents have heralded the resurgence of the mob violence culture as the country’s climate grows more toxic by the day, with political actors fanning hatred and normalizing violence.

In Turkey’s near history, mobs targeted mainly Armenians, Syriacs, Jews, Greeks, Alevis and Kurds. As Tanil Bora, author of the book “Turkey’s Lynching Regime,” puts it, “When it comes to Alevis and Kurds, this has always been a ‘free shot’ area. The 'lynching' of leftists has always been permissible. Police and ‘sensitive citizens’ act on the basis of this knowledge.”

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