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How Erdogan is redefining who is a Turk

The Justice and Development Party is introducing drastic changes to Turkish citizenship law, uniting Kurds, Alevis and ultranationalist Turks in opposition.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during the opening ceremony of Eurasia Tunnel in Istanbul, Turkey, December 20, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RTX2VVCI

In the midst of a controversial constitutional amendment process and the possibility of another election or referendum approaching, Turkey is making drastic changes to its citizenship laws without any public debate or parliamentary oversight.

On Jan. 6, another round of legislative decrees was introduced with the sole approval of the president and his Cabinet. Decree No. 680 stipulates that individuals who are under investigation from one of eight different articles of the Turkish penal code could be stripped of their citizenship if they fail to return to Turkey in 90 days. Pro-Justice and Development Party (AKP) newspapers reported this news with jubilation, focusing exclusively on members of the Gulen organization.

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