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How conflict with the West empowers Erdogan

How did the West so firmly become the main enemy for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his supporters?
A large image of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan placed outside the Turkish consulate during protests in Rotterdam, Netherlands March 11, 2017.     REUTERS/YDylan Martinez - RTX30MGU

On March 13, Blick, the third top-selling newspaper in Switzerland, came out with a giant headline in an unusual language: Turkish. “Vote ‘no’ to Erdogan’s dictatorship,” the title read, appealing to the Turks living in this small country. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the paper argued, was seeking to establish dictatorship with the upcoming referendum on April 16. And Turks living in Switzerland, who enjoy the freedoms of this liberal nation, should say “no” to this menace.

Back in Turkey, however, this headline quickly turned into yet another reason to vote “yes” for Erdogan. Pro-government media ran immediate stories condemning the Swiss paper — in fact, Switzerland and all of Europe — for imperialist hubris. They also called on all Turks to give their patriotic response by rallying behind the great leader. On social media, pro-Erdogan users reiterated their standard line: Europe’s enmity was not just against Erdogan, but in fact against Turks and Islam. “This,” a pro-Erdogan journalist even declared, “is the war of the Cross against the Crescent.”

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