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Supporters scramble to distract Turkey from Erdogan's unpopular decisions

Journalists and trolls who support the rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan often help him by distracting the public from any questionable decisions he makes with perennially rabble-rousing but vague scandals.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, August 25, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RTS1DAHZ

For years, a sizable group of social media trolls, columnists and television show hosts have been openly rooting for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. These men and women serve not only as the administration’s defenders, but also frequently act as its advocates and even unofficial spokespersons. Over time, Erdogan, his bureaucrats and senior members of his party have stopped talking to the press except for a handpicked few — some of them rumored to have direct access to Erdogan.

Some of these people can be rather aggressive, and their statements are not just empty threats. For example, Turkiye columnist Cem Kucuk has become known for his predictions of those who will be fired from their jobs or prosecuted.

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