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Anti-US rhetoric helps Erdogan build smokescreens

Years of anti-American propaganda help the Turkish president divert blame and discredit damaging news from the West — for example, anything incriminating that might emerge from high-profile cases in the United States involving Iran sanctions.

On Oct. 17, a motorcycle parked on the side of the road exploded just as a shuttle bus for police officers was passing by the city of Mersin on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. The remotely activated bomb injured 18 people. The Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council promptly instituted a gag order on all media coverage of the attack. On Oct. 19, Minister of Development Lutfi Elvan said 11 suspects were taken into custody. Elvan added that early signs indicated the attack was the work of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist group by Turkey and the United States.

The Mersin explosion became a trending topic on social media the day of the attack. One hashtag was particularly telling: #TerrorunAdiABD — "The name of terror is USA."

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