The mass anti-government demonstrations in Iran that flared in the last days of 2017 are being watched curiously in neighboring Turkey, as they are elsewhere in the world. As usual, many Turks chose to interpret the events based less on facts and more on their own ideological blueprints. And as usual, for the government and its supporters, this ideological blueprint involves something nefarious: an American-Zionist conspiracy to destabilize Iran.
This point of view was implied by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in a statement to the press on Jan. 2. “It is said that other forces are behind the events,” the minister said. He added, “One is [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, the other one is [US President Donald] Trump.” Meanwhile, the pro-government media — which now constitute the majority of Turkish media — had already mapped out the plot: The Iranian protesters were merely the tools of outside powers that were trying to bring a defiant Muslim nation to its knees.