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Turkey's new nationalism paints West as oppressor

A new report by an American think tank suggests that the nationalism sweeping Turkey is an old and successful tactic of promoting a siege mentality that translates to tight control and votes for authoritarian leaders.
People wave Turkey's national flags as they arrive to attend a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the attempted coup at the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC14FF737300

As the United States and Europe continue to ponder ways to manage relations with an increasingly assertive, unpredictable and nationalist Turkey, a fascinating study released by a liberal DC think tank might offer them some valuable clues — while also adding to their confusion.

In its report, “Is Turkey Experiencing a New Nationalism?,” The Center for American Progress concludes that yes, it is. “Compared with the more secular nationalism seen under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s presidency … this new nationalism is assertively Muslim; fiercely independent; distrusting of outsiders; and skeptical of other nations and global elites, which it perceives to hold Turkey back.” All of this is being stoked and exploited by the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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