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Desperate times bring out Erdogan in camouflage

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s biggest promise was to minimize the role of the military in politics. Did he keep his promise?

Reading Turkish news is anything but boring. For example, in your morning scan of the Turkish news networks, you may be bombarded with videos depicting a “baby who did a military salute the moment he was born.” The video of the baby — whose umbilical cord was still intact — saluting made the headlines of several pro-government news networks five weeks after the launch of Operation Peace Spring. The report concluded with the oft-repeated dictum: “Another Turk is born a soldier!”

Operation Peace Spring may officially be over, but the militarization of Turkish society is forging ahead at full speed. Since the July 2016 coup attempt, Turks have been bombarded with images of the military. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ministers periodically pose and salute in military uniforms. Seeing Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in military gear, one could not help but remember Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, in a similar get-up.

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