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Political violence in Ankara is more than meets the eye

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s alliance with his nationalist partner appears under growing strain amid a combination of domestic and external pressures.
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan (R) and leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli talk on stage during a rally for the upcoming local elections in Ankara, Turkey, on March 23, 2019. - Turkish will cast their ballots for local elections on March 31, 2019. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Three politically motivated assaults on figures critical of the government’s nationalist ally rattled the Turkish capital last week. The brazen violence sent shockwaves across opposition quarters, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also seems to have gotten food for thought.

The victims were Selcuk Ozdag, deputy chair of the opposition Future Party, Orhan Uguroglu, a journalist heading the Ankara office of the daily Yenicag, and Afsin Hatipoglu, a lawyer who hosts a TV program on a channel critical of the government, all battered in broad daylight outside their homes by masked men wielding sticks and guns. 

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