Latest Analysis and Commentary

Trump's Ban on Muslims: The Discussion the Media Won't Have

by Salim Mansur  •  February 6, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • Trump's call to ban the entry of Muslims to the U.S. seemed to indicate that it should be temporary, until the American leadership has figured out what in the complex reality of the Muslim world – religious, political, economic, cultural, and so on– contributes to turning a significant portion of Muslims into jihadi operatives at war with the United States.

  • Despite numerous terrorist attacks carried out by extremist Muslims inside the United States, Americans have not turned against their Muslim neighbors; on the contrary, Americans and Europeans in general have continued to be accommodating, tolerant, even protective, of Muslims in their midst, in keeping with their secular and liberal democratic values.

  • Americans have watched the unabated spread of terrorism and warfare in the name of Islam; the intensity of hatred in Muslim countries directed towards the United States; the attacks on Americans by extremist Muslims, and the betrayals by Muslim countries that have been receiving American assistance, such as Pakistan.

  • The elite in Muslim-majority states is mostly, if not entirely, responsible for the wretched state of affairs that has left those states at the bottom of the list of countries when measured in terms of economic development, human rights, gender equality, education, freedom and democracy.

  • For the elite in third world societies, a getaway to America has meant a readily available exit to avoid being held accountable for their misdeeds.

  • Herein lies the irony of a Trump's proposed ban: it would greatly affect the Muslim elite and, consequently, compel them to begin taking responsibility for how they have mismanaged their societies and impoverished their people.

A few days after the San Bernardino massacre carried out by jihadists Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik (left), Donald Trump (right) called for "a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our representatives can figure out what is going on." (Trump photo by Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons)

On December 7, 2015, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign released a press statement calling "for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our representatives can figure out what is going on." He was publicly saying what an increasing number of Americans over the years have apparently begun to think about Muslims and Islam in terms of the "clear and present" danger to their security and their country.

A press release explained the reason for the ban:

"Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims (sic) of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life."

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Facebook's War on Freedom of Speech

by Douglas Murray  •  February 5, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • Facebook is now removing speech that presumably almost everybody might decide is racist -- along with speech that only someone at Facebook decides is "racist."

  • The sinister reality of a society in which the expression of majority opinion is being turned into a crime has already been seen across Europe. Just last week came reports of Dutch citizens being visited by the police and warned about posting anti-mass-immigration sentiments on social media.

  • In lieu of violence, speech is one of the best ways for people to vent their feelings and frustrations. Remove the right to speak about your frustrations and only violence is left.

  • The lid is being put on the pressure cooker at precisely the moment that the heat is being turned up. A true "initiative for civil courage" would explain to both Merkel and Zuckerberg that their policy can have only one possible result.

It was only a few weeks ago that Facebook was forced to back down when caught permitting anti-Israel postings, but censoring equivalent anti-Palestinian postings.

Now one of the most sinister stories of the past year was hardly even reported. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at a UN development summit in New York. As they sat down, Chancellor Merkel's microphone, still on, recorded Merkel asking Zuckerberg what could be done to stop anti-immigration postings being written on Facebook. She asked if it was something he was working on, and he assured her it was.

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Sweden: Death by Immigration

by Ingrid Carlqvist  •  February 4, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • The atmosphere on Swedish social media is now almost revolutionary. People post videos of themselves accusing the government of murder, of filling Sweden with violent people.

  • When Alexandra Mezher was murdered, she was alone in the residence with ten asylum seekers. She was stabbed by one of the "children" she cared for.

  • When National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson appeared on the "Good Morning Sweden" TV show, the day after Mezher's murder, he expressed sympathy for the murderer, but barely mentioned the victim. This sparked frenzied outrage on social media.

Alexandra Mezher (left) was murdered in the home for "unaccompanied refugee children" where she worked. She was stabbed to death by a resident who claims to be 15 years old and from Somalia. When National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson (right) spoke on television about the murder, he expressed sympathy for the murderer, but barely mentioned the victim.

Mass immigration is continuing to claim victims in Sweden. Murder, assaults and rape have become everyday occurrences in this small country, with a population just short of ten million, which last year opened its doors to almost 163,000 immigrants. The latest victim is 22-year-old Alexandra Mezher. She was stabbed to death last week by a so-called unaccompanied refugee child at the asylum house where she worked.

Although the massive influx of asylum seekers has decreased drastically since January 4, when Sweden implemented border controls on the Swedish/Danish border, the people who are already here pose a giant problem to municipalities, police and citizens. The police are fighting a losing battle against street crime, as well as daily incidents at asylum houses – general disturbances that include fights, rapes and threats.

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Turks' Unrequited Love for Palestinians

by Burak Bekdil  •  February 4, 2016 at 4:00 am

  • The flag the Turkish prime minister proudly witnessed while being hoisted at the United Nations is an inspiration of the flag used by the Arab Palestinian nationalists in the first half of the 20th century, which was the flag of the 1916 Arab Revolt against Prime Minister Davutoglu's beloved Ottoman Empire.

  • In his speech, Abbas did not forget to "convey our best wishes to our beloved Armenian brothers in Palestine, in Armenia and in the entire world," and invited Armenian President Serzh Sarghsyan "to visit Palestine and we hope he will accept the invitation."

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (pictured left with Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and right with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal) now finds his affection and emotional support for the Palestinian cause unrequited.

Although it came as no surprise, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in his weekly parliamentary group speech last December, spoke like a Palestinian politician, not a Turkish one:

"The most oppressed people of the 20th and 21st centuries is the Palestinian people ... Our support will continue until Jerusalem becomes the capital of independent Palestine ... No one should doubt our devotion to the Palestinian cause ... We won't forget Palestine, Gaza, Jerusalem, not even in our dreams ... We do politics for this holy way."

He then narrated an anecdote:

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Who Can Believe Mahmoud Abbas?

by Bassam Tawil  •  February 3, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • As Hamas's power increases, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its security services are gradually losing their control of the West Bank.

  • Both the Israelis and the Palestinians know that if the PA falls, the best case scenario is that Hamas will take over the West Bank. The worst case scenario is a welcome mat for ISIS.

Eighty-year-old Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is regularly fêted and flattered by Western leaders such as France's President François Hollande (left) and top European Union officials like Federica Mogherini and Jean-Claude Juncker (right).

After Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas threatened yet again that he would end security coordination with Israel, not only has he not ended it, but -- luckily for him, as it turned out -- it is now stronger than ever. The Israelis, it seems, exposed two separate Hamas networks in the West Bank, both of them planning a mass-casualty attack on Israel and the destruction of the rule of Mahmoud Abbas.

Mahmoud Abbas's other threat, that he will dissolve the Palestinian Authority (PA), and force Israel to fill the resulting vacuum and incorporate its residents and territories into Israel, also turned out to be cow plop.

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Hamas: The "Merchants of War" Who Seek to Destroy Israel

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  February 2, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • In the words of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the tunnels are being dug not only to "defend the Gaza Strip, but to serve as a launching pad to reach all of Palestine." As one can see from any map of Palestine, "all of Palestine" does not mean living in peace alongside Israel; it means supplanting Israel.

  • To its credit, Hamas has been refreshingly transparent about its ambition, the elimination of Israel. Hamas wants the Palestinians to continue living in misery and bitterness. It is fertile soil for jihad recruitment.

  • A Palestinian Authority-Hamas unity government would mean tunnels not only along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, but also from the West Bank into Israel.

  • Forever looming, of course, is the illusion that Abbas will be able to persuade Hamas to abandon its aim to destroy Israel.

In the words of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (left), the tunnels Hamas digs from Gaza into Israel (right) are not only to "defend the Gaza Strip, but to serve as a launching pad to reach all of Palestine."

The myth that Hamas uses tunnels to smuggle food and other necessities to the "besieged" Gaza Strip has been buried under the rubble of the tunnel that collapsed last week east of Gaza City.

The incident, in which seven members of Hamas's armed wing, Ezaddin Al-Qassam, were killed when the tunnel they were working in collapsed, provides further proof that the Islamist movement has stayed true to its charter, which calls for the total destruction of Israel.

The Hamas men who were killed in the tunnel collapse belonged to the movement's elite "Tunnel Unit." According to Ezaddin Al-Qassam, the men were busy repairing one of the tunnels (damaged during the 2014 war with Israel) when it collapsed due to severe weather conditions.

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Germany's Migrant Deportation Plan: "Political Charade"

by Soeren Kern  •  February 1, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • N24 television has reported that up to 50% of "asylum seekers" have gone into hiding and their whereabouts are unknown. They presumably include economic migrants and others who are trying to avoid deportation if or when their asylum applications are rejected.

  • Tens of thousands of migrants destroyed their passports and other identity documents before arriving in Germany. It may take years for German authorities to determine the true identities of these people and their countries of origin.

  • Even if Germany sends these individuals back to the countries where they first entered the EU (usually Greece, Hungary or Italy), with a borderless Europe, migrants can easily make their way back to Germany.

  • German authorities are downplaying migrant lawlessness, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiment.

  • Migrants are still coming to Germany at the rate of about 2,000 per day.

  • "Eight to ten million migrants are still on the way." – Development Minister Gerd Müller.

Left: A new poll shows that nearly half the Germans want Chancellor Angela Merkel to resign because of her open-door migration policy. Right: Interpol has data on 250,000 stolen or lost Syrian and Iraqi passports, including passports that are blank.

After three months of political infighting, Germany's coalition government has announced new measures aimed at making it easier to deport migrants who are convicted of committing crimes.

The measures emerged in response to voter outrage over the sexual assaults of hundreds of women by migrants in Cologne and other German cities on New Year's Eve — and alleged attempts by the government and the news media to cover up the crimes.

Known as the Asylum Package II (Asylpaket II), the draft law was announced by the cabinet on January 28 and must now be approved by the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, for it to come into effect.

A central feature of the plan involves increasing the number of migrant reception centers to five, up from two today. The centers would supposedly fast-track legitimate asylum requests submitted by people who can prove they are fleeing war-zones.

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Mideast Christian Suffering, U.S. Denial

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  January 31, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • Escaped eyewitnesses have reported that ISIS places Iraqi and Syrian Christians in cages or coffins and sets them on fire.

  • ISIS persecution of Christians "fits the definition of ethnic cleansing." — Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial.

The Syriac Orthodox Church of St. Ephrem in Mosul, Iraq, before if the captured by the Islamic State (left), and after.

When a 1,400-year-old Iraqi Christian monastery was destroyed by the Islamic State (ISIS) most of the world condemned the demolition -- except for spokesman for the U.S. military's Operation Inherent Resolve, Col. Steve Warren.

"Thousands [of Iraqi Christians] have been killed, hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee," said CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview with Col. Warren the other week. "There is legitimate fear -- you're there in Baghdad -- that the long history of Christians living peacefully, productively in Iraq, is coming to an end. How worried should we be about the Christian community in Iraq?"

Col. Warren's response: "Wolf, ISIL doesn't care if you're a Christian ... We've seen no specific evidence of a specific targeting towards Christians."

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Will Democracies Combat Terror?

by Jagdish N. Singh  •  January 31, 2016 at 4:00 am

  • Many extremist Islamic groups are still shielded by states such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran. These countries have so far not severed their links, overt or covert, with these outfits.

  • The United States and other members of the free world need to take corrective measures not only against terrorist groups but also against the states that sponsor them.

  • Washington, in its relationship with Tehran and Islamabad, among others, is on the wrong track. Its approach towards a rogue Iran is not likely to "bring it in from the cold," but to embolden it even further in its various terror activities the world over.

In 2014, this photo of Muslim ISIS supporters in India's Tamil Nadu state went viral on Twitter.

Sadly, major world powers, including the United Nations, have not appeared serious about fighting terrorism or the Islamic State (ISIS, IS) or similar terrorist groups.

UN Security Council Resolution 2170 (August 15, 2014) called on member-states to take "national measures to prevent fighters from traveling from their soil to join the IS and deny it any arms or financial support. The resolution also "expressed readiness to consider putting on the sanctions list those who facilitated the recruitment and travel of foreign fighters."

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European Governments Ignoring Security Warnings?

by Judith Bergman  •  January 30, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • "We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples, as well as a different understanding of society and law." — From a leaked German intelligence document.

  • The mayor of Molenbeek, Belgium ignored a list she received, one month prior to the Paris attacks, "with the names and addresses of more than 80 people suspected as Islamic militants living in her area," according to the New York Times. "What was I supposed to do about them? It is not my job to track possible terrorists," Mayor Schepmans said.

  • In October 2015, Andrew Parker, director general of Britain's Security Service, said that the "scale and tempo" of the danger to the UK is now at a level he has not seen in his 32-year career. British police are monitoring over 3,000 homegrown Islamist extremists willing to carry out attacks on the UK.

Swedish Security Service chief Anders Thornberg recently said: "The Islamist environments have grown considerably in the past five years and tensions are growing between various population groups. We need all of society to help fight the radicalization, there are limits to how much faster a security service can run."

The head of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), Benedicte Bjørnland, was recently a participating guest at a security conference in Sweden, where she warned against further Muslim immigration.

One cannot," she said, "assume that new arrivals will automatically adapt to the norms and rules of Norwegian society. Furthermore, new arrivals are not homogenous and can bring ethnic and religious strife with them... If parallel societies, radicalization and extremist environments emerge in the long run," she added, "We will have challenges as a security service."

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Islam and Islamism in America in 2015: Part II
April-June 2015

by Soeren Kern  •  January 29, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • More than half (51%) of Muslims in America believe they should "have the choice of being governed according to Sharia." Only 39% of those polled said that Muslims in the U.S. should be subject to American courts. Nearly a quarter believed that, "It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed." Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the U.S. is justified in order to make Sharia the law of the land in this country. – Poll commissioned by the Center for Security Policy, Washington, D.C.

  • "Ramadan is a special prayer time, a time for religion. We double-park here every Friday and they [allow it], but today they gave us all tickets, almost 100 cabs. This has never happened before. I can't help but to think they are being prejudiced. They don't understand. We have to be here." – Mohammad Zaman, New York City cab driver.

  • "We have no way ... to know who these people are ... we don't have databases on these individuals so we can't properly vet them, to know where they came from, to know what threat they pose." – Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, commenting on the Obama administration plan to resettle Syrian refugees in the U.S.

  • ISIS is operating training camps just a few miles from El Paso, Texas. – Judicial Watch, citing Mexican law enforcement and intelligence sources.

  • Officials at Mason High School in Mason, Ohio, canceled "hijab day" after parents expressed opposition. Female students were asked to wear a headscarf, or hijab, for an entire school day, followed by a time for reflection and discussion.

Left: In June 2015, the New York Police Department issued parking tickets to more than 100 Muslim cab drivers parked illegally outside a mosque on the Upper West Side during Ramadan. Right: In January 2015, after complaints from Muslim students at the University of Minnesota, the university ordered that posters depicting a caricature of Mohammed be taken down. The ban was later rescinded.

The following is a chronological survey of some of the main stories about Islam and Islamism in America during the second quarter of 2015. Part 1 of this series can be found here.

APRIL 2015

April 1. Ahlam Ahmed, an 18-year-old year-old from Queens, said she wanted to become the first female Muslim firefighter in New York City. Ahmed stands five feet tall and weighs just 105 pounds. In an interview with the Village Voice, Ahmed expressed more concern over the dress code than the physical requirements for the job. "I have to be covered," she said. "I love wearing the scarf. It's for protection." FDNY press officer Elisheva Zakheim said: "We try to accommodate religious practices, but safety is our first concern, be it male or female. We approach a lot of these questions on a case-by-case basis."

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Sweden: A Church with No Conscience

by Nima Gholam Ali Pour  •  January 28, 2016 at 6:00 am

  • The response from the Church of Sweden to the Kairos Palestine document contained no criticism at all against the massive lies, racism and distortions it contains. More sadly, there seems not to have been the slightest attempt to verify if any of the allegations in it were even true.

  • A church that genuinely believes in love and understanding would long ago have renounced the Kairos Palestine document, which has been pointed out by serious organizations out as anti-Semitic and racist.

  • The country's largest religious institution is therefore helping and encouraging people to study a rawly anti-Semitic, racist document.

  • Attacks against Jews in Sweden have partly originated through such normalization. When the Church of Jesus Christ in Sweden supports an anti-Semitic document, the Jews in Sweden become fair game.

The Church of Sweden[1] has a problem. Its deep involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian issue -- and especially its support for the Kairos Palestine document [full English text and annotations in Appendix below] -- is something that should be noted and held up for criticism by other churches, and all those who oppose anti-Semitism and all forms of racism.

The Kairos Palestine document can be found in Swedish on the Church of Sweden's website and is described by the Church of Sweden as follows:

"The Kairos document has been produced by Palestinian Christians and is about their vulnerability under occupation. Since it was published in December 2009, it has spread throughout the world and in some areas has become a movement that believes and fights for peace and justice in Palestine and Israel."

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Turkey's All-Out War on Kurds and Media

by Uzay Bulut  •  January 28, 2016 at 4:30 am

  • On January 20, Turkish police opened fire at a group of civilians who were holding up white flags as they tried to remove the dead and wounded from the street in Cizre, one of the Kurdish towns under Turkish military siege. The Turkish police murdered two people from the group and wounded 12 others.

  • As the military siege and attacks in Turkey's Kurdistan intensify with each passing day, the Kurdish media are under a new wave of repression -- through arbitrary arrests, psychical violence or blocks on their website content.

  • "Our only aim today was to share what had happened in Van with the public in a healthy way. Today it was not us, but the people's right to information that was taken into custody. We will not be silent." -- Reporter Bekir Gunes (from IMC TV), on Twitter. He was taken into custody for trying to report on the murders, but later released.

On Jan. 20, Turkish police in Cizre opened fire at a group of Kurdish civilians who were holding up white flags as they tried to remove the dead and wounded from the street. The Turkish police murdered two people from the group and wounded 12 others.

Since August, Turkey has been bombing and destroying its Kurdistan region in the same pattern: The Turkish government first declares curfews on Kurdish districts; then Turkish armed forces, with heavy weaponry, attack Kurdish neighborhoods and everyone living there. Much of this slaughter is presumably due to the Kurds having gained a large number of seats the latest elections -- thereby preventing Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from attaining the super-majority he sought in order to change the Constitution and become "Sultan" for life, to rule as an autocrat. Kurds are also now asking for their right to rule themselves in their native lands, where they have lived for centuries.

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Christians Who Demonize Israel: Kairos

by Denis MacEoin  •  January 27, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • "Christian children are massacred, and everything is done in plain sight. Islamists proclaim on a daily basis that they will not stop until Christianity is wiped off the face of the earth. So are the world Christian bodies denouncing the Islamic forces for the ethnic cleansing, genocide and historic demographic-religious revolution their brethren are suffering? No. Christians these days are busy targeting the Israeli Jews." — Giulio Meotti, Italian journalist.

  • The Kairos document seems to be so egregiously discriminatory that in 2010, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) declared it "supersessionist" and "anti-Semitic."

  • We must ask why a presentation of the work of Kairos in an Anglican church made no reference whatever to the many associations with extremism and denial of a more rational Christian approach to the problems faced by Palestinian Christians.

Rifat Odeh Kassis, co-author and general coordinator of the Kairos Palestine initiative, is pictured above giving an interview to Al-Manar TV, the official TV channel of Lebanon's Hezbollah terrorist organization. (Photo source: Kairos Palestine)

Last September, during the World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel -- an initiative of the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) of the World Council of Churches, St. Thomas' Church in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, hosted an event titled "Wall Will Fall".

For anyone unfamiliar with the history, legal issues, and distortions of the Israeli-Arab and Jewish-Muslim conflicts, the deeply one-sided presentations and literature of the event may seem reasonable in the lack of such a context, and this report will, therefore, attempt to rebalance the narrative.

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Turkey: Death to Free Speech

by Burak Bekdil  •  January 27, 2016 at 4:00 am

  • A criminal indictment was filed against Sedat Ergin, editor-in-chief of the country's most influential newspaper, Hurriyet. Prosecutors demanded up to five years in prison for Ergin, for allegedly insulting President Erdogan. The indictment claims that Hurriyet insulted the president by paraphrasing what the president had said.

  • "[T]his is a 'democracy' with a growingly diminishing freedom of speech. It is 'democracy' where the 'voice of the nation,' which practically is the voice of the political majority and its glorified leader, intimidates and silences dissenting voices." — Mustafa Akyol, columnist, Hurriyet.

  • According to a report by the Turkish Journalists Association, 500 journalists were fired in Turkey in 2015, while 70 others were subjected to physical violence. Thirty journalists remain in prison, mostly on terrorism charges. Needless to say, the unfortunate journalists invariably are known to be critical of Erdogan.

  • Europe, cherishing its "transactional" relations with Turkey, prefers to look the other way and whistle. All the EU could say about the prosecution of academics was that it is "extremely worrying." Brussels cannot see that Turkish affairs passed the threshold of "extremely worrying" a long time ago.

A criminal indictment was filed against Sedat Ergin (left), editor-in-chief of the country's most influential newspaper, Hurriyet. Prosecutors demanded up to five years in prison for Ergin, for allegedly insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right).

Defending his quest for an executive presidential system Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cited Hitler's Germany as an effective form of government. Yes, he said, you can have the presidential system in a unitary state as in Hitler's Germany. His office later claimed that the president's "Hitler's Germany" metaphor had been "distorted" by the media. Erdogan's words on Hitler's Germany may or may not have been distorted, but the way he rules Turkey reminds one powerfully of how Hitler ruled the Third Reich.

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