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Erdogan Identifies His Enemies: Kurds, ISIS and the USA

Islamist Turks pretty much think their formal ally the US and the devil are one and the same

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Turks are heading to the polls in two weeks to decide whether to grant Erdogan more powers.

To say the referendum campaign has been a lively one would be an understatement. While on the campaign trail, Erdogan has slammed Ankara's "enemies" for standing in the way of a brighter, more Erdoganian future for Turkey. A poster has appeared, disseminated among others by Ankara's mayor, which identifies forces working for the referendum to fail. They are Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of ISIS, the chairmen of the Kemalist and Kurdish parties, and Erdogan's once ally but now archenemy, Fethullah Gulen. For good measure the contra section includes the banners of PKK militants and that of the United States.

Basically Turkey's Islamists are saying anyone who is against their guy is probably a stooge of the Americans. Rather ironic when you consider that Turkey and the US are supposed to be close NATO allies. Notably missing from the demonized naysayers camp is Russia.

There is an even more entertaining version which identifies the two camps not as "yes" and "no", but simply as "crescent" and "cross". In this version ISIS is on the side of the "cross" along with the United States. Russia is again absent.


A different version of this poster also has become popular on social media: The left-side images are the same but instead of "Yes," the poster reads "Crescent." On the right side, the word "Cross" replaces "No" and underneath is an image of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

At the bottom, the poster reads, “If you say ‘yes,’ the crescent will win, if you say ‘no,’ the cross will.”

Erdogan has been repeating the slogan “The battle of cross against the crescent has started” during his rallies, blaming mostly Europe for initiating this "crusade."

He has also made several accusations that those who oppose the amendments are aligned with terrorists. Mostly, Erdogan’s focus has been on the Gulen movement and the Kurds — so how did Baghdadi get pulled into the picture of "crusaders"?

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