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In Erdogan’s Turkey, the references to George Orwell are becoming more numerous

During the height of the protests, participants knew a crackdown could follow. But the reality still seems far-fetched

By Hannah Lucinda Smith  

Protestors in Istanbul march in opposition to Erdogan. Photo: Emrah Oprukcu/NurPhoto

It has become normal for George Orwell to creep into political conversations in Turkey: the parallels are too numerous to resist. 

A year on from a failed coup attempt, more than 150,000 people have been arrested, fired, or driven into self-imposed exile. The group President Erdogan accuses of orchestrating the revolt are the shadowy followers of an Islamic preacher called Fethullah Gulen. Turks are told that they act as if they are secular—drinking alcohol and wearing revealing clothes—to cover…

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