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Turkey Is Exploiting the Fog of War

By supporting Ukraine and presenting himself as a regional mediator and peacemaker, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has found the political cover he needs to crack down further on potential dissidents and opposition figures at home. The brazen persecution of philanthropist Osman Kavala is a case in point.

NEW YORK – Russia’s war on Ukraine has allowed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to pose as a statesman and peacemaker in the region, even as he doubles down on violating democratic principles and human rights at home. Consider the plight of Osman Kavala, a prominent philanthropist and civil-society activist who was recently sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, four years after being acquitted, re-tried, and imprisoned again by Erdoğan-controlled courts.