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How Many Villages Are There in Afrin?

How Many Villages Are There in Afrin?

From the first day of Operation Olive Branch (OOB) one of the goals was clear; using OOB as an excuse to silence the opposition and to prevent any possibility to question President Erdoğan.

A considerable part of the Turkish population; mostly Erdoğan’s supporters are in ecstasy with the OOB. Media is writing and talking about “home made” weaponry and heroic stories of Turkish soldiers about Afrin. There is nearly no other news these days on mainstream Turkish media.

Asking even the simplest questions about the situation causes one to be stamped as a traitor, as we have seen recently. One of the most popular Turkish anchors Fatih Portakal the other day, criticized Erdoğan’s promise of unmanned tanks, which allegedly would soon be developed by Turkish defense industry. Portakal on air, bashed on this promise and claimed Erdoğan was making hollow promises and giving false hope to people. Portakal has been finger pointed by pro Erdoğan media, and stamped as a traitor. After mass attack on social media, Fatih Portakal, brought up his family tree and wrote he was not a traitor/spy whatsoever but a native Turcoman, 100 percent Turk, in another words.


OOB helped Turkish Armed Forces, to gain it’s popularity and self respect back. It also helped Mr. Erdoğan to gather support and also prevented many criticisms to be voiced. However, one thing OOB caused had been the loss of rationality in the most basic sense.

President Erdoğan, as he was talking about the success of Turkish Armed Forces in Afrin, claimed a thousand villages have been “cleared” from terrorists. As expected people cheered, Turkish Armed Forces has been flattered. However, what was the most significant, nobody asked how come a small city like Afrin had that many villages. Later in the day an independent Internet site published Afrin actually had only 372 villages. This actual fact fell, of course, on deaf ears.

Also read:  Time for Ankara to Try And Understand the Middle East

It almost takes only one word to describe Turkish politics: delusional.

About The Author

Nevsin Mengu

Born in Ankara in 1982. Studied Political Science at University of Bilkent. Did her masters on Sociology at University of Galatasaray. Worked at several news outlets like Haberturk and Hurriyet. Mostly covered Middle East as a correspondent. From 2009 to 2010, worked for TRT TURK in Tehran. From 2011 until 2017, anchored CNNTURK 18 o’clock news. Now writing opinion pieces for Birgün newspaper and doing weekly interviews for Deutsche Welle.

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