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Erdogan and the Traitors

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing the most difficult challenge of his premiership. Corruption scandals, a weakening economy and a draining battle with the Gülen movement have the leader reeling ahead of important local elections.

It took a while before the surveillance cameras in Mehmet Baransu's office became apparent. But the audio bugs remained elusive. Perhaps they are hidden behind the electrical outlets, or above the windows that offer a view of the Bosporus. They are definitely there, Baransu believes. He is, after all, the most hated journalist in Turkey at the moment.

"I installed the cameras myself. They are my only protection," he says. "A few weeks ago, they documented two men trying to load incriminating documents onto my computer." He recognized the pair immediately: They were the bodyguards made available by the state for his protection. Baransu recounts how they also tried to deposit papers in his home, snooped around in his private life and uploaded films about him to YouTube. He complained to the Istanbul governor and asked for replacement bodyguards. But they never came.

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