Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's oppressive response to July's failed coup attempt – in which he sacked thousands of government officials and journalists in a sweeping purge – threatens to drive the nominally secular Turkish state further down the path of Islamist totalitarianism. To observers of international affairs, the path is reminiscent of the one traversed almost 40 years ago by another key U.S. ally and strategic partner in the war against terror: Pakistan.
Striking similarities are revealing themselves between the growing authoritarian behavior – bordering on paranoia – of Erdogan and Pakistan's military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq, who ruled the country for 11 years, from his declaration of martial law in 1977 to his death in 1988.
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