“He has a strong paranoid orientation. He is ready for retaliation and, not without reason, sees himself as surrounded by enemies. But he ignores his role in creating those enemies, and righteously threatens his targets. The conspiracy theories he spins are not merely for popular consumption in the Arab world, but genuinely reflect his paranoid mindset. He is convinced that the United States, Israel and Iran have been in league for the purpose of eliminating him, and finds a persuasive chain of evidence for this conclusion.”
— Explaining Saddam Hussein: A Psychological Profile, by Dr. Jerrold M. Post, presented to the House Armed Services Committee, December 1990.
In the text above replace the words “in the Arab world” with “Turkey,” and delete the word “Iran” in the preceding line, and one will get a short paragraph “Explaining Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: A Psychological Profile.” A number of high-profile investigations developing on American soil are threatening Erdogan’s legitimacy while Turkey’s strongman resorts to the tactic he knows best: spin global conspiracy theories to influence voter behavior in a country where the average schooling is a mere 6.5 years.