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Imperious leader has gone too far with his strange edicts

IT WAS one of most memorable nights of my backpacking days – New Year's Eve 1981 in Istanbul, and the first night martial law had been lifted after a military coup the previous year.

Martial law had been imposed after a violent period of killings by left- and right-wing gunmen. The army, seen as the bastion of stability, had imposed a dubious order, but now there was a night off.

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