The Turkish government, headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has increasingly ramped up censorship efforts against journalists, lending credibility to Wikileaks suspicions their release may not fully reach Turkish citizens—especially considering the latest leak concerns his ruling party, AKP.
As CNET noted:
“Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were reportedly blocked in Turkey during the attempted coup Friday, but many residents appear to have gotten around the blocks, posting messages and videos, likely using VPNs or other anonymizing services.”Throughout Monday, Wikileaks continued to promote the release via social media as with this Tweet (AKP is Erdogan's political party):
Turks ask whether WikiLeaks is pro or anti-AKP. Neither. Our only position is that truth is the way forward. 100k+ docs serves all sides.
They then tweeted that instead of 100,000 documents, they would actually be releasing far more. “Our pending release of 100k docs on Turkish political power? Just kidding. The first batch is 300k emails, 500k docs,” they announced.
But just hours later, they alerted followers their website was being attacked. “Our infrastructure is under sustained attack,” they tweeted, alongside the hashtag, #TurkeyPurge.
On Monday however, Wikileaks tweeted their site was under attack:
“We are unsure of the true origin of the attack. The timing suggests a Turkish state power faction or its allies. We will prevail & publish,"
Later, the organization remained resolute in its determination to publish the hundreds of thousands of documents. “Coming Tuesday: The#ErdoganEmails: 300 thousand internal emails from Erdo?an’s AKP – through to July 7, 2016,” they tweeted.
In spite of the ongoing cyber attacks, Wikileaks eventually announced on Tuesday they had released the first installment of emails, which can be viewed here. The content is from the server of the AKP.
The failed military coup in Turkey last weekend highlighted the deteriorating situation in the country, where President Erdogan has grown increasingly repressive. The Turkish government has also been implicated in the rise of ISIS and has been accused of acting as a conduit to supply arms and ammunition from the USA, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to rebel elements in Syria, carrying on an illegal trade with ISIS in oil from wells in occupied territory and providing sanctuary and medical assistance within their borders for etremist guerillas.
The coup, news of which is mired in uncertainties, accusations, and conflicting reports, has left Turkish citizens between a rock and a hard place, support a military regime or an increasingly oppressive democratically-elected leader who has overseen 50,000 suspensions or detainments of government employees regarding the military’s failed attempt to seize power. It is far from clear whether the coup has been completely crushed and one unconfirmed report during the week suggested forty military helicopters had gone missing from Turkish air bases.
It seems Wikileak’s release of information on Turkish power structures could not come at a more vital time—that is, so long as it reaches the Turkish people. That seems to be down to us new media journalists.
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