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Internet journalism taught to Turkey by American Intelligence

Counter disinformation activities started in self-defence in Turkey when a bombardment of revelations about MIT, the Turkish Intelligence Organisation, began to be showered from Washington. It concerned the retirement of a former MIT chief, Mehmet Eymur with an American wife, a few years ago during the service period of Under Secretary of MIT, Atasagun. Actually Eymur was first pensioned off in 1987 when his top secret report full of gossip about Turkish political leaders leaked to the press, but he was reinstated to his position in 1994 shortly after Tansu Ciller became prime minister with rumours that she also had CIA links. After his second retirement, Mehmet Eymur went to the United States and has since been disseminating secret information about Turkey and MIT, allegedly along with the heavily distorted ones in his webpage, “Atin”, with generous advertisements from American companies.

Mehmet Barlas, a well known journalist accused to be a prominent member of the American Disinformation Mechanism, wrote in his column in Yeni Safak on 20 June 2001, “It was Mehmet Eymur who opened the vast vistas of internet journalism or internet news dissemination in Turkey. Thus a genuine ‘alternative media’ appeared. People began to read from ‘” the news not carried, but censored by the cartel or monopoly media. Turkey’s journalists who wanted to remain independent or free rushed into the path opened by Mehmet Eymur. Now there is a genuine diversity in this field.”

This is a short background behind the publications which the American Embassy was complaining about last week. Naturally this “open intelligence” is proving to be telling on American interests in Turkey, not because it carries the lies of Al Qaeda terrorists as the American press release attempts to claim, but because of the open intelligence knife which used to cut only the Turkish side until recently and has now become a double edged knife hurting also the Americans as soon as the cartel journalism is added with alternatives.

Previously, there was only the tiny Pulse newsprint bulletin in this field, persistently reporting the truth about Turkey and Turkish-American relations against the enormous loud speakers of the US dominated “cartel journalism” and today there is a younger generation reflecting the truth with a more colloquial style. The sooner the more sober American sources appreciate these realities and do something about their disinformation in Turkey the better for mutual relations. Otherwise, reputable American media such as the New York Times, the Washington Times and the others will continue to complain that “The old ally Turkey has recently won a gold medal in the global anti-Americanism race”, a quote from Washington Times reporter Arnaud de Borchgrave, who unrealistically draws a parallel between Usame Bin Laden and the Serdar Kuru team’s “open intelligence” products. As for Pulse, is it too much of an optimism to dissociate itself from all that with its 42 years of background under the eyes of the foreign community of Turkey with its modest, indeed tiny, resources as it has doggedly rejected to be in anyone’s pay in its journalistic career?