Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Umut Oran submitted a parliamentary question on Friday asking whether the Twitter trolls that have been targeting anti-government bureaucrats, journalists and politicians are directly under the control of the Prime Ministry.
Requesting a written response, Oran submitted his question to Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Lütfi Elvan, asking if claims are true that a Twitter team is directed by the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Süleyman Soylu to insult and target with offensive language prominent social and political figures who do not embrace the AK Party’s ideals and practices.
In the parliamentary question, Oran also asked the following: Who do the following Twitter accounts belong to: @esatce, @AKKULIS, @rkopar, @detroitlikizil, @Kuscuesref, @_beyefendi, @WUattack? Was a negative campaign against former President Abdullah Gül carried out by these Twitter accounts after he announced that he would return to the AK Party? Is the Twitter account under the name of Esat Ç. operated by E.B.U., a 23-year-old under instructions from the AK Party? Where are these Twitter accounts directed from? Are these Twitter accounts operating under instructions from Süleyman Soylu?
The Taraf daily claimed on Aug. 27 that a Twitter account under the name of Esat Ç., which is known for having posted libelous messages about Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek and some deputies of the AK Party, is operated by E.B.U., a 23-year-old acting under instructions from the AK Party.
Meanwhile, the above-mentioned Twitter trolls carried out a smear campaign against former President Abdullah Gül and accused him of siding with the so-called “parallel structure” — a derogatory term President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan often invokes to scapegoat the Hizmet movement — when Gül invited Abdullah Bozkurt, the Ankara bureau chief of Today’s Zaman, and Abdullah Abdülkadiroğlu, the İstanbul bureau chief of Samanyolu TV, to the farewell reception. Both journalists were called “enemies of the state” and “traitors” who should be banned from attending a state reception.