On October 14, 2019, Facebook page MSB Hulusi Akar that is a fake account created on July 11, 2018 and allegedly belonging to the Turkish Defense Minister released a fake map, where a part of the territories of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Syria, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, including Batumi, fall within the Turkish borders. The map has a Turkish-language caption: “We do not keep eye on anyone’s land; we will simply return what belongs to us.”
On October 17, MSB Hulusi Akar’s fake page was deleted
On October 16, pro-Russian website News Front spread disinformation referring to the Turkish Defense Minister’s fake Facebook page; a day later, on October 17, News Front’s article was shared by pro-Russian online edition Georgia and World. Later, News Front made corrections to its article, noting that the page did not belong to the Turkish Defense Minister and that the Turkish Consul notified Netgazeti about the fake map.
On October 16-17, a number of hate group pages, among them საზოგადოებრივ პოლიტიკური მოძრაობა ქართული იდეა” (Public political movement Georgian Idea), “სტალინი” (Stalin), “თურქეთი ოკუპანტია” (Turkey is an occupier), “ჯაბა მუსელიანის ბლოგი” (Jaba Museliani blog), დავით ჟღენტი (Davit Zhgenti) and სანდრო ლობჟანიძე (Sandro Lobzhanidze) of the Georgian March referred to the Turkish Defense Minister’s fake page and News Front’s article as a source and spread disinformation.
Clickbait web pages
|News Front||საზოგადოებრივ პოლიტიკური მოძრაობა ქართული იდეა||geomediapress.ge|
|საქართველო და მსოფლიო||სტალინი||georgians.gr|
|ჯაბა მუსელიანის ბლოგი|
The Facebook post and the map released by MSB Hulusi Akar are falsified. The Consul and the Ambassador of Turkey to Georgia noted that the mentioned Facebook page does not belong to the Turkish Defense Minister. The disinformation went viral online through pro-Russian media outlets and Facebook pages of hate groups.
- The official Facebook page of the Turkish Defense Minister has been fabricated
MSB Hulusi Akar‘s Facebook page was created on July 11, 2018, whereas the official page of the Turkish Defense Minister cannot be searched. Only the official Facebook page of the Ministry of National Defense of Turkey is available, though it contains neither the post, nor any map.
It is also worth noting that Turkish Consul General in Batumi, Makbule Koçak told newspaper Batumelebi that the disseminated map is fabricated and called on citizens to trust exclusively the information spread by officials.
On October 17, the Turkish Consulate in Batumi posted a statement on its Facebook page concerning fake pages in social networks.
Later on the same day, Turkish Ambassador to Georgia, Fatma Seren Yazgan said at a press conference that disinformation has been actively spread recently concerning Adjara and Turkish-Georgian relations. “We saw that over the past two-three days, a huge wave of disinformation is emerging in Georgia against Turkey. I would like to emphasize that the land and maritime border between Turkey and Georgia has been delimited and demarcated,” she noted.
About News Front
News Front is an online edition created in 2014. Registered in Russia, the online edition is available in Georgian, English, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, German, French, Bulgarian and Hungarian languages. News Front recognizes the independence of Ukraine’s eastern regions of Donbas and Luhansk and its editorial policy is identical to Kremlin’s agenda. This website frequently publishes conspiracy theories by Kremlin-affiliated Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva about the Lugar Lab in Tbilisi.
It is not the first time News Front published manipulative and unverified information. Below are the links of articles released by the Myth Detector:
- რუსული და ქართული მედიის 3 ტყუილი დონბასზე
- რუსეთის 5 ტყუილი INF- ის შეთანხმებაზე
- ვასაძე, ლორთქიფანიძე, გავრილოვი და რუსული მედია ანტისაოკუპაციო პროტესტში დასავლეთის კვალს ხედავენ
- კრემლის და ქართველი აქტორების 4 ნარატივი თბილისის საპროტესტო აქციებზე
Prepared by Mariam Topchishvili
Myth Detector Lab Regional Network