On February 12, Russian media outlet “Ria Novosti" aired footage of the map from Turkish private television and portrayed it as the state-owned channel. A map named "Turkish Sphere of Influence in 2050" was published by the U.S research center Stratfor and was discussed on the Turkish private television “TGRT HABER”. Besides “Ria Novosti", identical information alleging that the map of Turkish Influence was aired on Turkish state-owned television was disseminated by Russian news agencies lenta.ru and iz.ru.
On the same day, February 12, former MP Demur Giorkhelidze published the footage of the map from Turkish television and noted that the map was aired with the title “Turkish map in 2050 from “the shadow Central Intelligence Agency CIA". Besides Turkey, the Balkans, North Africa, the Middle East, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, and the region of Crimea are marked on the map.
According to Giorkhelidze, since Soviet times “path to Turkey has been paved for Georgians” and the neoconservative project “New Middle East” entailed “expanding Turkish borders to the Russian borders". At the end of the post, Giorkhelidze writes “Turkey is a member of NATO i.e. friend of Georgia” right, you scumbags! Here, see the map – it’s completely new!”
On February 11, Vice Colonel Davit Martiashvili shared the photo of the same map published by the Facebook page World Military3 and wrote the following caption: "Find Georgia on this map! If you can't, don't go too far with questions and start with yourself, what can you accept and how far are you willing to go for your homeland?”. His post was also published by Tvalsazrisi.ge.
On February 13, Alt-TV, founded by the Alt-info, spoke about the map and called this footage aired on Turkish Television “Great Turan propaganda in Turkish Media”. According to one of the program hosts Zurab Makharadze, Georgia will be a member of the Neo-Ottoman Empire and not Europe.
Russian media manipulatively disseminated the map. RIA Novosti wrote that the map was shown on state-owned (TRT) television and not the private television (TGRT) giving off the impression that it represented the official position of the Turkish government.
Demur Giorkhelidze’s post is a half-truth. The map was indeed shown on private television, however, it's much older and has been circulating since 2009. The map belongs to the U.S research center Stratfor and portrays a hypothetical image of the Turkish sphere of influence for 2050. Alt-infoTV also doesn’t mention the fact that the map isn’t new. Moreover, Giorkhelidze uses the map to portray Turkey as an unfriendly state.
Russian media mixed up”TRT” television with “TGRT”
On February 9, “TGRT HABER” host on Turkish private television discussed the map named “Turkish Sphere of Influence in 2050” published by the U.S. research center Stratfor. The map cannot be found on the webpage of Stratfor, however, the aforesaid map is in the book “The Next 100 Years” written by George Friedman, the former head of the company, in 2009, and presents a certain hypothetical scenario for the future geopolitical situation.
As Turkish media outlet haber7 writes, the Russian press mixed up "TRT" television with "TGRT” and attributed the footage from private television (TGRT) to the state-owned television (TRT). In Haber7's article, it’s written that hours later Russian news agency “Ria Novosti" corrected the mistake, however, it couldn't avoid the spotlight on social media. Although the mistake was corrected on the webpage of “Ria Novosti”, the Facebook page of the media outlet still states that the map was shown on the Turkish state-owned television.
Moreover, “Ria Novosti” has published an article, which summarizes Russian politicians and experts’ assessment on the map shown on Turkish Television depicting the possible strengthening of Turkish influence south to Russia. According to Aleksandr Sherin, the chairman of the State Duma Defence Committee, Russia should take this prognosis more seriously.
Information with false details and manipulative interpretation was disseminated on Twitter as well. The account spriters writes that the host of the main Turkish channel showed the map and stated that territories should be part of Turkey for 2050.
The "Turkish Sphere of Influence in 2050" map has been disseminated since 2009
The map, which TGRT HABER” host from one of the Turkish private televisions spoke about on February 9, isn’t new. It cannot be found on Stratfor’s webpage, however, it's in the book “The Next 100 Years” written by George Friedman, the former head of the company, in 2009.
In the introduction of the book, Friedman writes that he tries to convey the hypothetical future. He notes that of course, numerous details will be incorrect, however, the aim is to identify future geopolitical, technological, demographical, and military tendencies in a broad sense.
Prepared by Mariam Talakhadze