“Why tweet in English?” demanded a pro-government commentator of his opponent in a TV debate, insisting that Turkish people tweeting in English about the recent graft probe is part of an international conspiracy.
Twitter has become the most recent fixation of Turkey’s ruling party who alleges the social media platform is a part of the international conspiracy against the Justice and Development Party, Ihsan Dagi discussed in a piece originally published by Turkey’s Today's Zaman.
Members of the party, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have alluded to the presence of inside agents, media conspiracy and foreign power manipulation; all of which, according to the leader, are aimed at destroying the Turkish economy.
Erodgan also claimed the existence of a state within a state, referring to the power struggle which he believes is rooted in scores of well positioned judiciaries and police offers who are loyal to his most recent political opponent, the highly influential Fethullah Gulen.
Dagi stated that such claims signify, “the end of rational politics,” saying “the response of the ruling party to the Gezi protests and the corruption probe indicates that the AKP leadership is prepared to do whatever it takes for its survival.”
Twitter has not stayed immune to being branded a conduit for international powers to wield influence, with AKP members claiming Turkish people using English on the website are part of the conspiracy.
Despite the allegations, the majority of tweets coming from Turkey are, in fact, in Turkish.
Some Turkish Twitter users however, use popular political related hashtags in Turkish and pair it with English commentary.
One popular hash tag is #SandıkYolsuzluğuAklamaz, meaning “Elections don’t justify corruption.”
Using the hash tag, @highfivethree tweeted, “What are you going to tell these people tomorrow if your cover-ups might be revealed? #SandıkYolsuzluğuAklamaz.”
Twitter user @bkenes tweeted, “Deputy resigns from AK Party in protest of gov't stance on graft probe #SandıkYolsuzluğuAklamaz.”
Popular English hash tags discussing Turkish news such as #Erdogan, #AKP and #Turkey, are largely used by Twitter users outside of the country.
İhsan Dagi argued employing conspiracy theories is suggestive of the country heading in a troubling direction.
“Resorting to conspiracy theories indicates that the AKP has run out of ideas. Instead of trying to appeal to the masses with ideas and projects, the government has chosen to mobilize them with conspiracy theories.”
Dagi stated the development was “worrisome” because “conspiracy theories reflect an authoritarian mindset.”
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