US-based Turkish journalist Emre Uslu has categorically denied claims made by pro-government newspapers suggesting that he is responsible for a Twitter account that reveals inside information about the Turkish government, saying those making such claims know that they are false and are merely trying to cover up the government’s failure to find the real party behind the account.
On Monday the Sabah, Star and Güneş dailies, known to have close ties with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, ran a story on their front pages headlined “Here is Fuat Avni” above a photo of Uslu. Fuat Avni is the name on the whistleblower Twitter account, which discloses plans for government operations as well as other information about the inner workings of the government. The dailies alleged that Uslu gathers and reports intelligence gleaned from police officers and others in exchange for money and promises of promotions. They also published conversations that allegedly took place using Twitter’s direct messaging service between Fuat Avni and police officers.
In a statement on his website, e.uslu.com, the Today’s Zaman and Taraf columnist said he knows that direct messages on Twitter are monitored in Turkey and added that he has even mentioned this fact to his followers when he contacts them via direct message.
He also referenced earlier reports in pro-government dailies claiming that he was managing the Fuat Avni account and indicated that he is suing those dailies.
Uslu underlined that he is sure that those making these claims also know very well that he is not behind the Fuat Avni account. Uslu assessed the reports as being a reflection of the government’s anger with him.
The journalist suggested that his coverage of the failures of former National Intelligence Organization (MİT) head Hakan Fidan — who recently resigned to run for Parliament — may have enflamed government anger with him. He added that government circles are trying to defame him because of what they claim are efforts to prevent Fidan from becoming the next prime minister in his writing.
The second possibility for the allegations, Uslu said, is to prevent criticism from being aimed at Fidan for failing to find the real person behind the account — especially since general elections are slated to be held on June 7 and Fidan is planning to run for Parliament on the ruling party ticket.
“I think the most reasonable scenario is this: The undersecretary of MİT not finding out who Fuat Avni is remains a big failure in his career. [So] they ‘found’ a Fuat Avni so that the he would not enter politics as an undersecretary who failed to reveal him,” Uslu said, adding that Fidan will probably start making TV appearances to talk about how he “found” the person managing the account.
Sabah said in its Monday report that police officers told Uslu on Feb. 12, 2014 that they were preparing to launch an operation against the Zaman daily, apparently suggesting that Uslu then transmitted that information via the Avni Twitter account. However, Fuat Avni made no mention of such an operation at that time and no such operation took place, calling the report’s suppositions into question. Some 10 months later, in mid-December, Avni did announce that an operation would take place targeting Zaman. Police conducted an operation and detained the Zaman daily’s editor-on-chief, as well as others, on Dec. 14, 2014.
Yakında bu hesabın kullanıcı adını değiştirip farklı bir isim ama yine aynı formatla kullanacağım.Twitlerimi RT yaparak hesabımı not edin.
— Fuat Avni (@FuatAvni) April 11, 2014