After the coup attempt in Turkey, the future of the Turkish “information troops” in Ukraine and the Baltics looks a bit vague, but initiators of this project are still trying to convince “information troops” that everything is going as planned.
The recall of the “information soldiers” was not a surprise even though the supervisors of the project in Kiev and Washington keep assuring the Turks that this project is crucial and that they must not keep aloof from NATO. They note that the conflict with Russia is not over but has just turned into a “hybrid war,” where such “information troops” will have a significant role.
One of the key goals of the troops is to create a Russian-speaking segment of the Turkish internet, where journalists and bloggers will present a “true” picture of Russia.
One more goal is to coordinate the resources of Turkish NGOs for the needs of the Turkish army or special services. This means a voluntary effort to collect and provide information about the Russian contingent in Syria or to record the Russian army’s “crimes.”
One of the “privileges” of the Turkish “information troops” will be that they will act as experts for the leading Turkish mass media. This means that they are authorized to curate Turkish news about Russia.
After the coup, things in Turkey have changed. Yes, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is still in power and relations with Russia are no longer tense, but the political future of the country is vague, so, this is the best time for the Americans to try to form an anti-Russian information troops there.
The only concern of those people is that they may face the same fate as the Turkish pilots that have shot down the Russian plane. If the pilots are extradited to Russia, they will have no more safety guarantees.
In any case, the “troops” are being trained. They have already learned the psychology of information conflicts and have already heard anti-Russian lectures by Anton Chadsky, a scandalous Russian “dissident,” hiding in Ukraine.
One of the key postulates they have learned is that in order to win an information war, they need an American rather than a Russian approach.
The TOR browser is their key resource: it offers them no deep specialized knowledge but just humanitarian approach.
The TOR has been created with the active support of the U.S. Government. According to Ukrainian expert named Dmitry, “controlled internet” is no longer the best solution today. North Korea has a system where each file has an identification code and can be detected wherever it is. The Russian approach is also based on total control. Unlike it, the TOR is based on anonymity.
As a NATO member, Turkey will have to adopt the American approach, where users are not controlled but are just classified. But the problem is that in Turkey the internet is already fully controlled, with local users having almost no access to Russian websites.
According to Dmitry, the key mission of the Turkish “information troops” will be to prevent any attempts by Russia to establish control over information sources in Turkey.
The project was launched before Erdogan’s apologies and the coup attempt in Turkey. Was it a coincidence or is it a specific plan to push Turkey towards a long-term hybrid war with Russia? A clear answer to this question would clarify the future of the Turkish “information troops.” But can there be clarity in a project aimed to distort reality?
Vitaly Ponomar, specially for EADaily