Ghislain Noyer studies the Gauin Affair: a false controversy; and unwitting reproduction of propaganda?

Update (8th February 2016): I had given up on ever getting to the bottom of this story. Prompted by an enquiry from a reader, I revisited this case and found
a post on le Monde, which had been published just after I had given up (30th April 2012). Au Fil du Bosphore makes the convincing case that ‘Maxime Gauin may very well have fabricated this false report himself [Maxime Gauin aurait très bien pu fabriquer ce faux rapport lui-même]’.

Ghislain Noyer studies ‘political radicalism: extremisms, nationalisms, racisms at their underlying psychological mechanisms [radicalité politique: extrémismes, nationalismes, racismes et de leurs mécanismes psychologiques sous-jacents]’.

He has questioned the account of the deniers of the French intelligence report on Turkish nationalism. And he and Zaman France‘s Emre Demir have heightened my concern that I may have unwittingly reproduced Armenian and/or Turkish nationalist propaganda.

Reviewing the Gauin Affair: a False Controversy that Hides the True Questions [Affaire Gauin: une Fausse Controverse qui Cache de Vraies Questions], Noyer traced the evolution of the story; then, he analysed the claims in and about the story. As he summarised it,

  • le Point publicised the alleged French intelligence (DCRI(1)) report on Turkish nationalism in France, highlighting ultranationalist ‘warlord [seigneur de guerre]’ Yusuf Arpacık and Hérouville Saint Clair municipal councillor Fadime Ertuğrul Taştan;
  • the file was uploaded to Calaméo;
  • Nouvelles d’Arménieexplored the story,
    • showing Taştan with Arpacık,
    • showing Taştan making the sign of the Turkish ultra-nationalist Grey Wolves (Bozkurtlar), and
    • claiming that the administrator of Turquie News was an ‘informant [honorable correspondent]’ of the DCRI, who had infiltrated and gathered intelligence on Turkish nationalist movements in Turkey; then,
  • on the advice of ‘anonymous sources [sources anonymes]’, Zaman France claimed that the DCRI informant was a history student, Maxime Gauin.(2)

Questioning the questioners

Not-so-secret services

Noyer noted that the pseudonymous “journalists” who questioned the authenticity of the DCRI report used ‘the same method as denialism – the quibbling with associated details in massive ignorance of the incriminating evidence [la même méthode que le négationnisme – l’ergotage sur des détails associé à l’ignorance massive des éléments à charge]’.

Moreover, Noyer pointed out that the pseudonymous authors showed an ‘at least unusual understanding of the functioning of the secret services [connaissance pour le moins inhabituelle du fonctionnement des services secrets]’; he queried how the unknown persons knew that French police had forbidden reports without authors’ signatures and institutions’ stamps.

In addition, I would ask: do the French secret services really require their agents to sign their names to their work?

Slow reporters

Noyer noted that the French interior minister disowned the alleged DCRI document on 3rd April, but that Turquie News only reported that disowning on 8th April.

Meticulous fakes are rare, leaked reports are not…

Zaman France noted that it was ‘not uncommon [pas rare]’ for DCRI briefs to be leaked to the press, but implied that it was incredibly rare for a forged document to contain so much material of such ‘breadth, precision and importance [l’ampleur, la précision et l’importance]’ (including biographies of nationalists and photographs of nationalist activities in France and abroad).

Conflict between the U.S., Israel, Azerbaijan and Secularist Turks, and Iran and Islamist Turks… and trouble in France

Noyer fears that the revelation of these Turkish nationalist groups’ ‘mutual suspicion, their hate fantasies and their genuine discord [suspicions mutuelles, leurs fantasmes haineux et leurs dissensions réelles]’ may ‘above all else make it possible for them to elude the real, inconvenient/uncomfortable questions to the benefit of secondary considerations [permettent surtout d’éluder les vraies questions gênantes au profit de considérations secondaires]’.

Specifically, Noyer fears that the dispute over the report reflects the growing conflict between the United States, Israel and Azerbaijan (and Secularist Turks), and Iran (and Islamist Turks), and distracts from very real and dangerous problems in France:

  • ‘Is it, then, reprehensible/censurable in France to shout “death to Jews”, “death to Arabs” or “death to gays” but authorised and perhaps good to say “death to Armenians”?’ [Est-il donc blâmable en France de hurler “mort aux Juifs”, “mort aux Arabes” ou “mort aux pédés” mais autorisé et même peut-être bien vu de dire “mort aux Arméniens”?]
  • Regardless, it is ‘truly stupefying and no less disturbing [proprement stupéfiant et non moins inquiétant]’ that there is no public outcry over evidence that ‘French citizens are being targeted in France, and on the basis of their ethnic origins, by foreigners who came specially for that end [des citoyens français sont pris pour cible en France et sur la base de leur origine ethnique par des étrangers venus spécialement à cette fin]’.

I can only echo those sentiments.

Unwitting reproduction of propaganda?

Zaman France‘s journalist, Emre Demir, condemned ‘the rapidity with which it was affirmed with certainty, but probably without any proof, that the report had been produced by a “militant Armenian” [la rapidité avec laquelle il a été affirmé avec certitude, mais vraisemblablement sans aucune preuve, que le rapport a été réalisé par un “militant arménien“]’.(3)

Initially, I repeated the document’s claims. Then – notably, with my mind focused by Gauin’s contemplation of ‘the possibilities to sue for defamation and fabrication of forgery‘ – I presented the problems with the story: the mistakes in the document, the journalists’ choice not to contact their “victims”, and the French state denials of the report.

Did I unwittingly reproduce Armenian and/or Turkish nationalist propaganda?

Notes

1: Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence (Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur (DCRI)).

2: As Noyer keenly observed (as preserved in the web address), anti-Semitic Turkish media discussed a Mossad Agent in Ankara: the French Jew Maxime Gauin (then revised it, a Mossad-French Agent in Ankara: the So-Called Researcher Maxime Gauin). Sky1Blue says they did not realise that the original title ‘could be misunderstood‘.

3: Noyer pointed out that Demir’s challenging of secularist (Kemalist) Turkish nationalist principle of Armenophobia, in an Islamist (Gülenist) newspaper, was a demonstration of the factional splits within Turkish nationalist circles.

[Originally, I asked whether I had been ‘complicit in propaganda’; but complicity requires active choice. Obviously, I fear that I may have incidentally contributed to the spread of nationalist propaganda.]

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3 Comments to “Ghislain Noyer studies the Gauin Affair: a false controversy; and unwitting reproduction of propaganda?”

  1. Dear Sir, I would like to say that the note number 2 is now arranged.. It was my fault; I was a volunteer editor in Turkish Forum website, (turkishnews.com), and I saw the news in Today’s Zaman, I wanted to put it in the forum’s website. Since, this forum adresses to Turkish community, everything concerning Turkish people may be subject to this website. This is no racism. This is a sharing of news. So, sometimes when putting the news, they were changing the title. Me too I changed it to “A mossad agent in ankara: the french jew Maxime Gauin”, I had never thought that it could be misunderstood. It is my fault. I have jew friends since my childhood; and I even have one in Israel. I love those people. How could I be anti-semitic? I have always lived in a multicultural community with greeks, armenians, circassians, and so on.. I love all the people of this planet. And I am very serious about it. So, after understanding my fault (that it could be misunderstood) I changed it immediately. After, I saw that the Ambassade of Turkey in Paris denied the report. So, I deleted the news. Because in the website, people were not sharing this opinion. They were saying that the report was fake. I had thought that the report was true. So, I left the forum. I am not a person who insists in a violent way. I didn’t have any bad intention. So, please don’t blame Turkish media to be anti-semit. The Turkish people had accepted Spanish jew community suffering from anti-semitists at that time. If the same thing had happened, Turkey would do the same. You know, in the Second World War, Turkish diplomats protected European jews suffering from the Nazi occupation. Please, don’t think this affair as this way. This is not being anti-semitic. If the “french jew” was an anti-semitic comment, it is no longer in the website. And it will no longer be in the website. That title doesn’t exist any more. Nor another title. Because the news is no longer in the website. Personally, I would say another thing.. I don’t know if you let my comment to appear in your website. But I have a remark. I am Turkish, but I don’t “hate” armenians or jews or another nations. I think that the genocide didn’t happen. That’s why many armenians may call me anti-armenian? Or if I say that Israel should recognize Palestine as an independant country, am I being anti-semit? So, I understand and appreciate your comment, but please don’t blame Turkish people as anti-semitic. Because Turkish people is against racism or that kind of thing. (Of course some individuals are unfortunately like that, but when I meet people like that, that is me who warns them). I can not understand why nations would hate each other and blame each other in a violent way. The world is one. We don’t have another world. Why should we hate each other? In 2015, I know that Armenian lobby is preparing many things, but they could feed african children with that money.. And I am opposed to any racism. Not only in my state, but in every states.. So, please note that I am very sad to cause this misunderstanding. But I had deleted it just short after. You ask yourself whether you had been complicit in propaganda. I also ask myself the same thing. The writers have a big power. They can create a hate feeling in the hearts of people. Or they can contribute to peace process and make the arguing parties have good relations. Here it is, I hope that everything is now okay…

  2. My reply in short:

    — The obligation to put the official stamp on the reports of the counter-intelligence service is by no means secret. Newspapers like “Le Canard enchaîné” and “Le Monde” published articles about this subject in October 2002.

    — “Ghislain Noyer”’s reply to my arguments is insults, not counter-arguments. I provided precise facts on the absurdity of the “report”: in addition to the absence of stamp, an absurd series number (starting by “0123” !) and numerous factual errors.

    — Precisely, “Ghislain Noyer” alleges that the “breadth, precision and importance” of the “information” in the “report” is an indication for “authenticity”. The true assertions of this “report” are virtually all available on the Internet since a long time. Especially, none of the photograph of the demonstrations of December 2011 and January 2012 are previsouly unpublished: they are taken from Facebook pages.

    — If the author of this blog considers as not probable the presence of a signature at the bottom of a counter-intelligence service brief, can he explain how credible he considers a report which would make a transparent reference to an agent, supposed to remain anonymous?

    — There were indeed some authentic reports published in the press, but precisely, they were primarily published by newspapers, not put on the Internet.

    — I am not involved in Turkish internal politics. I wrote for “Today’s Zaman”, as well as for “Star” (a daily rather favorable to AKP) and I accepted an interview with the chief of Ankara bureau of the Kemalist daily “Cumhuriyet”. I will continue to express my views in pro-AKP, pro-CHP and neutral medias. I am a scholar, not a militant.

    — The first article of Turkishnews.com about this affair is indeed motivated by anti-Semitism, but this hatred is limited to the author of this piece. The staff of the World Turkish Forum (editor of this Web site) quickly intervened.

    — Why “Ghislain Noyer” located his blog in USA, if not to avoid a court case against him (and by me)? Those who believe that I am bragging should know (or remember) that I was winner in a court case against a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (April 2010), and that the web site armenews.com was forced to close its free-access forum after I filed a complaint in a Parisian police station, in October 2008.

  3. M.Gauin says: — The first article of Turkishnews.com about this affair is indeed motivated by anti-Semitism, but this hatred is limited to the author of this piece. The staff of the World Turkish Forum (editor of this Web site) quickly intervened.

    CLEARLY WE HAVE TO PRECISE THAT: The person who added the first title (which could be misunderstood naturally) was not the editor of the website but it was the same person who changed it immediately. So, you can not blame everyone with being anti-semitic. Turkish Forum is not anti-semitic. And the person who wrote the title was neither anti-semitic, but maybe confused, so changed it immediately. It is a sad situation, but the subject is not that. The subject is the blaming of one french citizen of being a secret agent to gather information about Turks and Turkey about armenian and kurdish affairs, this is a very very heavy blaming. Me, I would love to think that this is not true. Because I had personnally met this person. If it is a very bad misunderstanding, he should persuade people in a kind and friendly way, instead of being aggressive. I am a student, and I don’t know about secret agents, but I think they can do anything to do their job, they can even kill or “poison” innocent people. I am not saying that the blamed person is a secret agent who kills or “poisons” people. I gave an exemple. You can ignore this exemple, and read my comment until that point. Thank you.

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