Posts tagged ‘deep state’


“mere” corruption, political insecurity and conflict antiquities trafficking in Cyprus and Turkey

When considering trafficking of and markets for (fake) conflict antiquities, it is helpful to remember that cultural property crime can be connected with common problems, such as corruption and oppression, in uncommon ways. Furthermore, disparate cases can sometimes help to interpret one another.

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every story about Turkey has everything: fake conflict antiquities trafficking, drug trafficking and conflict financing

While I was collecting evidence of the markets for (fake) conflict antiquities that are trafficked from and through Turkey, journalist Cristina Maza reviewed the allegations by Turkey that former CIA agent Graham Fuller was involved in the 2016 coup attempt and observed that ‘this story has everything’. I noted that every story about Turkey has everything. Here, I try to trace historical connections between trafficking of fake conflict antiquities, trafficking of other illicit commodities and financing of politically-motivated armed groups.

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Who’s smuggling antiquities from Syria to Turkey by air?

When I explained how Assad’s army, opposition paramilitaries and foreign security forces facilitated the illicit trade in Syrian antiquities, I noted that at least some antiquities were ‘transported by airplanes to selected locations’

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censorship in Turkey: freedom of expression

Turkey has one or two other problems apart from ultranationalist terrorist propaganda.  @brennawalks heard that, “really? Apparently Chuck Palahniuk is now on Turkey’s list of ‘suspect’ authors. Suspected of what?”  That reminded me to blog about censorship and freedom of expression in Turkey; they are issues that worry and alarm the Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights (CECHR) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Like my last blog on propaganda websites, this is probably tl;dr too – but once I’ve done the next blog on access to information, I’ll try to bring the three together in a shorter, more readable post.  Here, I review Hrant Dink’s work and murder; review the prosecutions of investigative journalists Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık; note the persecution of Andrew Finkel, Orhan Pamuk and Elif Şafak; and summarise a failed attempt to sue academics for warning their students off genocide-denying sources.

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Turkey: Ergenekon propaganda websites trial

There has been progress in the prosecution of a “deep state” terrorist network in Turkey; or one of its tentacles, the Ergenekon gang.  Here, I want to focus on a trial for the publication of propaganda websites, because it encompasses cultural heritage information warfare.

But be warned, it is tl;dr – nearly 2,000 words.  I summarise the Turkish deep state, the Ergenekon gang and the propaganda websites; I review the evidence of command responsibility, and the sources of material for the websites; I list all 42 propaganda websites and their contents; then, finally, I show the websites’ influence on public opinion, their current status, and parallel propaganda campaigns within the Gendarmerie General Command.

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