In a sense, Ankara is the capital of such nonsense, but this campaign is somewhat different. There is background to it, and the people who put it into circulation deserve to be taken seriously. While this campaign will hardly result in arrests, I can clearly assert that these are the preliminary footsteps of a coming intense smear or attrition campaign. And I think it is the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) which is supporting this process by providing documents.
The rumor mill in Ankara started to aim at me after I voiced criticism of how MİT nurtured and reared the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella group that encompasses the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and I disclosed MİT's ties with the PKK concerning the investigation into the KCK. I know that my explanations made both MİT and the PKK uneasy. I also know that there are MİT officers who are grinding their teeth, waiting for the earliest opportunity to launch an operation against me.
Yet, the Uludere disaster, in which 34 civilians were mistaken for terrorists and killed by military air strikes in Şırnak's Uludere district due to false intelligence, was what triggered the black propaganda operation against me within the context of the latest developments. Starting with the night when this scandal occurred, I tweeted about it, raising public awareness, and noted that the state must issue an apology to the relatives of the villagers who were killed in the air strikes before noon. Attending several TV programs in the evening, I indicated that the operation in Uludere targeted Fehman Hüseyin, but it may also be a joint operation devised by the Ankara group inside the PKK and [state] institutions that were conducting negotiations with the PKK and [state] institutions that were unhappy about the ongoing operations against the KCK as they aimed to maim the successful operations against the PKK.
These criticisms of mine apparently offended the AKP politicians who sought to ensure that MİT should strike a deal with the PKK through negotiations. The accuracy of my analysis was further confirmed by subsequent developments as well. Documents Mehmet Baransu published in the Taraf daily were the straw that broke the camel's back, and with it, they gave the green light to an outflanking operation.
Any reference to the Uludere disaster, let alone the state's obligation to offer an apology to the relatives of the 34 innocent citizens killed in the air strike, is enough to get on Ankara's nerves. Indeed, the institutions in Ankara are acting in a remarkable consensus to cover up the Uludere disaster. So anyone who dares to mouth the word "Uludere" is instantly besieged and discredited.
As part of the campaign to discredit me, they gave my personal details to websites run by hackers to intimidate and subjugate me. For the sake of clarifying the process for the public, I think I should list the milestones of this process:
1. The prime minister may or may not be informed about it, but someone from the circles close to the prime minister claims I will be arrested when I return to Turkey and bases this claim on the words of the prime minister.
2. No institution or person denies these claims.
3. I first heard about these rumors on March 23. I verified with my trusted sources that there really were such rumors in circulation.
4. At that time, my friends told me I should not take these rumors seriously as such rumors were disseminated by certain groups as part of their efforts to attack me psychologically. And I agreed with them. So I did not take it seriously at the time and dropped the matter.
5. However, after I dropped it, a hacker website unexpectedly announced it would post several documents about my military service and civil register records which were supposed to be kept in the state's computers as well as my private photos and other documents about my personal life. And it really posted the document certifying the status of my military service.
6. I filed an official complaint with the competent authorities so that they could find who retrieved this document and from which computer. I hope those who retrieved my personal data from the state's computers will be found and punished. But I am not hopeful about it. As this was an operation performed by a state institution, those who leaked the documents will never be found. This is why I felt the need to inform the public about these developments.
7. They targeted my family. They threatened me, saying they have more documents retrieved from the state's computers.
8. As a result of these developments, I felt the need to send a letter to the prime minister, asking whether he was informed about the situation.
9. I received no statement or explanation from the institutions in question.
10. I wrote this article so that the public could be aware of the operation to discredit me, Taraf and media networks that question the Uludere incident via methods of black propaganda.
11. Meanwhile, another journalist emailed me, saying he had heard from some AKP figures that I will be arrested and that he shared this information with several people and groups so that I will be informed about it. So, the operation has now been deciphered.
In sum, Ankara has turned into a capital of intense shady campaigns. A part of these campaigns come from people who are close to the prime minister. I am not sure if he knows about these campaigns, but I don't understand how they dare disseminate such rumors without informing him beforehand. I hope this campaign will not evolve into actions with bad consequences. Otherwise, this will reinforce the perception that the AKP is really targeting the people and groups who criticize it.