Turkish media reported last month that a foundation connected to Turkish President Erdoğan has launched a “media literacy project” to teach youth in the European diaspora about recognizing “fake news and disinformation,” specifically identifying what it calls “the western media’s frequent defamation campaigns against Turkey and Islam.” According to the Daily Sabah report:
December 29, 2020 The Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA) launched a new project for the Turkish diaspora in Europe, to raise awareness against fake news and disinformation in the digital age. The media literacy project consists of a set of online seminars for those between the ages of 18 and 25 pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies. It will teach participants how to be a responsible “media reader” and social media user. Seminars will be held in January and the participants can apply on TÜGVA’s website, tugva.org. TÜGVA said in a statement that since social media has become such a prevalent part of our lives we are more susceptible to “misinformation” from an abundance of sources online, and the challenge lies in finding the reliable ones.
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The Turkey Youth Foundation’s (TÜGVA) high advisory board includes Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan, as well as:
- Mustafa Şen: chairman of the board of directors at Cihannüma (an association that has hosted Hamas leaders including Khaled Meshaal), chief advisor to former AKP Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
- Selim Cerrah: board member of the Maarif Foundation (acts as Turkey’s international education agency), co-founder and vice president of Cihannüma who has had various positions in the AKP and previously the Islamist Welfare Party.
- Osman Nuri Kabaktepe: held various positions in Islamist parties and been a board member of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation (a Turkish charity with Global Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist connections), the Maarif Foundation, and Cihannüma.
The Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA) describes itself as “a new-generation youth foundation which was founded to raise a generation that will always be on the side of justice, defending everything that is good and beautiful in the world.” The foundation manages dormitories, provides scholarships, and runs various education programs in Turkey and abroad. The foundation is also authorized to organize social activities around “values education” in all religious and secondary schools.