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Turkish Youth Foundation Tied To Erdoğan Launches “Disinformation” Project Aimed At Europe

January 21st, 2021 12:52

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.

Read the rest here.

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.

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.