Turkish pro-gov't media figures turn to COVID-19 conspiracy theories

Turkish conspiracy theorists have gone on the offensive to find the “true” source of the coronavirus pandemic, unsatisfied with official statements that say the deadly virus had originated from China’s Wuhan province.

Security expert Abdullah Çiftçi said a former counsellor to U.S. President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, had accused Microsoft founder Bill Gates of developing COVID-19 to implant surveillance microchips in peoples’ bodies.

Although Gates never discussed using a microchip to fight coronavirus, a bioengineering expert affiliated with the billionaire’s foundation suggested using the technology to record if people were vaccinated for the novel virus, after a vaccine eventually develops.

Pro-government journalist Fuat Uğur blamed Trump’s infectious diseases advisor, Anthony Fauci for knowing about the pandemic before it happened.

“The Trump administration will have to fight not only ongoing global health threats, such as influenza and HIV, but another surprise infectious epidemic,” said Uğur, quoting the Fauci at a 2017 forum on pandemic preparedness at Georgetown University.

“He (Fauci) is a member of a global gang, just like Bill Gates,” Uğur tweeted.

Meanwhile, a program on pro-state Beyaz TV argued that a 2019 DC comic book storyline could be responsible for the inception of COVID-19.

DCeased is a mini-series spanning the DC Universe – with superheroes such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman – where a killer virus that turns the human beings into zombie-like creatures, infecting 600 million people and causing global devastation.

Comic book writer Tom Taylor, who wrote the series that began July 2019 and ended Dec. 2019, was at a loss for words.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s director of communications, Fahrettin Altun, warned against disinformation cropped from such conspiracy theories.

“This type of obscure, but harmful content, is encountered almost every day in the media about coronavirus, and believe me, they are as dangerous as the virus!” Altun tweeted. “Solution: Let's follow the official explanations.”