Russian media spread conspiracy theories on U.S. involvement in Turkey’s coup - report

Russian media disseminated conspiracy theories alleging U.S. involvement in Turkey’s July 2016 coup attempt through false authorship and the use of so-called expert of presenting false facts or narratives as the truth, according to a report by U.S.-based think tank RAND Corporation.

After the July 15, 2016, coup attempt in Turkey to overthrow the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Russian media generated anti-U.S. conspiracy theories and disinformation, the study found, ‘’by contributing opportunistic fabrications to the post-coup environment in which many people, both in Turkey and abroad, did not know what to believe.’’

Pointing out that much confusion still surrounds the circumstances of the coup attempt, the article noted the view that the United States played has received mainstream acceptance in Turkey.

Russia’s generation anti-U.S. conspiracy theories and disinformation after the Turkish coup attempt, the report indicated, was self-serving as well as it pointed to evidence of U.S. duplicity and indifference toward its longtime ally.

The coup was launched just days after the Turkish president announced a major strategic shift away from NATO and towards Russia, it noted, stressing that this paved the way for alleging U.S. involvement in the failed coup attempt, directing negative attention toward the United States and away from Russia after a string of incidents which had flared tensions between Ankara and Moscow.

Public opinion in Turkey may be shifting in the direction that Russia desires, the report indicated, citing a recurring poll by Turkey’s Kadir Has University which revealed that the percentage of Turks who identified the United States as posing a threat to their country grew from 44.1 percent in 2016 to 66.5 percent in 2017.