May 01 2018

Turkish team hacks Greek news, threatens to throw Greeks into sea

A Turkish team of hackers has taken over the Athens News Agency website to post threatening messages against Greece, the Greek Reporter news site reported on Tuesday.

The hackers, identifying their group as “Akıncılar,” meaning “raiders,” struck the Greek news page on Monday night, uploading a message in Turkish and English with images of Turkish flags in the background.

“You are partnering with the terrorists, by supporting the members of the traitor FETÖ Terrorist Organization who have martyred our people and who made the ‘ 15 July ‘ treacherous blow attempt. How we throw the (sic) your ancestors into the sea, we will throw you and the terrorist organization FETÖ which you support – into the sea!” read the text, in poorly written but legible English.

The hackers were referring to the so-called “Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation,” commonly referred to as FETÖ, the followers of an Islamist cleric named Fethullah Gülen, who the Turkish government accuses of planning the failed Jul. 15, 2016 coup attempt.

In the aftermath of the coup attempt, eight Turkish servicemen sought refuge in Greece. Turkey has accused these soldiers of links to Gülen and made demands for their extradition, which Greek courts have so far rejected.

Tensions over the soldiers have skyrocketed since Turkey’s arrest of two Greek soldiers who had strayed onto Turkish territory in March. Greece claims that the soldiers strayed onto Turkish land due to poor weather conditions and that Turkish authorities have taken advantage of this relatively minor occurrence to engage in “hostage diplomacy,” offering the Greeks’ return in exchange for the Turkish soldiers’ extradition.

Another hacker group, Ayyildiz Team, hacked the Twitter account of former Danish Prime Minister and NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Sunday.

“I want to make a confession,” began the tweet the hackers pinned to Rasmussen’s account. “We knew that the coup was going to take place on July 15th. But we haven’t to help Turkey. That is why NATO must apologise to Mr. Erdogan.”

Turkish hackers identifying themselves as Akıncılar have a history of targeting sites in foreign countries that find themselves in conflict with the Turkish government.

In the run-up to the April 2017 constitutional referendum, as politicians from Ankara and The Hague engaged in angry exchanges over the right to hold electoral rallies for Turkish citiziens in the Netherlands, Akıncılar hackers targeted a large number of Dutch websites, posting anti-European messages and pictures of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.