Turkish columnists’ social media accounts hacked following criticism over Libya

The e-mail and social media accounts of two Turkish nationalist Yeniçağ newspaper columnists were hacked after the pair tweeted about the Turkish government withholding news on death of troops in Libya, Yeniçağ reported.

Both the Gmail and twitter accounts of Batuhan Çolak and Murat Ağırel were seized after they said Turkish soldiers who lost their lives in Libya had been buried without an official funeral or ceremony, it said.

Turkey began deploying in January troops to Libya to support the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) forces. Ankara seeks to protect the GNA from being overthrown by rival faction, the Libyan National Army (LNA), which supports the eastern-based interim government in the port city of Tobruk.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that several Turkish servicemen had been killed in Libya, while also claiming that there were large losses in the ranks of the LNA.

Çolak’s most recent tweet included a quote from Erdoğan, in which he said “Of course we have a few martyrs [in Libya],  but in return for those few martyrs, we have neutralised close to 100 legionnaires there’’. 

Çolak said he is unable to open his Gmail or Twitter accounts from another computer’s IP without a phone. 

“This is not a random act of theft committed by one person. It is unacceptable of institutions meant to ensure security to interfere with journalists’ social media accounts,” Çolak said.