Conspiracy theories are a prevalent feature of culture and politics in Turkey. Conspiracism is an important phenomenon in understanding Turkish politics.[1] This is explained by a desire to "make up for our lost Ottoman grandeur",[1] the humiliation of perceiving Turkey as part of "the malfunctioning half" of the world,[2] and a "low level of media literacy among the Turkish population."[3]


Roots and causes

Turkish author and journalist Mustafa Akyol describes the reason for the prevalence of conspiracy theorizing in Turkey as "it makes us feel important. If the world is conspiring against us, we must be really special. It is, I believe, the way we Turks make up for our lost Ottoman grandeur."[1] Turkish economist Selim Koru has pointed to the humiliation of perceiving Turkey as part of the "malfunctioning [half]" of the world.[2]

Turkish consumers are the second-most media illiterate when compared to countries in Europe, leaving them especially vulnerable to fake news, a 2018 report released by the Soros Open Society Institute said. A combination of low education levels, low reading scores, low media freedom and low societal trust went into making the score, which saw Turkey being placed above only North Macedonia.[3] According to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018, Turkey with some distance is the country with most made-up news reports in the world.[4]

Distinct features

A distinct feature of conspiracy theorizing in Turkey is that at the alleged command and control end of an alleged conspiracy scheme is usually narrated to be governments because the worldview taught in the Turkish education system is massively focused on the state.[5]

Doğan Gürpınar, a scholar whose areas of study include nationalism, historiography, and ideologies in Turkey, argues that conspiracism's power to shape intellectual discourse and ideological standpoints and to represent the state tradition is "unique to Turkey".[6]

List of conspiracy theories

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Mustafa Akyol (12 September 2016). "The Tin-Foil Hats Are Out in Turkey". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 2017-01-09. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b Selim Koru (21 June 2018). "How Nietzsche Explains Turkey". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 2018-06-21. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  3. ^ a b Marin Lessenski (March 2018). "COMMON SENSE WANTED - Resilence to 'post-truth' and its predictors in the new media literacy index 2018" (PDF). Open Society Institute – Sofia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-04-03. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  4. ^ Nic Newman with Richard Fletcher, Antonis Kalogeropoulos, David A. L. Levy and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (2018). "Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018" (PDF). Reuters Institute. p. 39. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-18.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ a b Mustafa Akyol (9 January 2017). "Why Turkish government pushes 'global conspiracy' narrative". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 2017-01-10. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  6. ^ Gürpınar, Doğan (3 January 2017). Komplolar Kitabı (in Turkish). İstanbul: Doğan Kitap. p. 256. ISBN 9786050920901.
  7. ^ "Why scholars say Armenian Genocide was genocide but Obama won't". Newsweek. 24 April 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  8. ^ "A list of genocide denial websites". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on 2017-02-22. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  9. ^ Bakir, Ali (3 April 2020). "Coronavirus: Why conspiracy theories have taken root in Turkey". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  10. ^ "Dünyayı sarsan komplo teorileri". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Turgut Özal'ın ölümü davasında Ersöz'ün beraatine onama".
  12. ^ "Prosecutors exhume body of former President Özal - Türkiye News". Hürriyet Daily News. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 2023-03-21.
  13. ^ Mustafa Akyol (31 October 2014). "The Middle East 'mastermind' who worries Erdogan". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 2017-01-07. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  14. ^ Mustafa Akyol (19 March 2015). "Unraveling the AKP's 'Mastermind' conspiracy theory". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 2017-01-08. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  15. ^ "AKP'li yorumcu 'La Casa De Papel'de 'Gezi' mesajı buldu: Ali Koç'a benzemiyor mu?". Diken (in Turkish). 8 April 2018. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Uzun ülke gündeminde". Bolu Gündem Gazetesi (in Turkish). 26 July 2006. Archived from the original on 20 September 2018.
  17. ^ Kiliç, Yusuf (May 9, 2012). "Gaziantep bird stand up!". Haberturk. Archived from the original on 2016-03-24. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  18. ^ "Turkey villagers see Israeli spy in migratory bird". BBC. 16 May 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-17. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  19. ^ John L. Esposito, Emad El-Din Shahin (September 2013). The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190631932. Archived from the original on 2016-08-18. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  20. ^ Danforth, Nick. "Notes on a Turkish Conspiracy". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 9 May 2020.
  21. ^ Avlaremoz (2019-05-06). "Antisemit Komplo Teoricisi Kadir Mısırlıoğlu Öldü -Avlaremoz". -Avlaremoz (in Turkish). Retrieved 2023-01-08.
  22. ^ "İngiltere Büyükelçisi Moore'dan Kadir Mısıroğlu'nun 'Atatürk' iddiasına yanıt: Sahte tarih!". T24 (in Turkish). Retrieved 2023-01-08.
  23. ^ Şafak, Yeni (2015-04-06). "Atatürk'ü böyle zehirlediler". Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). Retrieved 2023-01-08.
  24. ^ "HAARP: Kahramanmaraş depremleriyle yeniden gündeme gelen komplo teorileri". BBC News Türkçe (in Turkish). 2023-02-23. Retrieved 2023-03-21.
  25. ^ "Deprem sürecinde propaganda ve komplo teorileri: Dış mihraklardan kaderciliğe". (in Turkish). 22 February 2023. Retrieved 2023-03-21.
  26. ^ "HAARP nedir, HAARP projesi deprem yaratır mı?". (in Turkish). 7 February 2023. Retrieved 2023-03-21.

Further reading