Turkey’s most wanted whistleblower identified, pro-gov’t media claims
Columnist Emre Uslu, a former policeman, rejects claims that he is behind the much-speculated on Fuat Avni account.
Three pro-government newspapers in Turkey claimed on their front pages on Feb. 16 that columnist Emre Uslu, who is also a former policeman, is behind the account of notorious social media whistleblower Fuat Avni, who has revealed the details of a number of police and judicial operations before they happened.
“The most important mole of the parallel structure is Emre Uslu,” daily Akşam claimed, referring to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the ally-turned-nemesis of the Turkish government. According to the report, Uslu sent direct messages on Twitter to Gülenist police officials, who then leaked information about upcoming operations to him.
Two other pro-government newspapers, daily Star and daily Güneş, reported the same claim, publishing what they claimed to be direct messages sent to Fuat Avni’s account, referring to him as “Emre.”
Uslu, who currently works as a columnist for daily Taraf, rejected the claims on his website on Feb. 16. Reminding that he had sued those that directed the same accusation in the past, Uslu said the government is trying to put an end to the ongoing criticism stemming from its inability to identify the whistleblower.
“If I am Fuat Avni or if I have ever used Fuat Avni’s account, let God damn and perish me,” he added.
A Turkish security official had told daily Hürriyet on Feb. 10 that 10 officials have been identified in the Istanbul police organization and are now accused of supplying Fuat Avni with the leaks. “We have launched investigations into these policemen,” he added.
An Ankara court ruled to block the accounts of Fuat Avni on Jan. 20, after details were disclosed pertaining to the Jan. 20 detentions of nearly two dozen civil servants allegedly involved in illegal wiretapping of top Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel.
The court ruled in favor of blocking these accounts and submitted the verdict to the Telecommunication Directorate (TİB) to implement the ruling. Like Facebook, Twitter complied with the ruling in hours, dodging another blanket ban on its service in Turkey.