Turkish father sues son over fake news scheme targeting family members, officials
Dinçer GÖKÇE - ISTANBUL
A Turkish father has sued his “cyber bully” son for operating a fake news scheme to target his family members, as well as public officials including judges.
According to an indictment prepared by the prosecution and accepted by the Anadolu 18th Criminal Court of First Instance in Istanbul this week, a businessman, identified only as Nadir D., filed a criminal complaint against his 33-year-old son, identified only as Orkun D.
The indictment included some 20 people’s testimonies against the son, including his former attorney, who claimed that his “digital reputation is being targeted” by the suspect, who is a software expert.
Police raid father’s house over son’s fake news
Orkun D., who was previously convicted of publishing his ex-girlfriend’s photos and phone numbers on escort websites, is accused in the fresh case of operating an elaborate scheme to undermine his targets’ reputation by hacking their computers and creating websites to distribute fake news.
As cited by the prosecutor as an example in the scheme, Orkun D. stole the family photos from his former attorney’s computer and shared a picture of him with his son in the bath with a caption that reads “the paedophile lawyer.”
“He also published fake news stories about me, labelling me as an antique arts smuggler. My house was raided by the police four times because of his lies,” the father was quoted in the indictment as saying.
Prosecutor ‘fears dangerous software expert’
Orkun D. is accused of targeting other family members’ reputation, too. “She poisoned her husband and now lives on his 10 million Turkish Liras-worth inheritance,” a headline about his grandmother said in one of the fake news websites he is accused of operating.
In a separate case, six judges from the Istanbul Anadolu Courthouse filed a criminal complaint against Orkun D., accusing him of slandering them with fake news stories linking them with corruption and terrorist organizations like FETÖ.
The man targeted them, according to the judges, because they had refused to take down an online news story, which was accurately listing cyber-bullying allegations against him.
“His ex-girlfriend attempted to commit suicide because of his online activities. I asked a prosecutor why he was too slow to indict my son and he said that he feared him because he is dangerous,” the father said.
Father wants ‘treatment, not jail sentence’
As the trial started, Orkun D. rejected all charges, claiming that neither the fake news websites nor the social media accounts in question were opened by him, threatening to file counter-suits.
An expert quoted in the indictment, however, said in his report that the scheme was most likely be operated by Orkun D., citing common style, including typos, in the fake news stories and the man’s own writing.
“He is a genius about information technologies. I don’t know how he ended up like this. He is living with his mother whom I divorced 15 years ago,” the father said, adding that Orkun D. “needs an effective medical treatment, not arrest.”
The software expert, who can be jailed to up to 28 years for extortion, slander and violating privacy, will face the judge in the coming months.
The websites, allegedly operated by Orkun D., featured fake news stories with photos of his victims (below), linking them to various crimes, including murder, fraud, money laundering and bribery