Turkey accused of pushing false story about ‘Greek drones’ deal

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
Turkey accused of pushing false story about ‘Greek drones’ deal
The report in the pro-government Turkish press also made it into western press before Greek sources rebuffed it.
By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
AUGUST 1, 2020

In an effort perhaps designed to embarrass Greece or to reduce tensions between Greece and Turkey, it appears Turkish media pushed a false story about drone sales to Athens. Greek officials pushed back against a story this week that appeared in Daily Sabah and other outlets that claimed Turkish drones might be sold “for the first time” to the Greek army. The report in the pro-government Turkish press also made it into western press before Greek sources rebuffed it and got at least one of the stories taken down from the internet. The first report noted that “Turkish-made drones that are used primarily in search and rescue or mine detection operations are ready to enter Greek Armed Forces inventory with a signed preliminary agreement.” This came the same week that Greece was on alert after a Turkish survey ship appeared to want to survey areas off a Greek island near Rhodes. Turkey has laid claim to a swath of sea it calls a ‘blue motherland’ and which conflicts with Greek claims.

The drone deal seemed out of place among Turkey-Greek tensions. Turkey is now a leading make of some drones, including the armed Bayraktars it has used in Libya and Iraq and Syria. These smaller drones however were being made by a company called Assuva Defense, reports claimed. Turkish media portrayed this as a potential Turkish deal to a fellow NATO country. “Greece to buy 50 Turkish drones,” headlines said. Now the Greek City Times and Ahval say that Greece has rejected this story. The Defense Minister Nikolas Panagiotopoulos categorically denied the story. Greece says the story is part of “targeted leaks” that are designed to spread some kind of fake news. The story originally printed said that Proton Elic RB-128 drones, which are small and about the height of a knee with six rotors, would be exported.

The story and its denial illustrates how information warfare and other layers of conflict underpin the larger controversies that exist between Turkey and Greece. Turkey has been trying to pressure Greece using refugees and other means as well. The full story of the drones is not entirely known. For instance it isn’t clear if they were offered for sale and simply not accepted or if there were discussions at some level in the past. Overall it’s not known what role the company had in this or others in promoting the story. However the revelation of the news and the pushback show how details of sensitive defense deals can be used by media. Turkey is already in the midst of similar controversies over its purchase of Russian S-400 air defense and the US decision to put F-35 sales to Turkey on ice.

https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/t...ng-false-story-about-greek-drones-deal-637080
 
Top