Over the weekend, the Internet may have saved the regime of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as protestors organized online to fight a military coup, and Erdogan himself addressed the nation via Apple’s Facetime video-calling app. Today, however, Erdogan may remember that he doesn’t particularly like the Internet, after all—as hundreds of thousands of his ruling party’s alleged private correspondences spills onto the web.
On Tuesday, WikiLeaks published what it’s calling the Erdoğan Emails, a searchable collection of 294,548 emails it says are leaked from the AKP, Turkey’s ruling political party, and the organization president Erdoğan led before he was elected president. Turkish citizens and the world community are still struggling to understand the context of Turkey’s coup and the crackdown that’s followed, all of which could make this alleged Erdoğan leak more significant than the secret-spilling group’s average data dump. However, at the time of writing, it’s not at all clear yet what exactly the Turkish-language megaleak contains, or if the emails are what Wikileaks claims they are.
“The material was obtained a week before the attempted coup. However, WikiLeaks has moved forward its publication schedule in response to the government’s post-coup purges,” reads a note posted with the release on WikiLeaks’ site. “We have verified the material and the source, who is not connected, in any way, to the elements behind the attempted coup, or to a rival political party or state.”
The dump arrives at an incredibly sensitive time for Erdoğan’s regime, in the wake of an attempted coup by a faction of the Turkish military, who Erdoğan accuses of being loyal to US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Erdoğan, on vacation in the south of the country at the time, called on Turkish citizens to take to the streets to stand up for …