London-based magazine shut down by hackers after criticising Turkish President Erdogan

The World Weekly was targetted by hackers after publishing an article critical of the Turkish government


A UK-based magazine was targetted by hackers after publishing an article which criticised the increasing authoritarianism of the Turkish government.

Shortly after publishing an article highlighting how Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cracked down on democracy and threatens secularism, The World Weekly was subjected to abusive comments branding the magazine ‘the enemy’, ‘liars’, and ‘gutter press’, and telling it ‘not to mess with us’.

The article was also criticised by the Turkish Islamist daily newspaper Yeni Akit, which has close ties to Mr Erdogan. The World Weekly’s website was also made inaccessible for several hours last week after what is believed to have been a DDoS hacker attack (distributed denial of service).

Commenting on the suspected hack, editor-in-chief of The World Weekly Salman Shaheen said the magazine “will not be silenced or intimidated”.

“It is essential in a free society that we have a free press willing, where necessary, to speak truth to power responsibly. We frequently publish articles that objectively analyse – and indeed criticise – the actions of numerous administrations wether left or right, religious or secular. We cannot be 100 per cent certain it was Mr Erdogan’s supporters who attacked our website, but whoever it is that took exception to our content, we will not cease in our attempts to highlight the key issues affecting the ever more interconnected world in which we live.

“While many Turkish commenters criticised The World Weekly, assuming it has a Western bias, many others supported its findings. It is in fact our commitment to breaking through Western bias and reporting on international issues in an impartial way that has provoked such an intense debate in Turkey and we intend to go on provoking such debates around the world.”

The Turkish government recently tightened the screws on internet freedom, with new restrictions introduced in Sepember that allow for websites to be blocked if their content is ruled a threat to public order or national security. During a speech to the United Nations last year, Erdogan said he was “increasingly against the internet every day”.

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8 Responses to “London-based magazine shut down by hackers after criticising Turkish President Erdogan”

  1. Gary Scott

    The Turkish government is certainly intolerant of journalists and public dissent. Jailing those at home and hacking those out of physical reach. What I find even more worrying is that we see the same strategy here in the UK. Bloggers have long complained of organised hacking, they were condemned as paranoid until Snowdens revelations. Now we see people being prosecuted under ‘harassment’ legislation. Whether their views or conclusions are correct or not they should have the right to speak out. The judiciary is being abused, legal actions are being taken under criminal law where it should be a civil case at most. Think of Natalie Rowe, Christopher Spivey and Ben Fellows. They may be people with whom we have no sympathy but remember, these are the low hanging fruit. Their prosecutions create the desired chilling effect. Our own press is being neutered too..

  2. Leon Wolfeson

    Yes – EasyCouncil (I won’t say the old name), for instance, has done a lot of that abuse. Their new site also eliminates all useful phone numbers.

    Some of the bloggers like Mrs. Angry have done a wonderful job of raking them over the coals, but the “mainstream” press ain’t interested.

  3. Logan Hartanian

    Erdogan appears to desire a leadership role over Muslims hence the attempts to invoke conservative values on the society that cause Muslims to take notice. How will he use this power over Muslims in Europe, in an attempt to reshape European society? I think this question was more relevant when a Muslim brotherhood political victory reigned in Egypt and loomed in Libya. But now, what could have been a powerful alliance, are now scattered criminals, with varying degrees of accusation. Nevertheless, the desire for influence over Muslims and to declare the disjunct Muslims a nation (or Ummah) still exists. Imagine a partial victory over ISIS by Baghdad, and a resulting sectarian war. Then after that a compelled occupation driven peace by Turkey. Now that might just do it. Of course it would be easier if the USA volunteers to be the bad guy, but still.. Erdogan could be Superman.

  4. Guest

    Erogan hasn’t said anything of the sort – he’s pushing “Ottoman” values.
    The Turks are not popular among most Arab nations. Thanks to, er, the Ottoman Empire.

  5. Logan Hartanian

    Oh I agree, Erdogan hasn’t “said” anything of the sort.
    But the examples remain…. telling Cuba that he wants to rebuild the “mosque” that Christopher Columbus observed, his allowing Turkey to be a transit point for fighters that have changed Iraq and Syria dramatically, his toleration of ISIS, removal of TV shows, insistence of hijab, etc etc etc… As I clearly stated, he desires a leadership role over Muslims and is causing Muslims to take notice. The ingrained concept of the “Ummah” allows anyone really, to assume this role over the Muslims. It is in the mythology of the Muslim experience. And is one of the reasons, civility and set borders are so elusive to this culture. But lets get real.. what is the home of the Muslim Brotherhood currently? And what would life be like if Egypt had been retained, Libya had been tamed and Qatar and Turkey happily locked arms, with, the Muslim Brotherhood! Its a fun parallel universe to think about.

  6. Guest

    I’m not sure not refusing to allow NATO operations should be considered anything but sane given Russia’s actions.

    And again, he’s not talking about Islamic values, again, but Ottoman ones. Imperialistic, anti-Arab ones when you come down to it.

  7. Logan Hartanian

    Well what is driving things now anyway ? The surreal is the normal. I understand that Ottoman values are anti-Arab historically and that may be well known among those who know history, but if a shiite-sunni conflict is exacerbated and somehow Erdogan comes in to save the day, because the West is unwilling to be engaged, perhaps that Libya-Egypt-Turkey-Syria-Qatar plan might be partially salvaged and re-made after all. You can’t deny that some world leaders were attempting to guide into place a Muslim Brotherhood rule as a final blow to Al Qaeda and the concept of Islamism. In other words.. diminish AQ, kill ISIS, and make the MB the only Islamist game in town that matters. And a plan like that, IMHO can only be born from those individuals who trust in their perceptions moreso than history.

  8. fatih akgün

    We hope assign a Turkish word says chief benefit stone …

    If you see us on a little boy?

    They give you a share of the mouth .

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