US think-tank sees Russian influence in Turkish distancing from western allies

US think-tank sees Russian influence in Turkish distancing from western allies

“Russian media have sought to undermine Turkey's political and security cooperation with the United States and Europe by exacerbating mutual skepticism and highlighting policy differences,” US global policy think-tank RAND Corporation has said in a recent report.

“Russian media have also contributed to anti-American discourse and have reinforced and informed the Turkish government's own propaganda pursuits,” the report by Katherine Costello notes, adding that Russia has been applying techniques of amplification of genuine uncertainty, opportunistic fabrications and multiple contradictory narratives to sway sentiment in Turkey.

The author of the report claims that with Russian encouragement, Turkey is intentionally moving away from its NATO partners. “Trends in Turkish media itself are potentially as concerning as the Russian efforts,” she says, pointing to broadcaster TRT World as a “propaganda arm.”

Russia's strategic aims, the report notes, include “undermining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and fomenting mutual suspicion between Turkey and its Western allies; enlisting Ankara's support and impeding its opposition to Russian actions in Eurasia and the Middle East; and influencing Turkish internal political developments to make Turkey a more compliant partner.”

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