Foreign journalists were targeted by pro-Erdoğan trolls and media for their tweets reporting on twin bomb attacks in İstanbul immediately after they occurred on Saturday night.
A campaign on social media was launched by a troll with more than 134,000 followers, @ustakiloyunlari, who wrote, “These journalists, like agents, were aware of the attacks,” with a photoshopped picture showing the time of journalists’ tweets after the blasts.
Frank Nordhausen, Nick Ashdown, Christopher Lord and Friedrike Geerding were targeted by Star daily columnist Halime Kökçe for their tweets posted a few minutes after the attacks.
“#Turkey – Because I reported the Istanbul blast yesterday on Twitter I am now the aim of a terrible shitstorm by Turkish nationalists,” said Nordhausen in response to the campaign.
Ashdown tried to inform Twitter about the campaign, writing: “Dear @twitter, this account is accusing foreign journalists in Turkey of being agents, resulting in threats from his many followers.”
A few minutes after the explosions Nordhausen tweeted “#Turkey – Just heard and saw something like a huge explosion in Istanbul-Cihangir,” while Ashdown also tweeted: “Reports of sounds of explosions in central Istanbul. I think I heard something as well.”