The leaked emails of Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s energy minister and son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, show that Erdoğan’s chief advisor, Mustafa Varank, sent emails to Albayrak and Erdoğan’s daughter Sümeyye requesting a media ban on Yiğit Bulut, another of Erdoğan’s top aides, calling him a “time bomb.”
Albayrak’s email account was hacked by RedHack, a Turkish Marxist-Leninist-Maoist computer hacker group on Friday, and the group threatened to disclose 20 GB of secret information if the Turkish government failed to release Alp Altınörs, deputy co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and prize-winning novelist and journalist Aslı Erdoğan by Monday. The demand was unmet, and the group has begun releasing the hacked emails.
In an email to Albayrak and Sümeyye, who are known for their influence over pro-government media and organizing pro-government social media trolls, Varank says that Bulut’s comments go beyond what he is actually allowed to say and suggests they prohibit him from appearing on TV shows.
Varank also mentions in the email, which was sent on Aug. 29 2013, that US President Barack Obama does not want to meet with Erdoğan at the G-20 summit in September 2013.
In another email, which was forwarded by Varank to Berat, Sümeyye and Bilal, Erdoğan’s son, former US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone asks “Does the PM’s [Erdoğan at the time] senior advisor [Bulut] reflect the views of the PM?” Ricciardone also underlines that he has been working hard to get Erdoğan an appointment with Obama during the G-20 summit.
Ricciardone’s email in addition includes a news story saying that the Turkish prime minister’s top aide says Erdoğan is one of only two world leaders. Bulut said in a TV program on Aug. 29, 2013 that Obama is only half a leader.