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Russia's Use of Media and Information Operations in Turkey

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Technical Report

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RAND Corp Santa Monica United States

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This Perspective was sponsored by the U.S. Army and produced within the RAND Arroyo Centers Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program. RAND Arroyo Center, part of the RAND Corporation, is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the United States Army. The author is grateful to Sally Sleeper, director of the Arroyo Centers Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program, for her support of this research, and to Stephen Flanagan at the RAND Corporation for his guidance throughout the process. This Perspective benefited from insightful reviews provided by Miriam Matthews at RAND and by Donald Jensen of the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the Center for European Policy Analysis. RANDs Andrew Parasiliti also provided helpful comments on an earlier version of the draft. The piece also benefited from technical editing by Julia Brackup, final editing by Jessica Wolpert, and production editing by Todd Duft and Cindy Lyons. Francisco Walter provided valuable administrative support. This Perspective assesses how Russia has used media and information operations to support its foreign policy goals related to Turkeyan issue that has received little attention from officials and analysts. It also comments on the implications of these Russian efforts for the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO allies. The analysis examines Russian media responses to three recent events in Turkey. First, it scrutinizes Russian accusations of Turkish sponsorship of the Islamic Stateof Iraq and Syria following Turkeys November 2015 shootdown of a Russian military aircraft. Second, it examines anti-U.S. conspiracy theories and disinformation that originated in Russian outlets after the July 2016 Turkish coup attempt. Third, it evaluates Russian medias deflection of blame for the December 2016 assassination of the Russian ambassador away from Turkey and toward others.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Government and Political Science

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