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THE IMPORTANCE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL WAR AND PROPAGANDA - IMPACT ON ETHNIC-RELIGIOUS PROBLEMS

AUTHOR: Osman N. ARARAT

 

The process of "Psychological Warfare", one of the oldest war methods in the world, to directly affect us dates back to the last century. It even takes a while.

Psychological warfare; In the classical sense, it is defined as the continuation of the superiority over the opposing party in all respects or the solution of the problems, by affecting the mood of the people in a covert way and getting results. The reason why psychological warfare is implicit is that people's subconscious

 

because it aims.

The aim of psychological warfare is to make the opposing nation / state / army from being an opposing force, from being an effective obstacle, to make it harmonious, harmless, self-directed, manageable, and finally to make it dependent and to put it into the desired or desired mold and shape.

The most important weapon of the "divide-divide-conquer" policy against the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries was "propaganda".

Propaganda is one of the most important methods of psychological operations and it is the most effective and powerful weapon of this dirty war. The purpose of propaganda is often to portray the hostile or target element as inhumane and arouse hatred towards it. The collapse of the opposing side's moral strength, which is its spirituality, is only possible with propaganda, which is a psychological operation method. Propaganda, which is an offensive and defensive weapon of psychological warfare, is a kind of education and provocation. Its ammo is; information in the form of words, texts, pictures, brochures and e-mails. Another purpose of propaganda is to persuade and change people. His method is brainwashing. In other words, the main goal is the human brain, to dominate the human brain.  It is also possible to define the concept of propaganda as “placing certain ideas in people's subconscious by using the suggestion method”.

 

 

Psychological Warfare and propaganda initiated by the West

Realizing that it could not eliminate the Ottoman Empire with a hot war, the West changed tactics since the end of the 19th century and succeeded in breaking the Ottoman Empire first mentally and then geographically, with games played on human psychology. In line with this changing strategy, the European states led by England spread the "sick man" syndrome, which they invented under the name of "Oriental Question", to the Ottoman lands.

As a matter of fact, British Prime Minister Lloyd George said in 1914, “The Turks should be exiled to Central Asia and their roots should be exterminated.” The word quickly spread throughout Europe. The West's hostility towards Turks and Turkey sprouted under the influence of this discourse. This discourse is only one of the methods of psychological warfare. It had wide repercussions in Europe at that time. Sadly, it has also been adopted by the ethnically privileged local collaborators of global imperialism, who are under the influence of this discourse. Even today, the ethnic, religious subversion and separatism in question is maintained by recruiting agents.

 

Not content with this, the Allies continued their dirty propaganda after the First World War. After the war in 1919;

“The Turks have destroyed all the lands they entered the war on. They made people unhappy. The Turks lack the quality of civilization, they are simply barbaric and destructive.” They effectively spread the  propaganda.

The psychological war started against the Turks just before the 1st World War, II. After World War II, it continued during the cold war period. The Atlantic Declaration against authoritarian regimes, written by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1941, has the same characteristics as today's BOP. America and England, which have established a very solid marriage on this path, acted jointly with the   worldwide "One

 

They worked with all their might to surround the world with the collaborative network they created within the framework of the "World" ideology. Under the mask of so-called democracy and democratization, they highlighted the model of economic hegemony based on oil and weapons. By creating the perception that the only enemy in the world is Russia ruled by communism, they took advantage of the religion phenomenon to fight communism. The propaganda that Russia is an irreligious state has been considered the legitimate justification for the struggle against communism. Turkey was put to sleep with the "Green Belt Project" of the USA, which was developed for years under the pretext of the danger of communism during the cold war period. All his attention and energy is focused on the fight against communism. Turkish youth have been divided into camps and made to hurt each other. Knowing that the most difficult human organ to be defeated is the brain, they did not content themselves with propaganda, which is an effective weapon of psychological warfare, but also added systematic mind manipulation methods and surrounded the world by forming a large collaborative staff. Just like the fishing boats surround the flock by laying their nets around the shoals of fish.

This policy of the West, which is still maintained in the fertile Middle East lands, where the Turks are in the position of the "Leader of the Islamic World", showed its effect in a short time.

 

With this change or change in consciousness, which caused Turkey to be put to sleep for years and directed all its power towards the fight against communism, Turkey was removed from its dominant position in the Middle East, the Arab World was made hostile to the Turks and Turkey, the region first started major rebellions, subsequently, it was dragged into a chaos that is still inextricable even today.

Afterwards, with the end of the cold war at the end of the 20th century, the imperialists, who argued that the unitary state understanding and structure did not and will not meet the needs of the 21st century, showed by producing new projects such as the BOP in line with their own interests. The aforementioned projects are aimed at rejecting the concept of "nation-nation"   in the world and in Turkey, and making the new management approach based on regime change prevailing instead of "ethnic-religious"   has been. It has now been adopted and come to the fore to transform countries into an ethno-religious-based structure, not with weapons but without weapons and by using the way of conquering the minds of the target masses.

Psychological Warfare Intelligence

 

Psychological warfare intelligence is primarily used in the detection and subsequent exploitation of ethnic and religious problems by the aggressor in Turkey. Psychological warfare intelligence,  is directly involved in psychological operations and has a large share in the success of psychological warfare.

What is meant by the concept of psychological warfare intelligence; It is the systematic detection, classification, interpretation and intelligence of the weaknesses and sensitivities in every field that one group will use in psychological warfare in order to gain an asymmetrical superiority over the other group.

The purpose of psychological warfare intelligence is to reveal the sensitive and weak sides of the target group, that is the enemy, and to make the necessary planning for how to exploit this and to carry out the implementation. From this point of view, it is not difficult for the aggressor to identify the following basic sensitivities, based on the sedition of discrimination created and the principle of weakening or even tearing Turkey apart, despite the fact that there is no apparent ethnic problem in Turkey.

  1. There is a Kurdish problem in Turkey, this sensitivity should be used.

  1. There are radical religious groups. Religious issues in Turkey are sensitive. This topic should be used.

  1. Sectarian conflict is an important sensitivity in Turkey. The Alawite-Sunni conflict should be used.

  1. Pontus movement should be used for the establishment of the Pontus Greek State in the Eastern Black Sea Region.

  1. Turkey has economic and social sensitivities.

  1. The Armenian massacre in 1915 is a sensitivity. This topic should also be used.

 

The above-mentioned sensitivities, outlined by the aggressor, have been turned into slogans by the aggressor on different ethnic identities and especially our Kurdish citizens, and have been transformed into the following form.

-The Turks are holding you in captivity.

-The Turks willingly leave you ignorant.

-The Turks oppress you, oppress you, exclude you, snores, do not replace people and people.

-The Turks want the Kurds to always stay behind and not develop.

-The reason you are poor is the Turks.

As a result of the above-mentioned themes and mental influences based on ethnic difference, it was inevitable for Kurdish citizens to feel victimized and to engage in victimization psychology. This situation has been skillfully abused by the aggressor and still continues to do so.  Because the easiest form of abuse is done through the victimization created. The idea that the Kurds are a separate society living in Turkey and that they should enter into a separate political organization from the Turkish State, is always the result of the aforementioned victimization psychology.

 

The second main issue that the attacker dealt with, first in the Middle East and later in Turkey, using psychological warfare and propaganda methods, is radical religious political organizations. Instead of using groups or communities with different ethnic origins in the region this time, the agents of psychological warfare first politicized Islam by using different sects and sects. Then they pitted Muslim states/groups/society against each other. Finally, they were at work in Yemen, Libya and Iraq. Now they are at work in Syria. They show by the signs they give at every opportunity that they will be in Iran in the future and that they are in the intention and effort to carry it to Turkey. The necessary infrastructure and ground for this is already in the country. Efforts to divide and segregate Muslims by creating differences in worship and belief among Muslims in Turkey are still continuing at full speed, thanks to the devshirme agents disguised and disguised as Aydın. The first division was realized with the emergence of concepts such as the first break or the opening of the first breach,   secular-antilaic, religious-secular, nationalist-religious. The thing to do now is to involve Turkey in the sectarian wars surrounding the Middle East, by separating the sects in Turkey and creating discord among them, and thus dragging Turkey into the swamp of the Middle East.

How to Disrupt the Balance and Coherence of Society with Psychological Warfare and Propaganda?

Written by Chinese General Sun-Tzu 2500 years ago, in the book called "The Book of War", he talks about the psychological warfare methods used in the disintegration of the Turkish states. These methods are considered to be valid even today. It would be helpful to look at some of Sun-Tzu's suggestions for psychological warfare below.

  1. Discredit what is good in hostile countries.

  2. By belittling the achievements of the khans of the opposing countries, you should cast a shadow on their reputation, and when the time comes, make their own people despise them.

  3. Benefit from the cooperation of mean and despicable persons.

  1. Spread the discord and quarrels among the hostile people.

  1. Make fun of your opponent's customs.

 

Sun-Tzu's suggestions above on psychological warfare remind of the political and ideological traumas experienced in Turkey in recent years, both on ethnic and religious grounds. Traumas built on disrupting the balance and coherence of Turkish society and the methods used for this are used to prepare the society for transformation. What is meant by transformation here is to put an end to the unitary state structure in Turkey and to expose the current regime to change / transformation in line with global imperialist policies.

The fact that the aforementioned political and ideological traumas are caused by traitors who have infiltrated the state's administrative staff and even the army within the country, not from outside, facilitates the work of the intruder, and therefore the agents of psychological warfare, and plays into their hands.

If negative attitudes and behaviors contrary to the general will and public interest, especially the zigzags, polarizations and divisions shown in a country, increase, the balance and coherence of that country and society will be disrupted, causing fluctuations in consciousness and blurring of minds. This situation is highly desired by foreign psychological operations planners and specialists. Being an instrument of the plots of the planners in question facilitates the work of psychological warfare, plays into its hands and leads to more and more dire consequences. For example;

  • In Turkey, by introducing the subject "There was a Kurdish problem" before and boasting that "I brought together people with different views and thoughts", wherever there are destructive, separatist, collaborative enemies of the Turkish and the Republic, they will appear on the television screens and openly to the Turkish Nation, To make the State and Republic to be cursed and counted, to apply disinformation, which is the most important element of psychological warfare, through recruiting agents,

  • Deleting the phrase “TC” from the signboards of state-owned official institutions, removing the promise that started as “I am Turkish, correct, hardworking” from schools, slandering the past, slandering the past, removing the picture of Atatürk from the state insignia given to foreigners, removing the “How Happy is the One Who Says I am a Turk” sign in Diyarbakır. such as ignoring the high and national values that society attaches importance to,

  • By plotting against his own army, to brand the patriotic officers and generals of the army as prostitutes, spies, gangsters, putschists, to imprison innocent officers and generals in dungeons, to pacify the army and to stand by, condone, allow this situation,

Situations that are contrary to the state etiquette and tradition of the Turkish State, such as these, make the society unstable, confused, unconscious and indifferent, and lead to the destruction of society and public consciousness in the direction desired by the agents of psychological warfare. The result of this goes up to a treacherous attempt like July 15, and the danger of civil war arises.

What Happens If the Balance of Society Is Disrupted and Its Cohesion Lost?

If the balance of society is disturbed and its coherence is lost, BC. The following words of the philosopher Socrates, who lived in Athens in the 400s, on quality come to mind:

“Our society is becoming increasingly unqualified. The most important reason for this is the economic and psychological depression in the society. In periods when social psychology is in crisis, the difference between quality and lack of qualification is minimized, and sometimes there is no difference at all. Such societies are vulnerable to exploitation. Easily deceived and easily manipulated. Because society has left its mind to its reflexes and senses. Their movements begin to turn violent. Value judgments are in ruins. Monetary values came to the fore and morality began to be bought and sold. This is the beginning of a collapse. Justice and judgment begin to be traded in the whole mental system of thinking. We call such a pile of inadequacies the process of corruption.”

 

However, if the balance and psychology of a society, which has fallen into the ruthless web of psychological warfare with all its aspects and has fallen into its disease, deteriorates and its coherence is lost, the following negativities will also occur:

By taking the judiciary under the influence, all unjust and unlawful practices are made legitimate, and after a while it starts to look like that. No one becomes accountable to anyone. Society is morally destroyed. Theft, corruption incidents and news are considered permissible. People believe big lies more quickly than small lies. The more and often enough fake information and news are repeated, the public will eventually believe it. “I wonder?” starts to say. The sense of justice is damaged. There is distrust in society.

By using the legislative and executive powers of the state,   the concept of national sovereignty and the concept of will, malicious, unjust, unlawful decisions and measures are legitimized by the will of the people and shown as correct and fair. This situation triggers terrorism and violence. People are sent to treason networks like FETO as a way out by being mentally influenced and deceived by various promises. Those who rely on terrorist organizations emerge, use these discourses without hesitation and cause the public authority to be shaken.

New sects and communities emerge that exploit the religious feelings of the people. By using these, people are alienated from religion. Violence against women and child rape are on the rise.

 

Messages sent from the head of the separatist terrorist organization are read and respected together with the government in Dolmabahçe Palace.  The demands and demands of the organization are made legitimate. Messages from the leader of a bloody terrorist organization are read in Diyarbakır squares.

All previous destructive and divisive acts and actions are forgotten. It is set on top of it. The event is only reduced to the discourse of “the oppressed and victimized Kurds”. A region of the country is handed over to the bandit. No one can speak out so that projects such as the foreign-origin solution process are not damaged. It is acted with the understanding of "People have fish memory anyway, civic consciousness has not developed". Despicable murders committed are deemed not to have been committed.

Its army is touted as NATO's second largest army for years. It has the feature of being a deterrent regional power. Compared to the armies of neighboring and regional countries, its combat effectiveness is exceptionally high. It does its duty selflessly to preserve peace and contribute to stability in many risky regions of the world.  In large-scale exercises and maneuvers carried out in the country, survivability, firepower and maneuverability are described in the visual and written media. Demonstrations and exercises against the virtual enemy in Konya Plain are amazing. The most important motto is to trust the friend and instill fear in the enemy.  The navy's dominance over the seas is highly regarded.  It is emphasized that it has the strongest air force in its region with its night vision capability . The gendarme is exalted. Then, with its 2225 years of glorious and glorious past, its army, whose heroism is beyond dispute, becomes paralyzed by internal and external psychological and asymmetric psychological operations. What a pity that he eventually fell into the net of a betrayal network called FETO. By using so-called soldiers who have infiltrated into the army and been raised to the authorities, they are made to shoot their own people and bomb their own parliament.

Evaluation and Conclusion

 

Psychological warfare is the primary and most effective method that the attacker will resort to in order to prevent Turkey from becoming a powerful country in its critical geography. Starting from the founding periods of the republic, Turkey has been exposed to this war, which manifests itself with its insidious, dirty and perfidious side.

The goal of psychological warfare is to directly affect people's minds and spirits. In this context, the Turkish society has been exposed to the threat of global psychological action, targeting its national culture, high values, spirituality, feelings, emotions and thoughts, and it has been transformed into an unresponsive, soulless, unconscious, unexcited society by being out of balance.

The psychology of victimization, which has been living in the Southeast for years and constitutes the main feature of the problem, has led organized communities to armed propaganda. Because psychological warfare and propaganda are always intertwined. In this way, the existing threat turned into an asymmetrical threat after a while and appeared as terrorism and violence.

 

The Turkish Security Forces have been successful in the 35-year-long fight against the separatist terrorist organization. It has defeated the organization decisively and heavily in the tactical field and continues to do so. However, the same success could not be shown in psychological warfare, and all state institutions and organizations, including the security forces, could not take the necessary precautions against the psychological warfare and propaganda intensely applied by the aggressor and were defeated.

The never ending atmosphere of anarchy, terror and violence in Turkey indicates that the country was defeated as a result of being subjected to a deep, multifaceted and deep-rooted psychological operation.

If so, what should be done? What precautions should you take?

 

The psychological dimension of the Fight Against Terrorism is one of the sources of power that the separatist organization attaches the most importance and value to. For this, the organization resorts to all kinds of means and shows great effort in this regard. For this, it uses the power of the media as a weapon. The media is an invaluable source of propaganda for them. Among the statements he made when the chief terrorist was first caught, his remarks such as "you exaggerated us too much, you overestimated us" drew attention. Turkey has made a strategic mistake here. By over exaggerating the PKK, it gave trump cards to the separatist organization. The natural consequence of this is that the PKK has begun to see the military power, namely the TAF, which is a part of the national power, as its interlocutor. There is a perception that the most important job of the TAF is the PKK. When such a perception was formed, the TAF drew all the lightning bolts and was exposed to psychological operations by producing false news by purposeful circles that it failed in the fight against terrorism, and it was intended to be a target. The PKK's main interlocutor is not and should not be the TSK. Its main interlocutor should be only the authorities responsible for internal security, consisting of a sufficient number of qualified and special units to be formed for the fight against terrorism.

 

One of the ways to prevent the threat of psychological warfare is to inform the public about the basic tactical principles, application procedures and methods against possible attacks, to raise awareness,  to warn, to prepare, and thus to raise public awareness against the threat of psychological attack. and should be strengthened.

 

The most valuable wealth or treasure of a society is the mental power, intelligence abilities, human behavior and most importantly the culture of the people of that society.  The use and processing of Turkish culture as an important source of propaganda through mass media It is an inevitable necessity. John Keegan, a famous war historian, states that culture is the most important factor determining the nature of war. Turkish society has thousands of years of cultural accumulation. This is our strongest point. Considering that our people have thousands of years of knowledge and cultural gains, it is considered that it would be appropriate to transform Turkish culture into propaganda with planned educational programs. The USA's own culture

 

Field flyers and radio broadcasts have been the main and most effective propaganda tool used in the Iraq War.

The target of the psychological war threat is people's feelings, thoughts, beliefs, behaviors and attitudes. The threat in question can target individuals as well as groups, masses, communities and states. The best method against this threat is the counter method.  The basis of the countermeasure method is the process of detecting and refuting the attack messages of the attacker beforehand, and showing them the truth without opening a breach in the brains and minds of the target audience with counter messages. In other words, the only way to be protected from psychological threat is to carry out conscious, planned and programmed counter-psychological operations using the same methods and methods used by the aggressor. Just like counterintelligence.

 

The attacker is the target audience's level of education and culture, emotions and thoughts, moods, sensitivities, reactions to events, needs, wishes and desires, customs and traditions, strong and weak sides, spirituality, joys and sorrows. He associates it with the psychology of victimization by taking a tomography and uses it in this direction. To prevent this, propaganda based on image change should be applied. The focal point of the propaganda to be made should be new image differences that will change the face of victimization psychology. For example, the daily life styles and levels of the citizens of Kurdish origin living in the west of Turkey, the assets they have and the films, photographs and images of them, again in the state, especially in the security forces of the state. It should be aimed to change the image of victimization psychology by disseminating news and pictures of citizens of Kurdish origin in various ways.

 

Intelligence plans and studies carried out at all levels of the state should be supported by psychological action plans.  Terrorist organization(s) should be deceived with fake news and information produced, make people believe in fake events and activities that we will determine, reveal how they reacted counter-actions should be established accordingly.

 

An active disinformation program that tells the inside of the separatist terrorist organization should be planned, the selected public should be targeted by giving various examples from history and spreading negative stories about it, and the people of the region who are confused about being neutral or taking sides should be drawn to our side.

Psychological action planners deal directly with people, human behaviors and attitude changes to be made in these behaviors. For this reason, the important thing in the fight against psychological warfare is to establish an organization and structure that will carry out and continue this struggle in accordance with its procedure and spirit. A country like Turkey, which is at the center of psychological and asymmetrical psychological attacks in a critical geography, first of all needs an improved national intelligence structure that includes specialized psychological operations and human intelligence teams to prevent and break these attacks. Because today, human intelligence (HUMINT) comes first among modern intelligence techniques and methods.  The separatist terrorist organization attaches great importance to public support. He knows that when he loses the aforementioned support, he will lose the fight. For this purpose, human intelligence should be kept in the foreground, especially against psychological and asymmetric threats.

 

On the other hand, Turkey falls short of controlling the power of the media in the fight against terrorism. It is known that the attacker primarily targets our national culture, national and moral values. For this, it is sufficient to look at the TV series that weaken the morality of society, based on cheating, deceit, intrigue and order. The indisputable power of the media in psychological warfare almost works in favor of the separatist organization. Unfortunately, in Turkey, since there is no press and broadcasting strategy and a publishing principle related to it, it is not possible to prevent the media from acting without hesitation in these and similar events. Against this, the state has to take effective measures in determining the press and broadcasting strategy in Turkey, and especially in the fight against terrorism, regarding broadcasting principles.

As a result, the way to be successful in the fight against psychological warfare is to have a national intelligence structure supported by psychological warfare elements, to surprise, to plan and implement tactical cover and deception programs, to act smartly, to manage well, and to always be active and playful.

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