Contrary to Daesh propaganda, report reveals 'worldly' matters top agenda of terror group

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
ANKARA
Published 12.11.2016 00:00

As the Daesh terrorist group continues to maintain its presence throughout the Middle East, a recently published report by Ankara-based think tank, the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM), has revealed that despite being driven by religious propaganda, the use of social media by Daesh supporters indicates that "worldly" matters top their agenda. During the panel organized by ORSAM on Friday afternoon, a second report titled "Propaganda of Terror: Konstantiniyye magazine and the discourse of Daesh," by ORSAM researcher Sertaç Canalp Korkmaz drew further attention to the PKK-Daesh relationship, pointing to the increasing number of PKK terror attacks in Turkey amid a rising sympathy toward Daesh.

Speaking at the panel, the Foreign Ministry's Deputy Director for Security and Intelligence Fatma Ceren Yazgan opened talks by underlining that social media, especially Twitter, is being widely exploited by terror organizations for recruitment and propagation, asserting that "social media has destroyed our physical borders." Echoing those remarks, ORSAM researcher Korkmaz said that Daesh presents itself as a savior to the Kurds, saying: "So-called Daesh affirms itself as a safe haven for Kurds fleeing conflict between Turkey and the PKK." He further noted that "It is important to explain how democracy and Islam work together, to continuously warn the public of the dangerous discourse of Daesh while adhering to an effective social media strategy to construct a counter-narrative against the terror group.

On that note, the second report published by ORSAM on the use of social media by Daesh sympathizers indicated: "Basic findings on the matter indicate that Turkish-speaking Daesh supporters consider "worldly" issues to be at the top of their agenda, including the PKK. Religious issues forming the basis of their ideology, are in the second tier of their agenda. Written by ORSAM's Bedii Çelik, co-author of the book, "Twitter Social Network Analysis on Turkish-Speaking Daesh Supporters," the report points to the real possibility that the PKK is feeding Daesh sympathizers.

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