Today Turkish hackers have defaced a number of German and Dutch state institutions, political parties and commercial organizations websites in response to “aggressive and anti-democratic actions of these states against the Turkish nation.” According to the hackers, the Dutch and German governments must stop interfering in Turkey’s internal affairs and allow the Turkish citizens to determine the future of their country. Hackers threaten to keep on attacking German and Dutch information infrastructure in case of non-compliance with their requirements.
Turkey and the Netherlands’ diplomatic feud deepened last month with the Turkish president accusing the NATO ally of fascism and Denmark joining the fray, decrying “rhetorical attacks against the Netherlands.”
Upcoming votes in Turkey and the Netherlands serve as a backdrop for the dispute: In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has cracked down on opposition — particularly journalists, academics and the public service sector — since a July coup attempt, is pushing an April referendum that would expand his powers. In the Netherlands, this week’s general elections will pit a hardline anti-Islam candidate in a tight race against the incumbent prime minister.
Following similar moves in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the Netherlands barred a plane carrying Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from entering the country, citing security concerns. Cavusoglu sought to address expats in support of the Turkish referendum. The Dutch also stopped Turkey’s family affairs minister from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.
It is notable that last year infamous Turkish hackers attacked the Los Angeles Presbyterian Hospital computer network and paralyzed its work. The hospital had to pay a $17,000 in bitcoin to ransomware hackers to regain control of their computer system.