THE INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA AS INFORMATION OPERATIONS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS TOOLS FOR THE TURKISH ARMED FORCES
Iatrou, Steven J.
Buettner, Raymond R.
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Social networking sites (SNS) are becoming essential to communication and interaction. While companies use social media to advertise their products, politicians use it to influence people and garner trust. Similarly, some modern armed forces are also embracing social media to reach an increasing number of people and share information daily. The Turkish Armed Forces, on the other hand, have only a few social networking sites, launched in 2015 and 2018—relatively late compared with other armed forces. Moreover, the public cannot interact with the Turkish Armed Forces on these sites due to severe restrictions including “comment and like blocking.” Lack of presence online can foster disinformation and a lack of confidence. To prevent disinformation, garner trust, and maintain positive relationships with the public, this thesis recommends ways the Turkish Armed Forces can maximize its communication efforts utilizing social networking sites in an effective and well-structured way. This thesis obtains data from several social media analytics tools in order to search, extract, analyze, and visualize data and focuses on statistics about the Internet and SNSs related to Turkey, the Turkish Armed Forces, and the world to point out the importance of being active on SNSs for public relations and information operations.
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