Turkey has accused the US government of hacking the Turkish electrical grid, causing frequent blackouts across the country.
Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak confirmed that his ministry had experienced a cyber attack originating from American IP addresses that caused blackouts across Istanbul and other nearby cities.
Albayrak, which is the son-in-law of President Erdogan, has tweeted last week on his official account on “Twitter”, that has made serious warnings about the status quo, but his tweets faced ridicule by users.
Albayrak has told the Turkish television that as “we witnessed yesterday, an intensive cyber attacks from the United States, such attacks on various departments of the Ministry of Energy, have been implemented on a regular basis, but we thwarted them all”.
Turkey’s largest city faced rolling power outages since last week, when the country was hit by unusually cold weather and snowstorms. The energy ministry initially reported that the cuts were due to damage to the power grid caused by the snow.
Last Saturday, a source in the ministry told state news agency Anadolu that hacking was part of the problem as well.
Ankara has routinely accused US-based opposition leader Fethullah Gulen of using a wide network of supporters in Turkey to undermine the government. Over the years, he has been accused of fueling public protests, leaking damning documents implicating Turkish officials in corruption, masterminding a failed military coup, plotting the assassination of a Russian ambassador, and other conspiracies. Gulen denies the allegations, while the US refuses to extradite him to Turkey.
Turkey’s weather troubles continued this week, with airports forced to cancel hundreds of flights on Saturday due to a snowstorm. Amid the cold snap, the government put a two-month cap on energy prices, which soared due to increased consumption.