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Thousands of Twitter accounts hacked with Turkish-language tweets with Nazi Swastikas

The same Turkish-language tweets with a Nazi swastika followed by the hashtags #Nazialmanya and #Nazihollanda have been posted by the hijacked accounts

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The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 27, 2016. VOA

London, March 15, 2017: Thousands of Twitter accounts, including high-profile ones belonging to Forbes, Amnesty International and the BBCs North American service, were compromised on Wednesday, resulting in them tweeting propaganda related to Turkeys escalating diplomatic conflict with Germany and the Netherlands.

The hijacked accounts have all posted the same Turkish-language tweets with a Nazi swastika followed by the hashtags #Nazialmanya and #Nazihollanda (#NaziGermany and #NaziHolland).
The text after the hashtags reads: “This gives you a little #OttomanSlap,” and makes reference to April 16th — the day Turkey will hold a referendum on constitutional changes that would consolidate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s power and potentially allow him to remain in office through 2029.

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The tweets also include a link to a pro-Erdogan video on YouTube.

The attackers also changed profile pictures and header images for some targets, changing the main image to a Turkish flag and the profile picture to a Turkish-style coat of arms, reported the Guardian.

Several users noted that all hijacked tweets appear to have been linked to Twitter Counter, a Netherlands-based analytics application.

Twitter Counter was previously targeted in a November 2016 attack that caused some high-profile accounts to spread spam. At the time, the company said it has over 2 million users.

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The attack comes amid heightened tensions between Turkeyand the Netherlands, after the Dutch government barred two Turkish ministers from speaking to expatriates in the Netherlandsahead of the referendum.

In response, Erdogan accused the Dutch government of acting like “Nazi remnants”, and Turkeysuspended high-level diplomatic relations with the Netherlandson Tuesday. Erdogan also accused Germany of behaving “like Nazis” after the government banned Turkish rallies ahead of the referendum.

Forbes, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, the UK Department of Health, Reuters Japan, BBC North America, Duke University and Amnesty International were all affected among several other charities and universities.

BBC North America confirmed that it had been caught up on the hack, tweeting: “Hi everyone – we temporarily lost control of this account, but normal service has resumed. Thanks.”

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In a statement, Twitter said that it was “aware of an issue affecting a number of account holders this morning. Our teams are working at pace and taking direct action on this issue. We quickly located the source which was limited to a third party app. We removed its permissions immediately. No additional accounts are impacted. (IANS)

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Turkey: Prehistoric Site Bears Telltale Signs of Modern Woes

At its peak, 3,500 to 8,000 people lived there

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Turkey, Prehistoric, Modern Woes
Photo of researchers excavating the ruins of Catalhoyuk, June 18, 2019. Catalhoyuk's residents lived in clay brick structures akin to apartments, entering and exiting through ladders that connected the living areas of houses to the roofs. VOA

Overcrowding. Violence. Infectious diseases. Environmental degradation.

It may sound like the worst of modern mega-cities.

But people encountered these very same problems when the first large settlements were being established millennia ago as humans began to swap a nomadic hunter-gatherer existence for a lifestyle centered on farming, scientists said on Monday, based on findings from a prehistoric site in south-central Turkey.

The researchers examined 742 human skeletons unearthed at the prehistoric ruins of Catalhoyuk, inhabited from 9,100 to 7,950 years ago during a pivotal time in human evolution, for clues about what life was like at one of the earliest sizable settlements in the archeological record. At its peak, 3,500 to 8,000 people lived there, with the researchers calling it a “proto-city.”

Turkey, Prehistoric, Modern Woes
The researchers examined 742 human skeletons unearthed at the prehistoric ruins of Catalhoyuk. VOA

High rate of infections

The residents experienced a high rate of infections, as seen in their teeth and bones, probably caused by diseases spreading in crowded conditions amid challenges to proper hygiene, the researchers said. Overcrowding may have contributed to interpersonal violence. Many skulls bore evidence of healed fractures to the top or back of the cranium, some with multiple injuries.

The shape of these injuries indicates they may have been caused by hard clay balls found at Catalhoyuk that researchers suspect were used as projectiles from a sling weapon

“A key message that people will take from these findings is that our current behaviors have deep roots in the history of humankind,” said Ohio State University biological anthropologist Clark Spencer Larsen, who led the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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“The people living in this community faced challenges of life in settlements addressing fundamental issues: what to eat, who produces the food, how is the food distributed, what are the social norms for division of labor, the challenges of infection and infectious disease in settings where there is limited sanitation, the strategy of interpersonal relationships involving animosity in some instances,” Larsen added.

Weather played a role

As the world emerged from the last Ice Age, with warmer conditions conducive to crop domestication, there was a shift from foraging to farming beginning 10,000 to 12,000 years ago among people in numerous places.

The people grew crops including wheat, barley and rye and raised sheep, goats and eventually cattle. Some homes boasted wall murals, and other art included stone figurines of animals and corpulent women.

Catalhoyuk’s residents lived in clay brick structures akin to apartments, entering and exiting through ladders that connected the living areas of houses to the roofs. After death, residents were buried in pits dug into the floors of the homes.

Catalhoyuk, measuring about 32 acres (13 hectares), was continuously occupied for 1,150 years and appears to have been a largely egalitarian community. It was eventually abandoned perhaps because of environmental degradation caused by the human population and a drying climate that made farming there harder, the researchers said. (VOA)