Twitter accounts, including that of Amnesty International, have been hacked by a group claiming to support the Turkish government. The hack resulted in the accounts sending tweets condemning "Nazi Germany" and "Nazi Holland" and spreading propaganda relating to a Turkish referendum that aims to give new sweeping powers to the president.
The tweets, which began with a swastika, linked to a YouTube video entitled: "Nazi Germany, Nazi Holland, see you April 16",
The hackers tweeted out the same Turkish message comparing the Dutch to the Nazis, and changed some of the users’ profile pictures to an image of the Turkish flag and Ottoman Empire coat of arms.Other accounts hacked included ones belonging to Unicef USA, the Atlanta Police Department, French politician Alain Juppe, the UK's Department of Health, Die Welt, Forbes, German tennis star Boris Becker, football team Borussia Dortmund and Central Bedfordshire Council.
The European Parliament was also affected, but then tweeted: "Good morning. We briefly lost control of this account earlier, but everything is now back to normal.
The attack cames as voters in the Netherlands were casting ballots in a parliamentary election.
Stockholm University's English-language account was among those compromised in the attack."The tweet was quickly detected and deleted," the press office wrote in a statement on Wednesday morning.
Die Welt newspaper was among thousands of Twitter users hacked on Wednesday in an apparent anti-German, pro-Turkish attack. The tweet at around 8.30am showed a swastika and then the hashtag #Nazialmanya and #Nazihollanda - meaning Nazi Germany and Nazi Holland in Turkish. The tweet also mentions the April 16th referendum that would expand President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's powers.
The message linked to a video of various clips of Erdogan speaking with upbeat music, and the tweet ended with the words “learn Turkish”.
Die Welt has been caught up in the ongoing dispute between the Berlin and Ankara governments after its reporter, Deniz Yücel, was arrested and jailed in Turkey last month. Most recently tensions have risen after several German and Dutch towns blocked rallies set to be held by Turkish leaders promoting the referendum, and the state of Saarland banned foreign officials from campaigning.
Turkey lashed out, accusing Germany of being undemocratic with Erdogan comparing it to Nazi times.