Teyit.org, an independent fact-checking organization based in Turkey, has debunked recent reports that a U.S. ship referred to as “HAARP” has anchored off the northwestern province of Çanakkale.
The picture that has been circulating on social media and on various Turkish media outlets in fact belongs to the U.S. navy's SBX-1, which is a floating, self-propelled, mobile radar station designed to operate in high winds and heavy seas, teyit.org said on April 24.
Turkish media outlets have been recently speculating that a “U.S. ship endowed with the technology of HAARP” was on Turkish waters.
The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) developed by the U.S. has been the source of conspiracy theories, with some Turks claiming that its technology can be carried on a ship in order to “manipulate weather and trigger off earthquakes.”
A former Turkish national swimmer even announced on April 15 that he will swim all the way to the ship as a means of protest.
Teyit.org however said that HAARP is the name of a U.S.-based research facility used for the study of ionesphere and there is no ship that is endowed with this technology.
This is not the first time that HAARP occupied the Turkish media. In 2017, the then Ankara Mayor Melik Gökçek had called for an immediate investigation into “seismic research vessels” in the Aegean Sea following an earthquake in the country. Following his remarks, he posted several videos on social media which discussed the HAARP.
According to official papers, the facility of HAARP was set up "analyse the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance."
However, some conspiracy theorists are convinced that it was really set up to research how to use artificial weather as a weapon against other countries and even how to trigger earthquakes or volcanoes.