But Mehmet's real intention is different: he appears to be using a backdoor to take over the computers used by the participants without their knowledge in order to broaden his own botnet.
Researchers from the Forcepoint security company discovered this when they found a new piece of malware during a routine investigation. This led them to a website which used the term Balyoz (Sledgehammer in Turkish) and used an image of Seyit Onbasi, a Turkish military hero from the turn of the 20th century.
This led the Forcepoint team — Abel Toro, Nicholas Griffin and Andy Settle — to discover the setup where hacking crews from Turkey came together to carry out DDoS attacks on a specified target list of organisations.
The targets that the hackers were allowed to attack as part of the game were political: Kurdistan was prominent, with organisations such as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its military wing, the People’s Defence Force (HPG) being targeted.
But the German Christian Democratic Party (CDU) was also among the targets, as was the Armenian Genocide archive run by the Armenian National Institute in Washington DC.
This list of targets raised questions in the researchers' minds: what was the motivation driving those who were participating in the DDoS game - ideological motivation or ultimate financial gain?
The researchers also questioned the motive of Mehmet who was pulling all the strings and wondered what he was getting out of it.
When Toro, Settle and Griffin began to reverse engineer the software, they discovered the backdoor that Mehmet could use, to make the computers of those who were participating in his game, part of his own botnet.
The evidence they found also led them to hypothesise that Mehmet could be working for a Turkish defence contractor that supplied signals intelligence systems among other things.
The three researchers have put down their findings in a detailed 28-page report which can be found here.