Turkey Prosecutes 227 For Social Media Posts Within A Week
Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that 227 individuals have been prosecuted in relation to their social media posts, while a total of 956 suspects were detained on charges of “terrorism”, between October 15 and 22.
According to the ministry’s statement, out of the 956 detainees, 667 were accused of being affiliated with FETO (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization), a term coined by the Turkish government to refer to the sympathizers of U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for the 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Others detained by police over the past week include 199 people accused of having links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), 71 claimed to be connected to the Islamic State (IS) group and 19 alleged members of radical leftist organizations.
The detentions took place as part of 2,829 counter-terrorism operations.
Social media prosecutions stemmed from messages of “terrorist propaganda”, “praising terrorist organizations”, “public admission of being affiliated with terrorist groups”, “inciting hatred and hostility”, “insulting government officials”, “opposing the unity of the state”, “threatening public safety” and “hate speech”.
Prosecutors originally investigated owners of 250 social media accounts, while 227 were identified and subsequently indicted.
Turkish police carried out other operations within the same week resulting in the apprehension of 4,954 in connection with drug-related crimes and smuggling, as well as 187 arrests on human trafficking charges.
During the police raids, more than 300 thousand packs of smuggled cigarettes, a significant amount of drugs and over 48 thousand smuggled oil were confiscated.