Turkish court arrests 2 people for allegedly insulting Erdoğan on social media

Two out of four individuals who were recently detained in the southern Turkish province of Antalya on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on social media have been arrested, according to a report by online news outlet Diken on Tuesday.

The four people were detained as part of operations conducted by the Antalya Police Department. While two of them, identified only by the initials M.Ç. and H.Y., have been arrested after appearing in court on charges of insulting the president, the Turkish nation and state institutions and organs, the other two have been released on judicial probation.

Hundreds of people in Turkey, including even high school students, face charges of insulting President Erdoğan. The slightest criticism is considered an insult, and there has been a rise in the number of cases in which people inform on others claiming that they insulted the president, the government or government officials.

Moreover, according to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency on July 21, police teams under the command of the cybercrime unit have determined the existence of 126,000 social media accounts related to alleged terrorist organizations in the last two years.

The report said about 50,000 out of 68,000 profiled social media accounts that allegedly posted pro-coup messages in the wake of a coup bid in July 2016 belong to alleged members of the Gülen movement.

According to the report, 17,000 of the social media accounts are allegedly linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), while a thousand of them are said to be connected to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

It was also claimed that 60 percent of social media posts believed to be supportive of “terrorist organizations” have been made by alleged members of the Gülen movement. The Turkish government led by President Erdoğan has labeled the pacifist Gülen movement as a “terrorist organization,” calling it “FETÖ.” (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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