Turkish government has detained a total of 73 people on Wednesday as part of raids targeting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) across Turkey over their alleged propaganda on the behalf of the militant group.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency (AA) has reported on Wednesday that 16 staff of Akdeniz district municipality of southern Mersin province were detained for allegedly making PKK/KCK propaganda. In Tarsus district of the same province, 7 more people were detained on the same charge on the same day. Digital documents allegedly linked to the PKK were also found during raids at suspects’ houses, according to the report by AA.
Also on Wednesday, 24 people were detained in southeastern Gaziantep province in an operation supported by unmanned aerial vehicles, the provincial governor’s office said in a statement. The detainees were also accused of making “terrorist propaganda” on social media platforms, “insulting the president” and inciting people to join “provocative demonstrations.” The report said a number of ammunition and weapons along with some documents of the PKK were also seized during the operations.
Turkish police have also rounded up 24 people in İzmir, 7 people in Çanakkale, 2 people in Sinop provinces for allegedly spreading propaganda against Operation Olive Branch on social media.
In southeastern Hakkari province, 9 people were also detained on charges of providing financial support to PKK/KCK. Also in Hakkari, a PKK militant surrendered to Turkish security forces, according to the provincial governor’s office.
Turkish government has detained at least 474 people across Turkey for alleged promotion of the outlawed PYD/PKK on social media since beginning of the military operation in northern Syria on Jan. 20, according to a statement made by Turkish Interior Ministry on Monday. Some 192 suspects were also detained for being involved in protests against Turkey’s Afrin operation. In a written statement, the ministry said Turkish security forces detained the suspects during nationwide operations for doing propaganda against ongoing “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria’s northwestern Afrin.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as the US and EU. In its terror campaign against Turkey, which has lasted for more than three decades, over 40,000 people, including women and children have been killed. Since the clash resumed between the Turkish government and the PKK in July 2015, more than 1,200 people, including security forces personnel and civilians, have lost their lives.