Turkish gov’t launches investigation into HDP deputies over Afrin tweets

Pro-Kurdish HDP deputies Ayhan Bilgen and Nadir Yıldırım.

The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday launched an investigation into pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies Ayhan Bilgen and Nadir Yıldırım for tweets critical of Turkish military operations in the Kurdish-controlled Afrin region of Syria.

According a Cumhuriyet report, Bilgen and Yıldırım are accused of “incitement of hatred and hostility” through their messages on Twitter.

The prosecutor’s office earlier on Sunday announced in a statement that investigations had been launched into individuals who have called on people to take to the streets to protest Turkey’s operations targeting Afrin.

Meanwhile, two people were detained in Turkey for promoting PKK terrorist group using their social media accounts. Some users began promoting the terrorist group on social media after the Turkish military launched an operation in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region to establish security and stability along the country’s borders and region as well as to eliminate PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG terror groups.

Investigations were launched by Chief Prosecutors’ Offices in Ankara, Van, Diyarbakır, Mardin, Muş and İstanbul against some pro-PKK social media users, who share allegedly delusive information on social media. As a part of the investigation, one suspect was arrested in Mardin and another one was held in Muş.

Chief Prosecutors started to investigate sharing of a picture of an injured child on Saturday night and Sunday. The social media users were claiming that the picture was taken during the Afrin operation. The claim is completely false, which aims to mislead the public through a perception operation, officials said and added that the picture was taken in 2016 and is not related to Turkish Armed Forces or Operation Olive Branch.

Turkish police has used pepper gas to disperse pro-Kurdish protesters in Ankara and İstanbul on Sunday, detaining at least 12 people in İstanbul, Reuters witnesses said. The protesters were demonstrating against the Turkish military’s operation in Syria’s northern Afrin province.

Turkish autocratic President Tayyip Erdoğan had earlier warned supporters of the pro-Kurdish opposition not to protest the military’s operation, saying security forces would intervene if they demonstrated.

Erdoğan on Sunday warned the HDP not to take to the streets to protest the operation in Afrin: “You are being closely followed. If you try to take to the streets, know that our security forces will be at your neck.” “If anyone is in the streets upon calls [from the HDP], they will pay dearly for it. This is a national fight, and whoever opposes us will be crushed.” Erdoğan added. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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