Turkish gov’t launches legal action against 154 social media users in a week

The Turkish Interior Ministry has stated that 337 social media accounts have been investigated on charges of “inciting people to enmity and hostility” and “insulting state officials” and that legal action was taken against 154 people during the week of April 2-9, 2018.

According to a statement released on the ministry’s official website, the social media accounts were investigated on allegations of disseminating propaganda for for terrorist organizations, promoting those organizations, inciting people to enmity and hostility, insulting state officials, making attempts against the state’s indivisible integrity and people’s right to safety in their lives.

Also on Monday, Turkey’s Labor Party (EMEP) stated that the party’s Ankara Provincial Director Rüstem Kahraman and Yenimahalle District Director Özlem Boyraz Özel were detained in raids on their homes on allegations that they “spread propaganda for a terrorist organization” on social media. Five members of the Federation of Opinion Clubs (FKF) were also detained in Ankara on the same charges. The detainees have reportedly been taken to Ankara Police Department’s counterterrorism bureau.

According to a statement published on the ministry’s website on April 2, legal action had been taken against 242 social media users between March 26 and April 2. The ministry previously announced that 845 people who criticized the Turkish military’s Afrin operation in northwestern Syria on social media and participated in activities protesting it had been taken into custody.

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