Over 35 detained in Turkey ‘for promoting terrorism’ online
A total of 37 suspects were detained across Turkey on Jan. 31 for allegedly “conducting propaganda” for the People’s Protection Units (YPG) against Turkey’s ongoing operation in northwestern Syria’s Afrin district, state-run Anadolu Agency reported, citing provincial governors offices and security sources.
In the eastern province of Ağrı, 27 suspects were arrested during simultaneous raids in the districts of Doğubeyazit, Diyadin, Patnos and Taşlıçay, the regional governor’s office said in a statement.
The suspects are accused of “participating in a smear campaign” against the Afrin operation, “promoting terrorism” and “issuing news in favor of the terrorist group,” it added.
In northwestern province of Eskişehir, five suspects were detained for “posting provocative messages on social media” and “inciting enmity and hatred among people,” said a security source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
One suspect was also detained in the northwestern province of Bursa on the same charges, the source said.
Separately, the Antalya Governor’s Office announced the detention of four people on accusations of promoting the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” along with Free Syrian Army (FSA) to clear YPG militants from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
As the operation entered its 12th day on Jan. 31, the Turkish General Staff announced that at least 712 militants had been “neutralized” since its start.