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LOCAL > Twitter detainees in Turkey protests all ‘young kids,’ says opposition member

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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Twenty-nine people were detained overnight in İzmir for “inciting riots and conducting propaganda” on the social media network Twitter. AA photo

Twenty-nine people were detained overnight in İzmir for “inciting riots and conducting propaganda” on the social media network Twitter. AA photo

Dilara Sarı Dilara Sarı dilara.sari@hdn.com.tr

Twenty-nine people detained overnight in the Aegean province of İzmir are all “young kids” between the ages of 18 and 24, Republican People’s Party (CHP) provincial secretary and attorney Sevda Erkan Kılıç told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Kılıç was among the CHP members who accompanied party’s provincial leader to the İzmir Security Directorate’s Smuggling and Organized Crime branch following the detainments and studied the files containing the mentioned Twitter posts, which became the focus of the investigation.

Thirty-eight people in total will be detained, with 9 still subject to police search, Kılıç said, adding that the tweets which caused the detainees to face “inciting riots and conducting propaganda” accusations were harmless statements, with the exception of a few insults, which were “not that severe.”

“They were things like, ‘let’s meet here’ or ‘the police are coming.’ There were some who asked for doctors, some joked about being full of gas. There were things like, ‘resist, let’s not leave the square abandoned,’” Kılıç told the Daily News.

Though there were a few insults, they were "not all that severe," she added.

The families of the detainees gathered at the station as well and were “very upset” over the incident. “They say that they have shared similar posts as well, that the whole country did it, so they ask, ‘Why is it our children who experience such treatment?’ They also worry about freedom of speech,” Kılıç said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently described the microblogging website as “trouble,” following the heavy traffic that was witnessed on Twitter during the Gezi Park protests.

“There is a trouble called Twitter. Unmitigated lies are there [on Twitter],” Erdoğan said. “The thing that is called social media is a troublemaker in societies today.”

June/05/2013

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