Turkish PM calls on citizens to be cautious on social media

Turkish PM calls on citizens to be cautious on social media

Turkish PM calls on citizens to be cautious on social media Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has called on citizens to be cautious on social media, while slammed those who praised the Jan. 1 nightclub shooting that killed 39 people and wounded 65. 

“I call on our citizens and our youth to avoid sharing posts that could be regarded as an offence. They should be wary of not being a tool of terrorist organizations,” he said, addressing Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies on Jan. 3.

“Some posts you share can be regarded as a crime and can get you in trouble. Acts which are hateful and venomous cannot be accepted,” he added. 

Earlier, Yıldırım had also vowed there would be “consequences” for social media users who post in support of terror early on Jan. 2, following the Reina nightclub attack.

“It must be known that actions praising terror are crimes and have penal sanctions,” Yıldırım stated via the Prime Ministry’s official Twitter account. 

An investigation has been launched into 347 social media users who posted in support of terror following the Reina nightclub attack, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş announced on Jan. 2.

Meanwhile, a 10-membered team was formed by counter-terror and cybercrime branches after the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office ordered an investigation into suspicious social media accounts that allegedly praised terror attacks.       

Leaders of the AKP, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have warned the society of an increasing polarization. 

“If terrorists are waiting to polarize us over our religious beliefs and lifestyles, they are aspiring aimlessly, because Turkey is a state of law and all lifestyles, beliefs and thoughts are under the guarantee of the state,” Yıldırım said. 

However, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu urged the government to refrain from doing politics over lifestyles, religious beliefs and ethnic identities. 

“These three main factors are also encouraging terrorist organizations. They made people enemies to each other. The politics done over lifestyles is separatism,” he added.

Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the MHP, said they would never allow discord to prevail. 

“Despising our lifestyles, inciting hatred, attacking and disrespecting people’s choices of lifestyles, are not acceptable. Comparing the New Year’s celebrations to the conquest of Mecca is malicious and irretrievable. It is an example of pure and simple ignorance,” he said.