Turkey detains two over criticising state on social media after earthquake

Turkey has detained two people for social media posts criticising its capacity for emergency relief following an earthquake in eastern Turkey, Hürriyet daily said on Sunday.

Turkish authorities have started an investigation into what they call unfactual social media posts that lead to panic and fear regarding the earthquake and detained two suspects following the investigations, Hürriyet said.

And, RTÜK, the Turkish state agency for monitoring, regulating, and sanctioning radio and television broadcasts, will investigate provocative news about the tremor, the daily said.

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 hit Turkey’s eastern Elazığ province on Friday evening, killing at least 29 people and leaving some 2,000 others injured, according to the latest information provided by Turkish authorities.

A total of 72 buildings were destroyed in the earthquake and over 8,500 tents have been sent to the region, and the search and rescue operations continue in the region, according to Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

Meanwhile, people took Twitter to criticise what they called the state's inability to provide rapid relief to earthquake victims and nonpreparation for natural disasters despite the allocation of a special tax, known as the earthquake tax.  

The special tax was introduced after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in 1999 struck the northwestern province of Izmit, claiming the lives of 17,000 people.