Jan 23 2018

Over 40 social media detentions over Afrin

Police carried out a series of raids on Monday night that brought the number of people detained in Turkey for offences allegedly committed on social media to over 40 since the start of Turkey's military operation in the Kurdish-controlled northern Syrian province of Afrin.

The detainees, mostly journalists and Kurdish politicians, face a range of charges including "attempting to overthrow the constitutional order", "terrorist propaganda" and "hate speech", British state-owned news site BBC Turkish said .

Among those detained were journalists at pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency; Leyla Güven, the co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (DTK); Ankara Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) director Osman Konukçu; Human Rights Association Ankara branch head Nuray Çevirmen and film director Fatin Kanat.

HDP parliamentarian Meral Danış Beştaş filed an official parliamentary question asking how many people had been detained and how many had been released after questioning.

Her question also asked what law made an anti-war stance illegal, the news site said.

Human Rights Watch Turkey Director Emma Sinclair-Webb issued a statement on Monday over the detention of journalist, activist and Ahval contributor Nurcan Baysal, who was also among those arrested for her social media posts.

"The Turkish government's intolerance of criticism knows few bounds," she said.