Turkey detains 573 for opposing Syrian offensive

Turkey has detained 573 people for social media posts and protests criticising its two-week-old military offensive in Syria, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

Turkey launched an air and ground offensive, Operation Olive Branch, against the People's Protection Units (YPG) Kurdish militia in Syria's northwestern Afrin region.

"Since the start of Operation Olive Branch, 449 people have been detained for spreading terrorist propaganda on social media and 124 people detained for taking part in protest action," Reuters quoted the Interior Ministry as saying in a statement.

The operation has been widely supported by Turkey's mainly pro-government media and by most political parties, with the exception of the pro-Kurdish opposition.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called those who oppose the operation traitors.

Authorities have repeatedly warned they would prosecute those opposing, criticising or misrepresenting the incursion, Reuters said.