Turkey arrested dozens of people overnight for “spreading terrorist propaganda” about its Syrian incursion، state media said on Tuesday، raising to nearly 100 the number of such detainees، including politicians، journalists and activists، according to Reuters.
The latest police raids focused on the western province of Izmir، but people have been detained across Turkey over their social media posts since Operation Olive Branch began in Syria’s Afrin region at the weekend، state-run Anadolu agency said.
The incursion targets the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish YPG، viewed by Ankara as a terrorist group and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)، which has fought an insurgency in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast since 1984.
Among those detained were the provincial heads in the cities of Izmir and Aydin of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)، the second biggest opposition party in parliament. Ankara accuses the HDP of being linked to the PKK، a charge it denies.
HDP spokesman Ayhan Bilgen named four journalists among those arrested in the investigation into social media postings. He said the probe was targeting “those who side with peace”.
“Journalists are having their doors rammed down without anyone knocking and they are being detained as if there were an army or ammunition inside،” he told a news conference.
“This shows how people are afraid of keyboards، pens، words and writing،” he said.