Turkey arrests 1,656 people for ‘supporting terrorism’ online

26 December, 2016 12:00 AM printer

Turkey has arrested 1,656 people in the past six months for allegedly supporting terrorism or insulting officials on social media, reports The Independent.
The Interior Ministry also announced it was investigating at least 10,000 others for their alleged activity online.
In a statement, the ministry said legal action had been taken against 3,710 people identified by police. A further 1,203 people were released on probation, an additional 767 were released and 84 others are still in detention.
Charges include allegedly provoking hatred among the people; praising terrorist organisations; disseminating terrorist propaganda; openly declaring allegiance to terrorist groups; insulting statesmen; and targeting the indivisibility of the state or safety of citizens.
Turkey has detained thousands of citizens and purged tens of thousands of public servants accusing them of alleged ties to outlawed groups since the failed coup in July
The Government has cited ongoing terrorism as the justification for its actions but human rights groups and legal experts have repeatedly expressed their concerns.
Turkey frequently restricts access to social media websites to prevent spread of any material which could harm public order or security.