Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

Dozens arrested in Turkey over protest tweets, accused of 'inciting hatred'

Published time: June 05, 2013 12:51
Edited time: June 05, 2013 14:50
Stick on one of the buses in Istanbul. (RT Photo)

Stick on one of the buses in Istanbul. (RT Photo)

Turkish police have detained at least 25 Twitter users for allegedly spreading false reports, as anti-government demonstrations in Turkey continue for a sixth day.

Social media activists have been accused of using Twitter to “instigate public hatred and animosity,” according to Turkish media. Police raided 38 addresses to locate the suspects.

A protestor uses a mobile phone to give latestt news about the clashes near Taksim in Istanbul on June 3, 2013. (AFP Photo / Ozan Kose)

The activists were arrested early Wednesday in the western city of Izmir. Police said that their tweets contained “misleading and libelous information,” state-run news agency Anatolia reported. However, Ali Engin, an official from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said that they were detained for urging people to protest.

Police tracked down the activists through their IP addresses, and were reportedly able to locate most of them. CHP said that they have sent lawyers to assist the arrested individuals.

The lawyers revealed to the media that police files on the individuals included tweets about where to meet, about police actions, and about the names of volunteer doctors and lawyers.

Earlier on Tuesday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc apologized for the treatment of protesters during riots that grew out of a demonstration last Friday against the planned demolition of Taksim Gezi Park to build a mall. The police use of teargas and pepper spray to disperse protesters has been heavily criticized.

Turkish riot police officer fires tear gas during clashes with protestors between Taksim and Besiktas in Istanbul on June 3, 2013 during a demonstration against the demolition of the park. (AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

Arinc said that the police’s actions were wrong, and that security forces have been ordered not to use teargas except in cases of self-defense. "The excessive violence that was used in the first instance against those who were behaving with respect for the environment is wrong and unfair. I apologize to those citizens," Arinc said at a news conference on Tuesday.

After unrest began last Friday, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters held demonstrations in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Mugla, Antalya, and many other cities and towns across Turkey. At least two people were killed and thousands were injured in the nationwide protests. 

A riot policeman detains a demonstrator in Istanbul on June 4, 2013. (AFP Photo / Aris Messinis)

The demonstrations continued on Wednesday, with protesters surrounding the offices of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

Twitter and other social networks have played a big role in helping demonstrators organize and share developments; the Turkish media has been roundly criticized for failing to cover the protests as they unfolded.

Prime Minister Erdogan has condemned social media’s role in the riots, singling out what he called the “scourge” of Twitter.

“There is now a menace which is called Twitter," Erdogan said on Sunday, dismissing the protests as being organized by extreme elements. "The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society."

Comments (108)

Anonymous user 25.06.2013 03:31

Correction Erdogan, YOU are the worst menace to society. Oops,I guess you will track me down now too

Anonymous user 17.06.2013 18:46

...at least this is the cultures clash & W E will not bow to islamic police state repressions !!!

Anonymous user 11.06.2013 18:09

AKP probably sent civil cops to provoke the park, to make people think that the protestors are bad.

View all comments (108)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us