Over 660 people detained in Turkey for social media criticism of Afrin offensive

Since launching its 23-day-old offensive in Afrin, Turkish authorities have warned they would prosecute those opposing, criticising or "misrepresenting" the incursion
REUTERS/Stringer
Monday, 12 February 2018 21:20

The Turkish Ministry of Interior announced on Monday that since the launch of the Turkish AKP government's operation in Syria’s Afrin district, police have detained 666 people over social media posts opposing the offensive. 

"Since the start of Operation Olive Branch, 666 people have been detained over terrorist propaganda in social media," the ministry said in a press release.

Since launching its 23-day-old air and ground offensive in Syria's northwestern region of Afrin, Turkish authorities have warned they would prosecute those opposing, criticising or "misrepresenting" the incursion.

On February 5, a person was detained for criticising the offensive after a social media post citing an anti-war poem by communist poet Bertolt Brecht.

Anyone who opposes the operation is siding with terrorists and will be treated accordingly, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters on January 21. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also warned of a "heavy price" for protests against the operation.