- Posted June 4, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Protests across Turkey
Social media arrests cast dark clouds over reconciliation efforts
Turkish police have raided 38 homes and arrested 16 people for allegedly ‘inciting rebellion and spreading propaganda via social media’ in Izmir earlier today.
Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan had previously lashed out at social media on the weekend, singling out Twitter for his most controversial attack:
“Now we have a menace that is called Twitter,” he said in a bizarrely lopsided interview on Turkish television. “The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society.”
DHA reported that more arrests are to be expected and the detainees were now being processed.
The timing of the raids is seen to be particularly alarming as the investigation into the police's violent crackdown on anti-government protesters is still ongoing.
Update #1 - June 5, 2013 13:45 (GMT): 9 additional arrests have been made on allegations of "inciting hatred and hostility amongst the public and humiliation of the public,” which is a punishable crime under the infamous Article 216 whose vague wording has been used against journalists and others who have questioned the government’s approach to solving the country’s conflict with its Kurdish citizens.
Amnesty International, in its report, titled “Turkey, Decriminalize Dissent: Time to Deliver on the Right to Freedom of Expression,” had previously expressed its concerns about the use of Article 216 of Turkish penal code. The group also stated that, “In practice, Article 216 has been used to prosecute criticism of dominant beliefs and power structures … ”