Turkey Is Now Arresting People For Using Twitter to Spread "Untrue Information"
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.
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.
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.
Turkey protests continue despite apology
Protesters meet with deputy PM to demand cancellation of Gezi park demolition and release of dozens arrested in Izmir.
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2013 12:19
Protests have continued in Turkey as demonstrators defied a government appeal to end deadly unrest in which two people have died.
On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arnic apologised for "excessive violence" against protesters trying to save a park in Istanbul, a campaign which acted as catatlyst for deeper tensions within the country.
A meeting between the deputy prime minister and some of the protesters took place on Wednesday in Ankara.
Police used tear gas and water cannon overnight and into Wednesday morning on hundreds of protesters, who ignored warnings to disperse in Istanbul, Ankara and the southeastern city of Hatay.
In Istanbul, thousands gathered peacefully at Taksim Square on Wednesday yelling defiance at Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had earlier dismissed the protesters as "extremists" and "vandals".
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