Turkey detains 19 people over ‘provocative’ coronavirus posts

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Turkey closed cafes, entertainment and sports venues to contain the spread of coronavirus. (Reuters)
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There had been were social media posts targeting officials and spreading panic and fear by suggesting that the virus had spread widely in Turkey. (Reuters)
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Updated 17 March 2020

Turkey detains 19 people over ‘provocative’ coronavirus posts

  • Social media posts were targeting officials and spreading panic and fear by suggesting that the virus had spread widely in Turkey
  • The number of confirmed cases in Turkey has risen to 47

ISTANBUL: Turkey has identified 93 suspects who have made “unfounded and provocative” postings on social media about the coronavirus outbreak and has detained 19 of them, the Turkish Interior Ministry said.
The move came as Turkey closed cafes, entertainment and sports venues, suspended mass prayers in mosques and extended a flight ban to 20 countries to contain the coronavirus spread, as the number of confirmed cases rose to 47.
The interior ministry statement said there were social media posts which were targeting officials and spreading panic and fear by suggesting that the virus had spread widely in Turkey and that officials had taken insufficient measures.
“Nineteen of these suspects have been detained and the process of detaining others who have been identified is continuing,” said the statement, issued late on Monday.
Last Wednesday, Turkey became the last major economy to report an outbreak of coronavirus and Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced 29 newly confirmed cases late on Monday, bringing the total to 47. No deaths have been reported.
The Istanbul governor’s office said on Monday that Turkish citizens who request to return from nine European countries would be brought back by midnight on March 17 on condition that they are quarantined for 14 days.

Related


New Tunisia protests over unemployment

Updated 11 July 2020

New Tunisia protests over unemployment

  • “Either we get a better life or we all die,” demonstrators, including women, could be heard shouting, according to the reports
  • Nearly a decade after the revolution that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the government has yet to resolve regional inequalities

TUNIS: Hundreds of Tunisians demonstrated in the south of the country on Saturday against unemployment and the death of a young man they say was killed by soldiers earlier this week.
Protesters in the town of Remada demanded that President Kais Saied visit their region to discuss their living conditions, witnesses told AFP and videos published online showed.
“Either we get a better life or we all die,” demonstrators, including women, could be heard shouting, according to the reports.
“We want to see President Kais Saied. We voted for him and he must come here to Remada to hear us out and see how our children are being killed,” a woman seen in one video said.
On Tuesday night, a young man suspected of being a smuggler was killed during a police operation in the town, which is close to the border with conflict-riddled Libya.
The defense ministry has opened an investigation to determine if he died when soldiers opened fire on four vehicles transporting smuggled goods from Libya.
Southern Tunisia is one of the country’s most marginalized regions, with above-average unemployment, failing infrastructure and a stunted private sector.
Nearly a decade after the revolution that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the government has yet to resolve regional inequalities.
In recent weeks, protests have also rocked the southern town of Tataouine, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Remada, with demonstrators demanding the government honor a 2017 pledge to invest millions to develop the region and provide jobs to thousands.
Protesters in Tataouine have blocked roads and sought to prevent trucks from accessing the remote El-Kamour pumping station in the desert outside the town.
“The situation in the south of Tunisia is unacceptable,” Saied said in a video published Thursday on the presidency’s official Facebook page.
Saied, who had focused on Tunisia’s disenfranchised youth during his 2019 election campaign, said protests were “legitimate” as long as they respected the law.