10,000 Social Media Users Targeted in Turkey’s Terrorism Probe

Turkey’s authoritarian crackdown has only increased since the July coup attempt in the country.

Since the coup attempt in July of this year, Turkey’s crackdown on its citizens and President Tayyip Erdogan’s power-flexing continue on. In its latest clampdown, Turkey is set to investigate 10,000 people suspected of using social media to support terrorism, its interior ministry announced.

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The accusations range from insulting government officials online, to what the ministry calls “terror-related activity” on the internet.

Authorities have already held 3,710 people for questioning in the last month, of whom 1,656 have been arrested, and 84 are being questioned.

Since the coup prompted Erdogan to declare a state of emergency, his government began purging officials, soldiers, teachers, police and judge perceived as "anti-government". More than 150 media outlets have been shut down and 140 journalists have been arrested since.

Critics say the state of emergency has allowed him to tighten his grip on power.

Just this month, Turkish authorities detained 235 people with alleged links to Kurdish rebels in the wake of the Dec. 10th deadly bombing outside an Istanbul soccer stadium that killed 44 people and wounded some 150.

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That same week, Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, also known by its Turkish acronym AK Party, submitted a bill to parliament that seeks to transition Turkey to a presidential system by abolishing the position of prime minister and extending the powers of the president.