Ümit Kartal, the editor-in-chief of İzmir-based İz Gazete, have been detained on accusations of disseminating the propaganda of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in social media messages, and media reports concerning a Turkish military operation in the Afrin region of Syria.
According to the T24 news portal, İzmir police detained Kartal late on Friday night at his office in İzmir’s Çiğli district due to his tweets and media reports criticizing the Turkish government for the recent military operations in Syria.
The Turkish Armed Forces backed by armored vehicles, special forces and infantry regiments have advanced five kilometers inside Afrin, which is controlled by the PYD.
Since last weekend, Turkish public prosecutor’s offices issued detention warrants for tens of people accross Turkey for criticizing the military operation.
Turkey views the PYD as the Syrian extension of the PKK.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office earlier on Sunday announced in a statement that investigations had been launched into individuals who have called on people to take to the streets to protest Turkey’s operations targeting Afrin.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday launched an investigation into pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies Ayhan Bilgen and Nadir Yıldırım for “incitement of hatred and hostility” through their critical messages on Twitter over Turkish military operation in Afrin.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday warned the HDP not to take to the streets to protest the operation in Afrin: “You are being closely followed. If you try to take to the streets, know that our security forces will be at your neck.”
“If anyone is in the streets upon calls [from the HDP], they will pay dearly for it. This is a national fight, and whoever opposes us will be crushed.” Erdoğan added.