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1,213 social media users arrested in Turkey on ‘propaganda’ charges since July 15

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A total of 1,213 Twitter and Facebook users have been arrested and 818 others were released pending trial on accusations of disseminating propaganda on behalf of what the government calls FETÖ, since a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15.

An investigation was launched into 10,200 suspects who were alleged to have been making propaganda for the faith-based Gülen movement after the failed coup, the state-run Anadolu news agency said Thursday. With 1,213 of the Internet users jailed, 818 were released on probation.

The government accuses the movement of orchestrating the coup attempt and calls it the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) in reference to US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, by whom the movement is inspired.

More than 115,000 people have been purged from state bodies, nearly 80,000 detained and some 40,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian. Critics argue that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been capitalizing on the post-coup emergency rule to get rid of its critics.

A popular Twitter user posting under the name “JeansBiri” was arrested for starting a hashtag critical of the AKP, in late November. (Turkey Purge)

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