4 social media users jailed for praising twin bomb blasts in İstanbul

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A woman reacts at the site of an explosion where flowers have been placed for the victims of the December 10 blasts, outside Besiktas' Vodafone Arena football stadium on December 13, 2016 in Istanbul. Twin blasts hit Istanbul on December 10, 2016 killing 37 police officers and seven civilians. The attacks were claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), which is seen as a radical offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). OZAN KOSE / AFP

A Turkish court has arrested four people over tweets praising twin bomb attacks on Turkish police officers outside a football stadium in İstanbul on Saturday, the Haberdar news portal reported on Tuesday.

The four suspects, İbrahim B., Hakan A., Filiz Ç. and Cezmi D., are accused of supporting and praising “terrorism activities” carried out by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK).

The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the PKK, on Sunday claimed responsibility for the twin bomb attacks in the Beşiktaş district, which also injured more than 160 others.

TAK’s attacks came as Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians in recent months. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while Turkish courts in November arrested 10 pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies including the party’s co-chairs. Two more HDP deputies were also arrested on Tuesday, bringing the total number of arrested HDP deputies to 12. (Turkey Purge)

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