Turkey to investigate 347 social media accounts following İstanbul nightclub attack

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A Turkish special force police officer stands guard at ortakoy district near the Reina night club, on January 2, 2017 in Istanbul, one day after New Year gun attack. Thirty-nine people were killed early on January 1, 2016 when a gunman went on a rampage at an exclusive nightclub in Istanbul where revellers were celebrating the New Year. OZAN KOSE / AFP

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Monday that an investigation had been launched into 347 social media accounts sharing posts in support of terror attacks following a shooting in a nightclub that killed 39 and wounded 69 on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters following a Cabinet meeting in Ankara on Monday, Kurtulmuş said Ankara has developed a close dialogue with social media service providers, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, in order to shut down accounts that provide support to terrorist organizations.

“A probe was launched into 347 social media accounts since they had been assessed to have sown discord among the [Turkish] nation,” he said.

In a series of tweets from the Prime Ministry’s official account on Monday, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also said that action will be taken against those who praise terror and crimes.

At slightly after 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day, a man wielding a Kalashnikov rifle reportedly killed a policeman and a civilian outside the entrance to the popular Reina nightclub and blazed his way into the club, randomly shooting at some of the hundreds of revelers bringing in the new year.

Of the 25 male and 14 female victims of the slaughter, seven were Saudi Arabian, two Indian, one from Canada, one from Syria, one from Israel, two Tunisians, four Iraqis, one Lebanese and one from Belgium. Eleven were Turkish citizens.

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