A popular Twitter user under the pseudonym of @bibicimsifirladim was identified and detained in İstanbul on Wednesday for posting tweets that praise the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The Anadolu Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a detention warrant for the Twitter user, “bibicimsifirladim,” who was identified as Serkan Sedat Güray, a teacher working at the Üsküdar İMKB Technical Anatolian High School.
Güray is accused of membership in an “armed terrorist organization.”
This is not the first time a popular twitter user was detained in Turkey.
In October 2016, another Twitter user with the user name “JeansBiri” was identified and detained in Gaziantep province in southeastern Turkey for starting a hashtag on the social media platform about a call from a pro-Justice and Development Party (AKP) figure for the arming of party members.
The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a detention warrant for the Twitter user, “JeansBiri,” who was identified as Ahmet Kemal A., on the grounds that he sought to provoke society with the hashtag “AKsilahlanma” (AKarmament), with a reference to the AKP’s name.
According to state-run Anadolu news agency, authorities had received complaints from informants of “terrorist propaganda” for 68,774 social media users on Facebook and Twitter in the last six months alone.
Based on the informants’ complaints, 21,723 social media users have been identified, and 3,681 of them have been detained. A total of 1,734 social media users were put behind bars in the last six months, while 1,317 were released on probation. (Turkey Purge)