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Warrants issued in large-scale investigation into activist social media accounts

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The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has started to issue detention warrants in a massive investigation into social media accounts run by activists posting on subjects deemed controversial, the Gazete Duvar news website reported on Friday.

Contentious topics include the Turkish military offensive in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region, protests over the planned destruction of Gezi Park in 2013 and workers demonstrations.

As part of the investigation Ertuğ Dinseven, allegedly responsible for tweets on Acıbadem Dayanışması (Solidarity for Acıbadem), which is fighting to prevent the closure of a high school in the Acıbadem district of İstanbul for its reopening elsewhere, was detained.

Among the social media accounts investigated were also Fosem, a joint account for photographers and cinema cameramen; Öğrenci Kollektifleri, a student union page; and Taksim Gezi Parkı, an account for Gezi Park protestors.

According to the report the İstanbul Police Department’s cybercrime unit has been working on the investigation since 2017.

The Turkish National Police’s cybercrime department is monitoring some 45 million social media users in the country for possible criminal activity committed through the Internet, the Hürriyet Daily News reported in June.

The Interior Ministry announced that 514 social media accounts have been investigated while legal action was taken against 313 social media users due to their posts, Gazete Duvar reported last week.

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