Ministry says 261 people investigated over social media posts in a week

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The Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that a total of 376 social media accounts were monitored and legal action was taken against 261 social media users between Sept. 10-17 on a number of charges due to their posts.

In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said the 261 social media users, who are the subject of an investigation, face charges such as disseminating terrorist propaganda, explicitly revealing membership in a terrorist group, insulting state officials, hate speech, provoking public hostility and intending to destroy the integrity and security of the state in their social media messages.

The Security General Directorate also announced on Aug. 12 that investigations were launched into 346 social media users due to their messages about a currency crisis in Turkey, which involves a substantial loss in the value of the Turkish lira against the US dollar.  These social media users are accused of posting comments about the weakening of the lira “in a provocative way.”

Legal action against Turkish nationals as well as foreigners over their social media posts is common in Turkey, where the government is receiving widespread criticism for silencing dissent and curbing freedom of speech.

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