Turkey has detained more than 300 people for social media posts criticizing its military offensive in Syria, the government said on Monday, a day after President Tayyip Erdogan accused doctors who opposed the campaign of betrayal.
Since launching its 10-day-old air and ground offensive against the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria’s northwestern region of Afrin, Turkish authorities have warned they would prosecute those opposing, criticizing or misrepresenting the incursion.
The Interior Ministry said on Monday a total of 311 people had been held for “spreading terrorist propaganda” on social media in the last 10 days. Detainees have included politicians, journalists and activists.
Turkey considers the U.S.-backed YPG, which controls Afrin, to be a terrorist group and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has fought an insurgency in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast since 1984.