Turkey Arrests 1,656 Social Media Users Since Summer

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
December 24, 2016 Updated: December 24, 2016

ISTANBUL—Turkey’s Interior Ministry says authorities have formally arrested 1,656 people in the past six months for allegedly supporting terrorist organizations or insulting officials on social media — and are investigating at least 10,000 others.

In a statement Saturday, the ministry said legal action had been taken against 3,710 people identified by police. Besides those arrested, 1,203 people were released on probation, 767 were released and 84 others are still in detention.

Additionally, investigations and legal procedures are underway against an additional 10,000 people reported to public prosecutors.

Turkey has cracked down on dissent following a failed coup in July, with thousands detained over alleged ties to outlawed groups. Authorities also frequently restrict access to social media platforms to prevent the spread of material authorities say would harm public security.