Turkey Arrests 25 For Using Twitter

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 5 2013 10:51 AM

Turkey Is Now Arresting People For Using Twitter to Spread "Untrue Information"

169951377
A Turkish art group preforms in support of protestors at Taksim Square onJune 5, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey

Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

As my colleague Will Oremus wrote about earlier this week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made no secret of how he feels about the use of Twitter. "Now we have a menace that is called Twitter," Erdoğan said on Monday, day four of the mass protests that are now in their sixth day. "The best example of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society."

At the time of those remarks, the Turkish government appeared to have no immediate plans to combat this menace/curse/scourge—despite scattered reports of Internet outages, the tweets continued to roll in, along with the Facebook posts, Instagram pics, and Vine videos. That may have changed Wednesday, via the Associated Press:

Turkey's state-run news agency says police have detained 25 people for "spreading untrue information" on social media and provoking protests. The Anadolu Agency says Wednesday the people were detained in the city of Izmir for allegedly "inciting the people to enmity and hate." It said police were still looking for 13 others.
Advertisement

No one seems to have any idea exactly which tweets in question landed the offending users in jail—something that only highlights the fact that Turkey's main media outlets have been noticeably slow to give the protests the coverage they deserve (which, in turn, has left many Turks relying on the social media site for their updates). Regardless, the arrest of a couple dozen Twitter users is unlikely to deter the thousands of others using the social media site to voice their displeausre with Erdoğan any more than the several thousands of arrests on the streets is going to deter the mass demonstrations that are now occuring across Turkey.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 8:07 AM The Dark Side of Techtopia
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 2 2014 6:00 AM Can’t Stomach It I was shamed for getting gastric bypass surgery. Should I keep the procedure a secret?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 2 2014 7:30 AM What Put the Man in the Moon in the Moon?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?