By Halil Demir
ISTANBUL (AA) - Eighteen suspects were arrested across Turkey for spreading terrorist propaganda on social media against Turkey’s ongoing military operation in northwestern Syria, security sources said on Thursday.
In an Istanbul-based operation, nine people were arrested as part of prosecutors' investigation over the spread of propaganda against the operation, and over the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) propaganda, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
In the central province of Eskisehir, five suspects were arrested in simultaneous operations.
The suspects were accused for spreading PKK terror propaganda on social media, inciting hatred and enmity among people, and insulting the president.
In the southern Antalya province, police arrested four suspects in the Kepez district, while another was arrested in the western Aydin province.
Separately, four suspects, charged with “spreading terrorist propaganda”, were remanded in custody in western Bursa, southeastern Adiyaman, Gaziantep, and Igdir provinces.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 along with Free Syrian Army (FSA) to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN Charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.