By Cuneyt Celik and Mehmet Fatih Aslan
KARS/SANLIURFA, Turkey (AA) – Twenty-two suspects were arrested in Turkey for promoting the terrorist PKK/KCK on social media, judicial sources said Tuesday.
In the eastern Kars province, nine suspects were arrested as part of an investigation into PKK/KCK supporters, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Separately, in the southern Sanliurfa province, 13 others were detained during simultaneous operations, another source said.
The suspects are accused of sharing posts against Operation Olive Branch and insulting the Turkish president.
They were later referred to a court in Sanliurfa, where eight of them were remanded and five others were released under judicial control.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
The Turkish General Staff has said the Afrin operation is aimed at establishing security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as protecting Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
It said the operation was being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law.
The military also said "utmost care and sensitivity" was being put on avoiding harm to civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Bashar al-Assad regime left the city to the terror group without a fight.