By Mehmet Akif Aldogan, Halil Demir and Idris Emre Savman
ISTANBUL (AA) - At least 16 suspects have been remanded in custody across Turkey for promoting the PYD/PKK terrorist group’s propaganda on social media against Turkey’s ongoing military operation in northwestern Syria, judicial sources said on Saturday.
A court in Istanbul remanded nine suspects, who were charged with “insulting public official”, “inciting hatred and enmity among public”, “insulting president” and “making propaganda of terrorist organization.”
In eastern Agri province, the court remanded three suspects in custody, while another suspect was released under judicial control.
Separately, four suspects were remanded in custody in the northwestern Tekirdag province, said a police source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups from the northwestern Afrin region.
The Turkish General Staff has said the Afrin operation was aimed at establishing security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as protecting the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
It said the operation was being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law.
The military also said "utmost diligence" was shown to avoid collateral damage to civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Bashar Assad regime left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.