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Turkiye arrests 4 over ‘provocative’ posts on earthquake 

February 8, 2023 at 9:46 am

Search and rescue team work at the site in Hatay following 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes hit Turkiye’s Kahramanmaras, on February 7, 2023 [Sezgin Pancar/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish police announced yesterday that they had detained four people over “provocative” social media posts following a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake that killed thousands.

In a statement, police said that the four people were detained after officers monitored accounts sharing “provocative publications aimed at inciting fear and panic,” noting that the search is continuing more widely on social networks.

People had taken to social media to complain about the lack of rescue and search efforts in their areas, particularly in Hatay.

Police responded saying “the address and location information of citizens who seek help is immediately ascertained and coordination is established.”

Turkish media reported that the security authorities arrested a person named Salman Elton Bash, who had mocked victims trapped under the rubble.

READ: Outrage over France magazine Charlie Hebdo mocking Turkiye after 2 deadly earthquakes

In October, Turkiye passed the “disinformation” law that punishes publishers of “false news” with up to three years in prison.

Rescue efforts are continuing for the second day in a row in the ten Turkish states affected by the devastating earthquake.

Turkiye has already raised the alert level and called for international assistance in search and rescue efforts.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said the death toll has risen to 5,894 with more than 34,000 injured.