Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), criticized the arrest of over two dozen Tweeters in İzmir
Hülya Karabağlı/ Ankara
İlhan Cihaner (CHP/Denizli), member of the Parliament’s Information and Internet Committee, said the operation waged by the police against those who supported the Gezi Park protests in the social media was an act of intimidation. Suggesting that the judicial system was not accustomed to the workings of the social media, Cihaner said they were watching the arrests very closely.
“Sharing a message or liking a message does not indicate that you are in agreement with that message” said Cihaner: “Repeating an idea that was expressed could never be a crime. Retweeting a tweet that insulted a person does not make you the insulter.”
Using the word “alçak” (scoundrel) as an example, Cihaner said that calling someone “alçak” was a crime, but retweeting the word did not indicate a repetition of the crime. Cihaner also responded the accusation that the social media had a provocative role in the protests. "If provocation is a crime, the Prime Minister was the biggest provoker. What could be more provocative than saying ‘I can hardly keep the fifty percent in their homes’? You will attack the citizens with maces and the system will not even move a finger, is that it?”
‘The police scourges the tweeters’
Muharrem İnce of CHP also addressed the issue as well. Reminding the reporters that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Twitter “a scourge,” İnce said “the Police scourges the kids who tweet.”
“This country once had a problem with rock-throwing kids, now it has a problem with tweeting kids. An unpublished book was deemed a bomb, now tweets are a scourge.”
Addressing the youth, İnce said, “Don’t worry kids, thanks to you we shall see better days. Third class men have taken first class positions. But don’t ever be afraid of them, we will soon expel them all. Today you are on the streets, but soon we will be at the border gates, don’t worry. Youngsters, do not break the windows, do not vandalise public property, do not curse anyone, do not insult anyone, but get organized, do not be afraid to resist, walk, talk, write, draw and read.”
'Are those your sheep?'
Muharrem İnce also criticized Erdoğan's statement, "I can hardly keep the fifty percent in their homes.”
“Would a Prime Minister threaten his nation, his country with civil war? Are those your soldiers, your sheep? Are those your subjects? Would that fifty percent rush to the streets if ordered by you? What if someone says, ‘Bring them on, let’s settle accounts with each other’? What will happen then?
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