Anti-gov’t Twitter user, journalist detained after being targeted by pro-gov’t media

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Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

Taylan Kulaçoğlu, a popular, anti-government Twitter user, and journalist Hakan Gülseven were detained after they were targeted by pro-government media circles, Turkish media reports said on Sunday.

“I am being detained,” tweeted Kulaçoğlu on Sunday afternoon.

Pro-government media outlets were recently running stories about him, claiming that he was the founder of an anti-government social media movement called “İsimsizler Hareketi” (movement of the nameless), aiming to foment chaos in the country.

In 2016 Kulaçoğlu spent 12 days in detention as part of an investigation into Turkish hacker group RedHack for alleged membership in the group. The suspected members were detained immediately after RedHack claimed that it had hacked the email accounts of Berat Albayrak, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law and then-energy minister of Turkey.

Shortly after Kulaçoğlu’s detention, journalist Gülseven was also detained. Gülseven criticized Kulaçoğlu’s detention on his Twitter account, saying, “The [pro-government] trolls who were attacking Taylan for days were telling him, ‘You will soon see.’ Now the question is: Is the state being ruled by trolls, or do those ruling the country also work as trolls?”

Gülseven was detained shortly after posting the tweet.

“Yes, I am being detained, too. It is a shameful situation, but this is the situation of the country,” he tweeted about his detention.

Dozens of journalists are behind bars due to their critical views, while thousands of people from all walks of life face investigations every day because of their criticism of the Turkish government and government officials on social media.

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