Turkish police detain four people for comments on Erdoğan’s COVID-19 diagnosis

Four people have been detained in relation to their comments on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan testing positive for COVID-19, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Sunday.

Eight people in total are facing investigations, the newspaper said, while 36 accounts were inspected. Authorities have identified 31 people who run the 36 accounts, according to the Cybercrime Unit of the Security Directorate.

One account holder was seen to be living abroad, and another had recently left the country via irregular means.

Among the detainees was a woman identified as Pınar Ö., who was detained from her home in the working class district of Bağcılar, Istanbul. Istanbul Security Directorate said in a statement that Pınar Ö. had been detained for “provocative and insulting posts”, according to Demirören News Agency.

The investigations were announced by the Istanbul chief public prosecutor’s office.

“Our public chief prosecutor’s office has launched investigations on suspects that have been identified as part of the authority of the office. Judicial procedures are underway together with security forces,” the office said in a statement.

“Those who say insults and bad prayers against our Esteemed President are devoid of the values of our civilisation and the minimum humane qualities, they know no bounds,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said in a tweet.

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