Turkey has reportedly detained hundreds of people who voiced their disagreement with its ongoing military operation against Kurdish forces in Afrin, northern Syria. Among those arrested are journalists, politicians, senior doctors and activists.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (archive)

The Syrian Democratic Forces (archive) Photo Credit: EPA

Turkish authorities have reportedly arrested hundreds of people who criticized the country’s military operation in Syria, various reports said. Among those detained are journalists, politicians, doctors and activists.

According to Ankara’s state-run Anadolu News Agency, 11 arrest warrants were issued for senior executives of the Turkish Medical Association after the Interior Ministry filed a complaint against them. Eight among them, including the organization’s chairman, were arrested on terrorism charges. Ankara’s authorities are searching for the remaining three officials.

Last week, the Turkish Medical Association denounced the operation in Syria and called for peace in the region. According to Anadolu News Agency, following their statements, the medical executives have been accused of “legitimizing terror group’s activities” as well as “praising crime and criminals” and “inciting hatred and enmity among people.”

In addition, Turkey’s Interior Ministry said on Monday that a total of 311 people had been arrested for spreading “terrorist propaganda” on social media and elsewhere since Ankara launched its military operation in Afrin. These reportedly included journalists working for foreign newspapers.


Erdoğan Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

As previously reported by JOL, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to extend his country’s military operation against Kurdish forces in Syria. Speaking in Ankara before leaders of Turkish provinces, Erdoğan vowed to extend the operation to the town of Manbij east of Aleppo, a move that could lead to clashes between Turkish and NATO forces. According to the Anadolu News Agency, over 600 people were killed in Afrin since the operation began.