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Turkey detains 410 over 'provocative' coronavirus posts on social media

arrest, handcuffs, crime

ANKARA: Turkey has so far detained 410 people over "provacative and abusive" social media posts about the coronavirus pandemic, the interior minister said on Wednesday.

Suleyman Soylu also said the ministry had identified 1,748 suspect social media accounts over the past week, 65 percent of which belonged to terror groups including outlawed Kurdish militants and followers of US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen.

He is blamed by Ankara for a failed 2016 coup.

"So far, 410 people have been caught," Suleyman Soylu said in an interview with 24 TV news channel.

"There are those who attempt to provoke ... and abuse the issue" arising from the pandemic, he said, without elaborating.

Turkey has confirmed 44 deaths from the novel coronavirus, while 1,872 cases of infection have been recorded.

Authorities have taken a raft of measures from shutting schools and universities to banning mass prayers.