Turkey detains 19 people over ‘provocative’ coronavirus posts

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Turkey closed cafes, entertainment and sports venues to contain the spread of coronavirus. (Reuters)
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There had been were social media posts targeting officials and spreading panic and fear by suggesting that the virus had spread widely in Turkey. (Reuters)
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Updated 17 March 2020

Turkey detains 19 people over ‘provocative’ coronavirus posts

  • Social media posts were targeting officials and spreading panic and fear by suggesting that the virus had spread widely in Turkey
  • The number of confirmed cases in Turkey has risen to 47

ISTANBUL: Turkey has identified 93 suspects who have made “unfounded and provocative” postings on social media about the coronavirus outbreak and has detained 19 of them, the Turkish Interior Ministry said.
The move came as Turkey closed cafes, entertainment and sports venues, suspended mass prayers in mosques and extended a flight ban to 20 countries to contain the coronavirus spread, as the number of confirmed cases rose to 47.
The interior ministry statement said there were social media posts which were targeting officials and spreading panic and fear by suggesting that the virus had spread widely in Turkey and that officials had taken insufficient measures.
“Nineteen of these suspects have been detained and the process of detaining others who have been identified is continuing,” said the statement, issued late on Monday.
Last Wednesday, Turkey became the last major economy to report an outbreak of coronavirus and Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced 29 newly confirmed cases late on Monday, bringing the total to 47. No deaths have been reported.
The Istanbul governor’s office said on Monday that Turkish citizens who request to return from nine European countries would be brought back by midnight on March 17 on condition that they are quarantined for 14 days.


Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility not damaged after ‘incident’

Updated 10 min 23 sec ago

Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility not damaged after ‘incident’

  • But there was no damage to Natanz nuclear reactor

DUBAI: An “incident” has occurred at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility but no damage was caused and the site is operating as usual, the national Atomic Energy Organization said on Thursday.

The Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant, covering 100,000 square meters and built eight meters underground, is one of several Iranian facilities monitored by the UN nuclear watchdog.

“The incident took place in a facility in an open area near Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. There were no casualties or damages and the nuclear site is operating as usual,” the agency’s spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, was quoted as saying by Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the incident, he said. No further details were given.