On November 4th, 2016 after the arrestment of the HDP deputies there was an bombing attack targeting the police HQ in Diyarbakır’s Bağlar district. In Turkey, where the day started with news of bombing and arrests, the internet connection problems was hot topic. Lots of news story were shared and many claims were made. Among these claims we listed the hoaxes that caught by the radars of teyit.org editors.
1) The last photo of Demirtaş before he was arrested
Gerçek Gündem news site shared a photo on its Twitter account and claimed that it was the last photo of HDP co-head Demirtaş before he was arrested. However, contrary to the claim the photo was taken during Demirtaş’ Cizre trip on March 25th, 2016.
2) Kılıçdaroğlu have not made any statement about the arrestment of HDP deputies
After the arrestment of HDP deputies, government and opposition have made statements about the subject. In a tweet, dokuz8haber claimed that CHP head Kılıçdaroğlu did not say anything about the HDP deputies during the speech he gave in İzmir.
However, although Kılıçdaroğlu did not mentioned the HDP deputies namely, he said “The ones who came with elections shall go with elections. If you try to imprison, kill, exterminate, shoot the elected or try to silence them with the gang tactics, you can never bring peace to that country.”
3) DİSK, KESK and TTB Presidents are arrested
Many NGOs, unions and citizens participated in the protest that has taken place in Kızılay’s Yüksel Street. The Ankara police has intervened the meeting and has arrested some protesters. Birgün claimed that Kani Beko, president of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions(DİSK), Lami Özgez, co-president of the Confederation of Public Laborer’s Union(KESK) and Raşit Tükel, president of Turkish Medical Association(TTB) were arrested
While the unions approached by teyit.org stated that their presidents were not arrested, they also tweeted that the same thing. BirGün has corrected its story.
4) NTV tweeted “Demirtaş is arrested, Yüksekdağ was relaesed with judicial control”
A tweet from the Twitter account named “NTV Son Dakika” has entered to circulation around 11 am. The tweet said “Flash! Selattin Demirtaş is arrested, Yüksekdağ was relaesed with judicial control. Details are coming”
NTV does not have such twitter account and when we look at the user name @zevimilov it can be understood that the account does not blong to NTV. NTV has not tweeted such news story and while this list was written an arrest order was issued for Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ.
5) After the bombing in Diyarbakır, people stoned the HDP building
A video was released with the claim that after the bombing attact in Bağlar, Diyarbakır, people stoned the HDP building. In the video, it can be seen that a group of people confronted by the police and there is an announce saying “Dear Diyabakır people, there is no need, Dear Diyarbakır people this is a day of solidarity. Don’t throw stones… These stones come to all of us. This stones go to Diyarbakır.”
Bağlar District Municipatility told teyit.org that the HDP building was not attacked and the area where people gathered was far away from the HDP building.
According to the information we acquired from the DİHA correspondent who took the video, there was no attack or march against the HDP bulilding. The video shows a confrontation between the police officers who try to secure the area and the people. Also, in the same video a couple gun shots can be heard. The witnesses we talk stated that the police officers fired their guns into the air to disperse the crowd.
6) Turkey is the first country to block WhatsApp
The connection problems in Turkey on November 4th regarding Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp lead to spread of various claims. One of these claims was that Turkey is the first country to block the WhatsApp.
Although the claim is striking it is does not reflect the truth.
The first country that blocked Whatsapp is Brazil. The app was blocked in last July with a court order and it was blamed for not giving the chat records. However, the block was lifted a couple of hours after the order and the app became available to Brazilians again.
Whatsapp, used by 100 million people in Brazil, was blocked in the country for four times for the same reasons and one order was appealed against. After the Brazilian supreme court lifted the ban on the app, the Whatsapp spokesperson celebrated the verdict by stating that “We are happy that Brazilian people are again able to use WhatsAPP. We hope that these blocks punishing millions of Brazilian will come to an end and WhatsApp can stay with the users who care about it”.
Brazil is not the only country blocking WhatsApp. In-app calling still cannot be used in many countries.
While in some countries all functions of WhatsApp is banned in some other countries in-app call can be made with aWi-Fi network but not with a cellular one.
In conclusion, on November 4th, 2016 Turkey blocking the WhatsApp is not the first ever example of it.
Compiled by: Çınar Livane Özer, Taha Onur Selimoğlu, Mehmet Atakan Foça Translation: Yusuf Tatlı