Turkey probes 30 Twitter users for suggesting Erdogan died

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According to a police statement released on Wednesday, Turkish authorities have started legal proceedings against 30 persons over a series of Twitter posts implying that President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan had died. 

The 30 persons were being investigated, according to the statement, for posting the hashtag “olmus” in Turkish, which roughly translates to “is said to be dead.” 

They could face legal action for spreading “disinformation and manipulative content” as well as insulting Mr. Erdogan, according to reports. 

Read more: Erdogan backs down on threat to expel 10 Western ambassadors

According to the police, “thirty individuals have been identified, and the proper legal processes have been launched against them.” 

Separately, Mr. Erdogan lawyers filed a complaint with the Ankara chief prosecutor’s office, seeking that those who insulted the president on Twitter be probed for a felony that carries a prison sentence. 

The news comes amid growing concern over the 67-year-old president’s health, as he appeared to be having difficulty standing in a recent video. 

The president appeared ill during a holiday address in July, and his speech sounded slurred at some points. 

In an effort to dispel rumours about Mr. Erdogan’s health, presidential aides released videos of him walking more vigorously after a flight from Istanbul to Ankara on Twitter on Wednesday. 

To dispel rumours that Mr. Erdogan was ill, the communications directorate posted a video of him playing basketball last month. 

“I’ve spent my entire political career opposing Erdogan. “My only hope is that Erdogan will be fit and healthy for the [next] elections, and that he will answer to the people through the ballot box,” opposition legislator Aykut Erdogdu tweeted. 

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