Turkish police have launched a judicial investigation against dozens of social media users who allegedly spread rumors about the death of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The corresponding hashtag “he’s apparently dead” #olmus in Turkish has been trending on Twitter since Wednesday morning, causing the Turkish Lira to plummet.
Police said Wednesday that “manipulative” messages were posted under the Twitter hashtag #olmus. The statement says that criminal cases were opened against 30 people suspected of publishing “lies”.
Rumors of Erdogan’s health became a hot topic on social media after a short video clip allegedly showing he had great difficulty walking went viral on Friday.
– Gizoo Demir (@Gizoodemir) November 3, 2021
On Wednesday, Erdogan’s spokesman for public affairs and many AK politicians, as well as administration officials, posted several videos refuting claims in which Erdogan said in early October that sport is very important to health.
Sağlık için spor yapmak çok çok önemli. Ben de haftada üç gün spor yapmaya gayret ediyorum. Harekette bereket vardır. 🏀 pic.twitter.com/7sDmQV7MSp
– Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) October 3, 2021
Dosta güven, düşmana korku … pic.twitter.com/ljoR6UEAuI
– Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) November 3, 2021
Another video, made in July, showed Erdogan dozing for several seconds while addressing members of his ruling AKP party, fueling rumors that the 67-year-old president might be ill.