Turkey detains medics for speaking against Syria offensive

Turkey detains medics for speaking against Syria offensive
A Turkish Forces vehicles is driven past people watching at the Oncupinar border crossing with Syria, known as Bab al Salameh in Arabic, in the outskirts of the town of Kilis, Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. Renewed clashes erupted on Monday on a strategic hilltop in northwestern Syria captured by Turkish troops the day before as Syrian Kurdish militiamen try to regain control. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s state-run news agency says senior members of a medical association who spoke out against Ankara’s military offensive in a Syrian Kurdish enclave have been detained.

Anadolu Agency says the chief of the Turkish Medical Association and seven others were detained in Tuesday’s police operations for breach of Turkey’s anti-terror laws. It says prosecutors issued warrants for 11 members of the association.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused association members of being “terrorist lovers” and his government has cracked down on criticism of the offensive. Turkey considers the Kurdish militia it is fighting in Syria an extension of the outlawed Kurdish rebels inside Turkey.

As many as 311 people were detained in the past week for allegedly engaging in “terrorist propaganda” through social media postings critical of the military operation.