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Twitter Banned In Turkey By Prime Minister Erdogan

Prime Minister Erdogan Banned Twitter

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Turkey Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan banned Twitter sending Twitter into an overnight frenzy. Erdogan reportedly shut down access to the popular social site to kill leaks targeting his government amid a corruption probe just a few days before local election. The hash tag “#TwitterIsBlockedInTurkey ” trended along with several memes and cartoons.

Worldwide criticism commenced throughout Twitter, including a tweet from President Abdullah Gul who tweeted not in favor of the ban and how it shouldn’t be condoned. European Parliament President, Martin Schulz chimed in against the ban saying the premier is “waging a campaign against all the media and press that he cannot directly influence or control.” European Commission Vice President, Neelie Kroes also commented calling Erdogan’s ban a “groundless, pointless, cowardly” act of censorship.

“We now have a court order,” said Erdogan during a campaign rally at Bursa on March 20. “We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”

Social media has played a major role in political protest and influence. Erdogan, who has a Twitter handler with 4.17 million followers and 3,043 tweets considers social media to be the “worst menace to society”.

Following the February release of a voice recording that sounded a lot like Erdogan telling his son to dispose of a large sum of cash, the Prime Minister began bashing the use of social media. He then furthered steps to go through with his earlier threats to ban YouTube, Facebook and other social sites.

“We are determined on the issue, regardless of what the world may say,” stated Erdogan who called the recordings fabrication. “We won’t allow the people to be devoured by YouTube, Facebook or others. Whatever steps need to be taken we will take them without wavering.”

Twitter Banned In Turkey By Prime Minister Erdogan

A Twitter account was responsible for sharing documents that contributed to the Turkish corruption scandal that surfaced in December 2013. The documents were police files detailing graft allegations against four former ministers. The Twitter handler, @HARAMZADELER333 posted links to a 32 page document and a 299 page document from an alleged investigation that became public December 17.

Three of the former ministers; economy minister Zafer Caglayan, environment minister Erdogan Bayraktar, and interior minister Muammer Guler who originally denied any allegations resigned a week later.

Local media claims the worst has yet to be leaked. Reports in a local column, the Yeni Safak newspaper quoted retired Islamic law professor. He denies the validity of a tape that is supposed to air him advising Erdogan on whether Islam would permit him to order the murdering of Muhsin Yazicioglu, a politician who died in a helicopter crash in 2009, March 25. The leaks called into question the sincerity of the ministers and the government as a whole.

Anyone in Turkey who attempt to access Twitter is supposed to be directed to another page containing three court rulings as reasons for the ban. Reports surfaced earlier this month regarding Erdogan’s plans to ban YouTube and Facebook. Tweeters question the possible ban of other accompanying social sites as well.

Leader of the main opposition Republican Peopleas Party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu believes the ban is harmful to Turkey’s image nationally and the party is applying to overturn it.

Twitter Banned In Turkey By Prime Minister Erdogan

About Melissa Jackson

BA in Print Journalism w/ a minor in Child & Family Development/ full time POET and sponge. I love learning :) follow me @honeybjackson