Recent statements from government officials indicate that it is unlikely there will be a reversal of the ban on Twitter, recently introduced in what many see as an attempt to divert attention from a massive corruption investigation against the government, and that further restrictions are likely as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened to shut down Facebook and YouTube.
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, in what many see as an attempt to divert attention from major graft allegations targeting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his family and his government, blocked access to Twitter late Thursday night. In an effort to further the ban, the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) on Sunday blocked access to public Domain Name System (DNS) servers provided by Google, which many users were employing to circumvent the Twitter ban.
The ban came literally hours after Prime Minister Erdoğan said at a public rally in Bursa that he was determined to “root out Twitter.” Several users of the platform posted leaked phone recordings and photographs to allegedly serve as proof of graft allegations leveled against the prime minister’s family and government in an investigation that went public on Dec. 17.
Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah İşler, who responded to questions from the press in Gölbaşı, Ankara, where he was visiting as part of his election campaign, said Twitter was banned for disobeying court orders, one of the many differing explanations for the ban offered by government members. “In order for Twitter to be seen as a legitimate party for us to talk with, it needs to open an office here. It should respond to criticism. There are certain court orders. It should abide by these orders. Anything that is forbidden in real life should also be forbidden in cyberspace,” he said, adding that there will be no turning back from the ban unless Twitter agrees to heed the court rulings… see mre