Turkey blocks Twitter after PM’s threat to ‘wipe out’ service

The state-run Anatolia news agency said authorities “technically blocked access to Twitter” because the service had ignored various Turkish court orders to remove some links deemed illegal.



By (AFP)

Published: Fri 21 Mar 2014, 2:05 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:41 AM

Twitter went dark in Turkey late on Thursday, just hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “wipe out” the social network which, along with others, was highlighting corruption allegations against his inner circle.

The state-run Anatolia news agency said authorities “technically blocked access to Twitter” because the service had ignored various Turkish court orders to remove some links deemed illegal.

Twitter responded by saying on its official @policy feed that Turks could get around the block by tweeting through mobile telephone text services.

In early reaction, the EU commissioner for digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, tweeted that the block in Turkey “is groundless, pointless, cowardly”.

She added that the “Turkish people and international community will see this as censorship. It is.”

The restriction of access to Twitter came after Erdogan told a rally drumming up support for March 30 local elections that he would eradicate Twitter access in the country.

“We will wipe out Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says,” he said.

Erdogan’s office said in a statement that Twitter had remained “indifferent” to Turkish court rulings demanding “some links” be removed, and that the premier therefore had turned his attention to the matter.

The website for the country’s telecommunications authority (TIB) turned up four separate court rulings referencing “twitter.com”.

One of them said: “The protection measure has been taken for this website (twitter.com) according to the decision... of the Istanbul chief public prosecutor’s office and has been implemented by the TIB.”

Anatolia ran a report saying a Twitter block was the only solution to “address the unjust treatment of our citizens”.


More news from WORLD