Turkish government blocks access to Twitter

Turkish government blocks access to Twitter

Summary: Turks wanting to tweet are limited to tweeting through mobile telephone text services after the country's government blocked the social network.


Twitter went dark in Turkey just hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to "wipe out" the social network — one of several highlighting corruption allegations in his inner circle.

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

Opposition media outlets said the block late on Thursday was implemented by Erdogan's government, after the prime minister told a rally that he would eradicate Twitter access in the country.

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.

The website for the country's telecommunications authority (TIB) turned up four separate court rulings referencing "twitter.com" that suggested official action had been taken.

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."

In Thursday's rally to drum up voter support ahead of March 30 local elections, Erdogan had told supporters: "We will wipe out Twitter. I don't care what the international community says."

Erdogan's office said in a statement that Twitter remained "indifferent" to Turkish court rulings demanding "some links" be removed and that the premier was turning his attention to the matter.

The news agency said the only solution to "address the unjust treatment of our citizens" deemed in violation of Turkish law was to employ technical measures to block access to Twitter.

In a first 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."

Erdogan, Turkey's charismatic and increasingly autocratic leader since 2003, has come under mounting pressure since audio recordings spread across social media that appeared to put him at the heart of a major corruption scandal.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Government

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • turkey!

    U r on a slippery slope...
    • Covered with gravy!

      Sorry, couldn't resist the pun. So the world's MOST liberal and secular predominantly Muslim country isn't quite as liberal as we thought, since a member of THEIR "religious right" was elected. Think about that before you pull the lever for Huckabee! The two most common excuses for taking away freedom from individuals are religion (whether traditional or, what amounts to the same thing, political "religions" such as communism or Nazism) and emergency due to war (or fabricated war).

      I hope the world can get a LEG up and CARVE out room for free expression. And not just for WHITE meat. That would be a reason for THANKSGIVING. We will be keeping ABREAST of the situation in Asia Minor!
  • Sign of trouble

    This is a sign that the Turkish gov. can't handle the truth and is trying to protect its authority from something that otherwise would get out of control if Twitter were to remain. It's amazing the earth is still subservient to such authority. You'd think this kind of behavior was way behind us by now. Nope.