Turkish Twitter ban renewed as PM vows to 'rip out its roots'

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office said the ban was in response to the company's 'defiance' in failing to comply with hundreds of court rulings since last January

Jack Pitt-Brooke
Sunday 23 March 2014 01:00
Comments
Twitter’s error message comes up – with the Turkish flag
Twitter’s error message comes up – with the Turkish flag

Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has launched a fresh attack on Twitter as authorities continued to block access to the site yesterday and expanded the reach of their controversial crackdown.

Amid an outcry from free-speech groups, governments and the White House, the ban of Twitter continued into a second day after Mr Erdogan vowed to "rip out the roots" of the social networking site. Yesterday, after many Turks reportedly evaded the ban by using alternative Domain Name Systems (DNS), the government was said to have tried to block DNS servers.

Mr Erdogan's ban on Twitter – where wire-tapped recordings alleging widespread government corruption had been leaked ahead of local elections on 30 March – caused use of the site to rise by an estimated 136 per cent. Twitter reported that in the 24 hours after the ban, 2.5 million messages were posted. "Apparently, alternate DNS servers are also blocked in Turkey. New settings are being circulated," wrote one Twitter user yesterday.

A Twitter statement said: "We stand with our users in Turkey who rely on Twitter as a vital communications platform. We hope to have full access returned soon."

Mr Erdogan's office said in a statement that the ban on Twitter was in response to the company's "defiance" in failing to comply with hundreds of court rulings since last January. "Twitter has been used as a means to carry out systematic character assassinations by circulating illegally acquired recordings, fake and fabricated records of wire tapping."

In recent weeks, audio recordings have been released via Twitter on an almost daily basis purporting to be telephone conversations between senior government members and businessmen that revealed alleged corruption. "It is difficult to comprehend Twitter's indifference, and its biased and prejudiced stance," Mr Erdogan's office said. "We believe that this attitude... creates an unfair and inaccurate impression of our country."

The government has said it is in talks with Twitter and that the ban would be lifted if the San Francisco-based firm appointed a representative in Turkey and agreed to block content when requested to by Turkish courts.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in