Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is under increasing pressure following his Twitter ban on the country after President Abdullah Gull described the move as “unacceptable”.
Erdogan had the service blocked in Turkey this week after leaked recordings and material relating to allegations of corruption against him were shared on the social network.
Erdogan pledged to “root out Twitter” in a speech on Thursday, adding: “I don’t care what the international community says at all. Everyone will see the power of the Turkish Republic.”
By Friday, President Gull had taken to Twitter to condemn the move.
“The shutdown of an entire social platform is unacceptable,” he said. “Besides, as I have said many times before, it is technically impossible to close down communication technologies like Twitter entirely. I hope this measure will not last long.”
Many of Turkey’s 10 million Twitter users defied the ban by finding other methods to get onto the social platform, such as changing domain name settings. Twitter itself advised users to post updates via a text message from their mobile phones to maintain contact.
The ban has been condemned at an international level. European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes the move was “groundless, pointless, cowardly” while the European Union’s commissioner for enlargement Stefan Fuele said he was “gravely concerned” about Erdogan’s policy on free speech.
The ban is not the first battle Turkish authorities have fought with internet services. In 2010, a ban on YouTube was lifted after two years over videos deemed insulting to the country’s founder.
Trouble with Twitter has been brewing over the last year. In June 2013, the Turkish government asked Twitter to set up an office in the country in order to provide the government with information after anti-government protests. Turkish authorities claimed the social network was being used to spread lies about the government and terrorise society.