Turkey Twitter

Turkish Twitter ban a result of site ignoring court orders to remove content according to finance minister


By Stephen Lepitak, -

March 23, 2014 | 3 min read

Twitter has ignored court orders in Turkey to remove content from the site, according to the country’s finance minister, Mehmet Simsek, discussing the banning of the micrblogging platform.

Speaking to the BBC, Simsek, a keen user of Twitter with 868,000 followers, admitted that the ban did not reflect well upon the country, which had moved to ban the site from being used in Turkey after users shared allegations of corruption.

On Friday, the country banned the use of Twitter, following comments made by Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan who stated that he “did not care” what the international community thought of the action.

However, the country’s president Abdullah Gull followed up by describing the ban as “unacceptable”.

He said: “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.”

Speaking to the BBC, Simsek weighed in in an attempt to explain "The Turkish telecommunications watchdog has made a number of statements saying that they have asked Twitter on a number of occasions to remove some content on the back of court orders and Twitter has been refusing to comply."

"I don't think any global company, whether it's a media company, whether it's an industrial company, it shouldn't see itself [as being] above the law,” he added.

According to social media agency, We Are Social and its analytics partner Brandwatch, tweets from Turkey increase by 138 per cent following the ban.

Robin Grant, global managing director, We Are Social said that the ban was inspiring more people to tweet.

"Banning Twitter is clearly a counterproductive move that will ultimately will have the opposite effect to that intended. The internet was designed to route around obstacles like PM Erdoğan, and its users will continue to find ways to do so.

"It appears people in Turkey are enjoying the challenge, tweeting via text message, through an anonymous VPN, by changing their DNS - and it seems even those who may have had little interest in tweeting before are now getting involved.

"As numerous politicians all over the world have discovered to their detriment in the past, it's not clever to pick a fight with social media. It's not one they're likely to win."

Twitter is understood to have around 10 million users in Turkey, many of which have begun to circumvent the ban on the site. Twitter has yet to make an official statement, but is understood to have begun an investigation.

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