Turkey Twitter

Turkish government threatens Twitter ban to quell intelligence agency document retweets

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By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

January 19, 2015 | 2 min read

The Turkish government is heaping pressure upon Twitter to block the account of a liberal newspaper which is publishing leaked confidential documents on social media.

This tweet on the leak could be blocked in Turkey

A broad court order was issued from Adana last Thursday preventing newspapers and members of the public from publishing (or retweeting) leaked documents telling of a military police raid upon an intelligence convoy carrying weapons destined for Syrian extremists battling President Al Assad's regime.

Daily newspaper Halkın Gazetesi BirGün's posting of the story on Twitter prompted the government to threaten an overall ban of the website if the content was not removed.

Twitter blocked a small number of the newspaper's stories In Turkey although it denied requests to fully censor the account.

A Twitter spokesperson told the New York Times: "Out of the almost 60,000 tweets on the account, Twitter withheld access in Turkey to the small number of tweets that discussed the national security issue referenced in the order.

"We continue to work diligently to protect the rights of our users and preserve access for millions of Twitter users in Turkey."

There is precedent for such bans, last March a government imposed restriction upon Twitter was upturned on appeal by an Ankara court ruling.

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