Turkey has officially banned twitter, thereby joining the group of few countries like Iran and Egypt, where the micro-blogging site is not accessible. The government banned the website because it was increasingly becoming a place for anti-government factions to express their opinions.
The ban was issued this Thursday, after which users were redirected to a page from the country’s telecommunication regulator. The outage started with a few ISPs which gradually spread to all of the internet service providers in the country. It is said that the government had 4 different court orders in place, which forced all of the ISPs including GSM providers to block the website.
However, users still have an option to post tweets on the website. According to Twitter’s Policy account, users can still post tweets via text messages. Their latest tweet said, Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.Also, many users are reportedly using VPNs and proxies to bypass this restriction to access their accounts.
It all started when a few users shared voice recordings and documents which claimed that Turkish Prime Minister’s office was corrupted. Naturally, Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister didn’t take the news quite well, and pledged to eradicate the micro-blogging website completely.
His office resorted to the courts for taking down the website claiming that some of the posts were inflammatory. “We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter,” Erdogan said at a campaign rally “I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”
Following this, his office issued a statement saying that Twitter had ignored to act according to the court rulings which forced them to take down the website. But this is not the first time; he has threatened to shut down social networking websites.
In fact, last year, when Turkish citizens were complaining about the government’s urban redevelopment plan on websites like Facebook and Twitter, he referred to these websites as the worst menace in society.
However, according to Reuters, Turkish Government does not plan to ban other social networking websites like Facebook, at least for now. In a statement to the agency, an official said, “The path was taken to block access within the framework of a court decision because of the failure to overcome the problem with the management of Twitter. At the moment there is no such decision for other social media like Facebook.”
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