- atwitter March 21
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan's decision to restrict the country's access to Twitter sparked charges of censorship and immediate international backlash for restricting free speech. Erdo─čan is in the midst of dealing with a corruption scandal in which wiretapped recordings were leaked via the social network. He said the leak damaged his reputation days before local elections.
Declaring it "Twitter schmitter" and vowing to "root out" the website, Erdo─čan said he didn't care what the world thought about his decision. "The international community can say this, can say that... Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is," he said. Turkish courts blocked Twitter early Friday, claiming the San Francisco-based website ignored requests to remove "illegal links."
A Twitter spokesman said it was investigating the reports of its blockage. The hashtags #TurkeyBlockedTwitter and #ErgodanBlocksTwitter blew up on the social network overnight in solidarity with the country's citizens who are angry about the restriction. A depiction of Ergodan's face placed on Twitter's logo is also being circulated. --Jordan Valinsky
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