Twitter reportedly went offline in Turkey on Thursday, just hours after the country's prime minister threatened to eradicate the social network from the country in the wake of allegations of corruption spread across social networks.
"We will wipe out Twitter. I don't care what the international community says," premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday during an election rally in the western province of Bursa.
"They will see the Turkish republic's strength," he added, according to the AFP news agency.
Twitter said Thursday that it was looking into reports that its microblogging service had already been banned in that nation. The social network advised users in Turkey that they could still send tweets by using SMS:
Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.— Policy (@policy) March 20, 2014
Erdogan, Turkey's leader since 2003, has been under pressure in recent weeks after audio recordings surfaced on Turkish social media of conversations allegedly between Erdogan and his son, Bilal, in which the two men allegedly discuss in detail how to hide vast amounts of money. Erdogan has denounced the recordings as fake and vowed legal action against the "vile attack."
Facebook and YouTube could also face bans, Erdogan warned two weeks ago, claiming that the social networks were being abused by his political enemies.
"We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook," Erdogan said in an interview earlier this month with the Turkish broadcaster ATV. "We will take the necessary steps in the strongest way."