Turkey’s prime minister wants Twitter ban reinstated

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan says that a court order lifting the Twitter ban should be overturned.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan isn't giving up on his Twitter ban without a fight.

Last Thursday, Turkey turned Twitter back on after a two-week blockade of the site. The move followed a ruling by Turkey's constitutional court that found the ban to be a violation of free speech and individual rights.

But that doesn't mean the prime minister is happy about the decision.

"The constitutional court's ruling on Twitter did not serve justice," Erdogan said on Tuesday at a parliamentary meeting of his AK Party, according to Reuters. "This ruling should be corrected."

The Turkish government banned Twitter for the country's 76 million citizens on March 20 following actions by Erdogan. Turkey's telecommunication authority BTK claimed that Twitter was blocked only after citizens complained of breaches in privacy, Reuters reported last month. However, critics of Erdogan say the ban was politically motivated.

A fervent critic of social networks, the prime minister vowed to "wipe out" the site in the aftermath of a political corruption scandal that embarrassed the government through news, videos, and images leaked online. Recordings have surfaced on Twitter allegedly of Erdogan and his son discussing how to hide large sums of money. The prime minister called such recordings fake and decided to take legal action against the "vile attack."

A week after Twitter was blocked, Turkey banned YouTube. An audio recording was reportedly uploaded to the video sharing site in which top government and military officials purportedly discussed the security situation in Syria. The recording allegedly caught government officials discussing how to justify air strikes against Syria. Turkey's foreign ministry said the recording was manipulated and was a "first degree threat to national security," according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency.

Last Friday, a Turkish court ordered that the YouTube ban be lifted albeit with 15 individual videos still blocked. But that order failed to take effect.

On Monday, Google announced that it had previously filed three petitions in Turkey in an attempt to overturn the ban of its video sharing site, according to the Wall Street Journal. Google reportedly has argued that the ban is "overbroad" and has challenged it "based on freedom of speech," a source told the Journal.