Turkey Bans Twitter Ahead of Heavily Contested Election

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Turkey Bans Twitter Ahead of Heavily Contested Election

Twitter has vowed to stand with its Turkish users during what some tweeters are calling "a digital coup."

Turkish courts have banned the use of social network site Twitter today, just days away from a March 30 election that could could cost the ruling AK Party some of its power. The leader of the AK Party, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, had pledged to "wipe out" Twitter in Turkey. Erdogan is currently involved in a corruption scandal, the flames of which were fed on Twitter and other social networking sites.

The Turkish government has said the ban would be lifted if Twitter appoints a representative to Turkey who will agree to block content as requested by the Turkish courts. Twitter has posted a tweet in support of its Turkish users. "We stand with our users in Turkey who rely on Twitter as a vital communications platform. We hope to have full access returned soon," the company wrote on its @policy account.

When asked by Reuters, a Twitter spokesperson declined to say if they would appoint someone as a Turkish representative but said they were currently in talks with the government.

Among those opposed to the ban, interestingly, is Turkish president Abdullah Gul, who helped found the Islamist-rooted AK Party alongside Erdogan. "One cannot approve of the complete closure of social media platforms," Gul wrote in a tweet of his own.

Turkish activists managed to circumvent the ban with the use of the hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey. Twitter also posted instructions on how Turkish citizens can continue tweeting through SMS text messages.

Telecommunications watchdog group BTK said Turkish courts blocked Twitter after citizens made complaints about the service breaching their privacy, Reuters reports. BTK stated that Twitter had ignored previous request from courts to remove content.

Reuters reports that some Twitter users are calling the move "a digital coup," and drawing comparisons to North Korea and Iran. While European leaders have criticized the ban, Erdogan is apparently unconcerned with what the rest of the world thinks. "The international community can say this, can say that. I don't care at all. Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is," he said.

Source: Reuters

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Because banning social media has worked so well for those other middle eastern countries who were worried about a revolution. #WorkedInEgyptRight?

BlameTheWizards:
Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is," he said.

Oh crap. What does he mean by that? That's what super villains say before unleashing the deth ray or something.

The international community can say this, can say that. I don't care at all. Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is

Because that doesn't sound ominous at all. At least he said 'Republic of Turkey is' and not 'I am', although it does make him sound like a teenage girl whose parents said she can't get a tattoo because it would make her look like a tramp.

CriticalMiss:

The international community can say this, can say that. I don't care at all. Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is

Because that doesn't sound ominous at all. At least he said 'Republic of Turkey is' and not 'I am', although it does make him sound like a teenage girl whose parents said she can't get a tattoo because it would make her look like a tramp.

It dose not help that so far they have displayed all the power of a High school IT department.

also, has no government learned that no one under 30 is worried about a DNS block yet?

Hang on, so they claimed they banned Twitter because "it wasn't respecting user's privacy"? Um, not that I know enough to contest that, but last time I checked Turkey wasn't exactly very high on the Human Rights front, so this sounds like some pathetic excuse.

Also, I think we all know what kind of content Twitter refused to remove...

It won't help Erdogan, people will easily bypass it.

Turkey will be moving forward eventually, even though the inland regions might still be conservative Islamic, more and more of the growing middle class have had enough of that shit.

Thank god, hopefully more Arabic regions can return to the ideas of their actual blossoming and bountiful period in history.

Thank god for the wonderful invention of internet proxies.
I trust the Turkish people are going to give Erdogan as much hell as possible. He's getting more and more desperate to hold onto power.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could just turn off most of public opinion like a switch. Unfortunately, this is more likely to result in more opposition, as anyone with passing knowledge of the effects of these restrictions knows.

Although it could be more to prevent the spread of information regarding election rigging during the election, which makes sense if they're going to be pulling that shit, but I have faith that the people of Turkey know that someone who attempts to shut down communication during an election has something to hide and probably shouldn't be elected.

Clowndoe:

BlameTheWizards:
Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is," he said.

Oh crap. What does he mean by that? That's what super villains say before unleashing the deth ray or something.

Its obviously a pretext which the American-European alliance can use to have another war in the midle east.

That is, of course, assuming that the situation in Ukraine doesnt get any worse.

Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is,

So, what? A middling regional power with no power projection north or west of your borders?

Or maybe you're talking about your above-average economic might?

I thought you'd want to keep your mediocrity quiet, why would you show everyone how utterly average your military, political, and economic power is?

I still do not understand how it is possible that nutjobs like Erdogan,Putin and similar morons can get elected.

Undomesticated Equine:
I still do not understand how it is possible that nutjobs like Erdogan,Putin and similar morons can get elected.

They use intimidation, blackmail, and murder. At least we are more civil about it in the US. They just use empty promises, blackmail, and misinformation over here...

OT- Why are countries starting to display the expansionism and warmonger rhetoric all of the sudden? Perhaps it's because they know we (the US) won't do anything about it.

Sarge034:

They use intimidation, blackmail, and murder. At least we are more civil about it in the US. They just use empty promises, blackmail, and misinformation over here...

You forgot scare tactics, or is that being covered under misinformation? :3

OT: Well this won't go too well, especially after the last time social media blackouts occurred like this we had riots in Egypt, which led to an eventual revolution...we time to see how this goes.

Eh, I already disliked Turkey's government for their refusal to acknowledge or apologize for the Armenian Genocide and their treatment of non-Muslims. This only strengthens my feelings on the matter.

If Turkey wants to be a part of the EU and the greater global community, then they need to stop their heavy-handed bullshit and start acting in a more open and democratic manner.

You know, any competent internet user will use a VPN to get around this, I'm glad we can combat this totalitarian bullshit with social tools.

Neronium:

You forgot scare tactics, or is that being covered under misinformation? :3

Nah. I figure it fits better in the "blackmail" category.

Neverhoodian:
Eh, I already disliked Turkey's government for their refusal to acknowledge or apologize for the Armenian Genocide and their treatment of non-Muslims. This only strengthens my feelings on the matter.

If Turkey wants to be a part of the EU and the greater global community, then they need to stop their heavy-handed bullshit and start acting in a more open and democratic manner.

What are you talking about treat-ment of non muslims ? They are not iran or iraq or Saudi. And im not muslim and im treated just fine. You ever been to turkey ? that is not a tourist spot. Coz your wrong. The problem is this asshole wants to drag Turkey back into a total muslim state. Ataturk pretty much the father of modern turkey, changed everything and did away with all that Islam run state shit. Your every day normal Turk could not give much of a fuck if you're not muslim.

AstaresPanda:

Neverhoodian:
Eh, I already disliked Turkey's government for their refusal to acknowledge or apologize for the Armenian Genocide and their treatment of non-Muslims. This only strengthens my feelings on the matter.

If Turkey wants to be a part of the EU and the greater global community, then they need to stop their heavy-handed bullshit and start acting in a more open and democratic manner.

What are you talking about treat-ment of non muslims ? They are not iran or iraq or Saudi. And im not muslim and im treated just fine. You ever been to turkey ? that is not a tourist spot. Coz your wrong. The problem is this asshole wants to drag Turkey back into a total muslim state. Ataturk pretty much the father of modern turkey, changed everything and did away with all that Islam run state shit. Your every day normal Turk could not give much of a fuck if you're not muslim.

Pretty much. Turkey and Greece are both great places to visit thanks to all the historic sites as well as the friendly people. Can't really say that about Iran, Iraq... actually I think avoiding all the places directly south of Turkey would be a good plan, and potentially directly east of Turkey. Though my socks were made in Pakistan.

BlameTheWizards:
Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is," he said.

Really?

It makes it look like a frightened child sticking its fingers in its ears.

Well, I'm certainly divided on this. On the one hand, Twitter is one of those pointless things I never bother with, like Facebook, 4chan, and Walmart. But on the other hand, Turkey is being really shitty, shortsighted, and idiotic.

Can I have a 'Dis gunna be good' picture, please?

Erdogan I hate to tell you this but turkey is not the ottoman empire at the height of its power, it's a regional power with lots of potential, stop wasting that potential by turning turkey in a Islamic dictatorship.

He should know that no one is impressed by Turkey anymore, and should just stop embarrassing himself.

I don't think the Twitter ban is the big issue here, it's what the twitter ban signifies that is worrying. In the lead up to a very polarized election it could signal that Erdogan is willing to go as far as he sees fit to cling onto power. Islamist associated parties like the AK party have a history of being almost exclusively toxic to freedom of expression, democracy and have a history of sweeping abuses of power, destruction of women's rights and the censorship of dissenting voices.

BlameTheWizards:
I don't care at all. Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is,"

Does this guy actually think you can stop the internet? The only way they could stop it is if they disconnect all their international data and phone lines, they would have to disable the whole countries mobile data to.

Will he really bitch slap his own countries economy to do this? I doubt it, all those businesses that rely on it will soon get him out of government if he did. All his campaign "donations" (official ones and the under the table ones) and any chance of a cushy corporate job after he leaves government will all dry up, his opposition would soon be swimming in cash for some reason too...

You can stop the signal!

FalloutJack:
Can I have a 'Dis gunna be good' picture, please?

Power fears other power. This has been the concurrent story throughout human history. When governments assume too much power, people rise with their own to fight against them. Maybe it won't turn out so bad. Or maybe they'll bomb people using the Red Wings.

I think I've been playing way too many RPGs as of late...

Yes, do the exact same thing as the other nations who have had bloody coups and revolutions within the past decade. Obviously it's just a coincidence. Your power is totally pure and righteous, don't worry about the masses of people who now hate you, keep building yourself as important and that the Internet is some crusade against your power...uh, I mean, the freedom of your people. Yeah.

There's a pattern that's emerging, if people haven't noticed.

Jesus Christ it's like no one can put together the idea of "Maybe if we're horrible pieces of shit to our people, they won't like us anymore. And maybe if we try to violently suppress them, the other nations are gonna think we're assholes." Is this really such a hard concept to grasp?

"Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is."

...Well if anything gives me confidence in this guy's total dedication to democracy (and to not becoming a non-fiction version of a Bond villain), it would of course be that.

Turkey can't stop the signal.

Evil Smurf:
You know, any competent internet user will use a VPN to get around this, I'm glad we can combat this totalitarian bullshit with social tools.

Nah, you don't even need to do that. I'm pretty sure all you have to do is browse to the direct IP of the website.

Banning twitter and possibly also facebook and youtube surely won't make people angry. Oh bu-hu... someone either cut out certain pats of a recording or shows exactly how corrupt their leader actually is, but censoring people is not the way to win them over...

Evil dictator : "Ha! I will ban twitter so that nobody can speak badly about me... surely nobody can think for themselves"

Rational person: "Not to piss on your parade... but won't that give everyone the impression that you not only have a napoleon complex, but that you're also an evil dictator and a complete moron"

Evil dictator: "You dare criticise me!... I am the leader... the state and I are one... my will is final... MY LOGIC IS INFALLIBLE!... YOU WILL BOW BEFORE THE DALEKS... EXTERMINATE!... EXTERMINATE!!"

Scrumpmonkey:
I don't think the Twitter ban is the big issue here, it's what the twitter ban signifies that is worrying. In the lead up to a very polarized election it could signal that Erdogan is willing to go as far as he sees fit to cling onto power. Islamist associated parties like the AK party have a history of being almost exclusively toxic to freedom of expression, democracy and have a history of sweeping abuses of power, destruction of women's rights and the censorship of dissenting voices.

You forgot the cleptocracy... The amounts of money Erdogan and his cronies and family embezzled... I think that is the real reason behind the Twitter shutdown... They're trying (and failing) to do some damage control on all the news breaking and since most of the mainstream media isn't really independent he targets social media instead.

Well this can only end badly.

Here's hoping not too many people get hurt when the blindingly obvious happens.

Also:

"The international community can say this, can say that. I don't care at all. Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is,"

Is he trying to emulate Putin or something? Because I can think of a number of reasons why that is a bad idea.

The last quote, yeah, he went mad dictator route and are not either new North Korea or we are getting another Putin.

And as much as i hate Twatter i still see this as a bad thing.

direkiller:
also, has no government learned that no one under 30 is worried about a DNS block yet?

Could it be sabotaged intentionally by their IT department though? I mean stupid decision from people that dont know computers + people that know computers having to carry it out = i do the bare minimum and claim to them "hey i did edxactly what you asked me".

Undomesticated Equine:
I still do not understand how it is possible that nutjobs like Erdogan,Putin and similar morons can get elected.

Its called propaganda. We have access to local Russian channels here due to our geographical proximity. you wouldnt believe.....

J Tyran:

Does this guy actually think you can stop the internet? The only way they could stop it is if they disconnect all their international data and phone lines, they would have to disable the whole countries mobile data to.

Lybia tried that, people still got through via sattelite connection. and they surely couldnt shoot down the sattelites.

Strazdas:

direkiller:
also, has no government learned that no one under 30 is worried about a DNS block yet?

Could it be sabotaged intentionally by their IT department though? I mean stupid decision from people that dont know computers + people that know computers having to carry it out = i do the bare minimum and claim to them "hey i did edxactly what you asked me".

Strangely enough no. It's the only practical way for a government to shut off a website without hurting outer services.
It is just honorably bad at it, as long as there are people out there with unblocked public DNS servers(several owned by multi billion dollar companies)

The united states technically has another way(deleting the IP adress), but that shuts it off for everyone and comes with some diplomatic/political backlash if they were to do it to something like YouTube or Twitter.

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