Turkish PM Erdoğan says he will uproot ‘twitter and all that’

After stating that his ruling government may shut down Facebook and YouTube after the March 30 local elections, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan this time has openly stated he will ban social media website Twitter in Turkey.

Claiming an ongoing graft investigation is being orchestrated by foreign circles to topple his government, Erdoğan told a crowd at a party rally in Bursa province on Thursday that there are court verdicts on closing down Twitter in the country and his government would “root out Twitter and all that.”

‘The international community would say this or that, I can not care less. Everybody shall see the power of Turkish Republic’ he added.

Twitter, mwitter hepsinin kökünü kazıyacağız. Uluslararası camia şöyle der, böyle der hiç umurumda değil. Herkes Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin gücünü görecek.

Earlier this month Erdoğan had hinted his government may shut down Facebook and YouTube, a move that is likely to spark public backlash given the mounting social unrest and uneasiness over the government’s growing encroachment on people’s lives and media.

Erdoğan had raised the issue when talking about the country’s new controversial Internet law, which has drawn wide criticism and condemnation from critics at home and the EU, during a live televised interview jointly aired on A Haber and ATV earlier this month, saying the government would consider shutting down popular video sharing website YouTube and social media network Facebook.

This comes as the government introduced a number of legislations curbing Internet freedom, press freedom and subordinating the judiciary to the government through restructuring the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), the top legal body that regulates judicial affairs, including launching disciplinary inquiries into top judges, and appoints prosecutors and judges.


About yavuzbaydar

Yavuz Baydar has been an award-winning Turkish journalist, whose professional activity spans nearly four decades. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar wrote opinion columns, in Turkish, liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and news site Haberdar, and in English, daily Today's Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, until all had to cease publications due to growing political oppression. Currently, he writes regular chronicles for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, and opinion columns for the Arab Weekly, as well as analysis for Index on Censorship. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Svenska Dagbladet, and Al Jazeera English online. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his self-critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden between 1979-1991; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990's. Returning to Turkey in 1994, he worked as reporter and ediytor for various outlets in print, as well as hosting debate porogrammes in public and private TV channels. Baydar studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, had his journalism ediucatiob in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at University of Michigan in 2004. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for 'excellence in journalism', along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014. He won the Umbria Journalism Award in March 2014 and Caravella/Mare Nostrum Prize in 2015; both in Italy. Baydar completed an extensive research on self-censorship, corruption in media, and growing threats over journalism in Turkey as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
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