Updated by Jeffrey Van Camp on 4-03-2014: Twitter will soon return to Turkey. The Turkish government’s ban on Twitter was lifted on April 2 by the country’s Constitutional Court. According to Webrazzi, banning communication services like Twitter violates Turkey’s freedom of speech laws. There is a chance that the gov’t will not comply with the ruling. A lower court has already ruled that banning Twitter is against the law, but the TIB, or Telecommunications Authority, of Turkey decided to ignore it. YouTube is also banned at the moment.
Many tech-savvy Turkish citizens have found ways around the ban using relatively easy DNS (Domain Name Service) and VPN (Virtual Private Networks) techniques. In response, the gov’t began ordering Turkish Internet providers to pretend to imitate Google servers, and likely others. This is an attempt to intercept traffic and stop people from using the services.
Original Post by Trevor Mogg on 3-21-2014:
Twitter users in Turkey were blocked from the service Thursday night, just hours after the country’s prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, said he wanted to “eradicate” it.
The site drew Erdogan’s ire after a number of users in recent weeks posted content such as voice recordings and documents claiming to highlight alleged corruption among some of his close associates. The prime minister has described it as a smear campaign orchestrated by his political opponents.
Twitter users inside the country were blocked from the site from around midnight local time, though workarounds were soon appearing online, one of which came from Twitter itself (below) explaining how users can post tweets 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
In a statement Thursday, the Turkish government said that court orders demanding Twitter remove certain links had been ignored by the San Francisco-based company.
“If Twitter officials insist on not implementing court orders and rules of law….there will be no other option but to prevent access to Twitter to help satisfy our citizens’ grievances,” the statement said.
In a speech to thousands of supporters Thursday ahead of local elections at the end of the month, Prime Minister Erdogan was rather more frank about the situation, calling Twitter “a malice to society,” and saying he wanted to “eradicate” it.
“We will wipe out all of these,” Erdogan said. “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.”
Twitter said it is “looking into” the situation though is yet to make any official statement on the matter.
Earlier this month Turkey’s prime minister also threatened to ban Facebook and YouTube after similar content alleging wrongdoing was posted on the sites. The latter was banned in Turkey for three years from 2007 after videos appeared online that the government claimed insulted the Republic’s founding president.
The government has given no indication as to how long the Twitter block will last, though as time goes on it’s likely an increasing number of the 10 million users in the country will pick up on the workarounds, allowing them to continue posting tweets.
Article originally published on 3-21-2014.
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