There are places in the world where social media is not allowed. Countries like China have banned “foreign” social media from the country, instead opting to create localized alternatives which have turned out to be just as popular amongst its citizens.
However in Turkey, no local alternative is offered. Instead a recent statement by the country’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan revealed his plans to eradicate Twitter from the country. Speaking in a rally in Bursa, Erdoğan was quoted as saying, “We will eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”
As it stands there are around 10 million Twitter users in Turkey. If you thought that the Prime Minister was merely blowing hot air, well you’d be mistaken because according to reports on Twitter, the ban was coming into effect and is slowly being rolled out across the country.
How he is managing to pull this off is due to a law that was recently passed by the Turkish Parliament. What the law goes is that it allows the country’s Telecommunication’s Board to shut down any website that they deem to be privacy violations. In fact a couple of weeks ago, Erdoğan threatened to shut down Facebook and YouTube (again).
Interestingly enough Twitter does not seem too bothered by the ban. In fact a tweet by Twitter’s Policy account has provided instructions to Turkish users on how they can continue to tweet which can be done via SMS. “Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.”
[Image Credit - Sampsonia Way]