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Erdogan Slams Court Rejection of Twitter Ban

  • VOA News

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaks during a news conference at Ataturk International airport in Istanbul, April 4, 2014.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaks during a news conference at Ataturk International airport in Istanbul, April 4, 2014.

Turkey's prime minister says he does not respect a Constitutional Court ruling that lifted a two-week old ban on Twitter, but will nonetheless comply with the decision.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments at a news conference Friday come a day after the U.S.-based social media service was reinstated in Turkey.

"We complied with the verdict because it is a Constitutional Court ruling. So we have given instructions to our friends and acted accordingly. But I don't respect it," said Erdogan.

Erdogan ordered the ban in the lead-up to key local elections, after Twitter was used to circulate audio files suggesting corruption by him, his close allies and family.

The country's top court on Wednesday ruled the ban violated free speech.

YouTube, however, remains blocked in Turkey. The government enforced that ban after the site circulated what is thought to be an audio recording of top Turkish officials discussing plans for possible military intervention in Syria's civil war.

The YouTube ban is also subject to ongoing legal challenges. Both bans have drawn international condemnation.

Erdogan has described the leaks as a "villainous" attempt to discredit him and his Justice and Development party ahead of the elections, which took place on Sunday. Erdogan claimed victory for his party in the elections, which were seen as a referendum on his rule.

On Friday, he warned that Turkey's "national and moral values" have been put aside, saying that "insults to a country's prime minister and ministers are all around."

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