News / Middle East

Many in Turkey Defy Government Ban on Twitter

FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks to the media in Istanbul.
FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks to the media in Istanbul.
VOA News
Many Turkish users of the social media network Twitter appear to have succeeded in defying a government ban on the site.

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul was among those who circumvented the order, tweeting his disapproval of the ban on Friday.

Turkey's main opposition party filed a legal challenge Friday against the court decision to block the online social networking and microblogging service.  A top official with the Republican People's Party, Levent Gok called the ban "unjust," saying all civilized countries have been criticizing Turkey about the move.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan instituted the ban late Thursday, as the government battles a corruption scandal just days ahead of local elections.  He said he would take action regardless of what the international community says.

Turkish officials say access will be restored to the country's some 10 million Twitter users once the site removes "illegal content."

The ban drew international condemnation.  European Commission Vice President Neelie Kores criticized it as "groundless, pointless, cowardly."  The U.S. State Department said it is "very concerned" about the move.  Human Rights Watch said the ban is very worrying.  

Erdogan has come under increasing pressure since audio recordings spread across social media appeared to put him in the center of the corruption scandal.

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