News / Middle East

Turkey's Twitter Ban Backfires as Millions Find Workarounds

A photo posted on Twitter apparently shows a Google DNS server spray painted into a building in Turkey. (Via <a href="">Twitter</a>)
A photo posted on Twitter apparently shows a Google DNS server spray painted into a building in Turkey. (Via <a href="">Twitter</a>)

Related Articles

Widespread Twitter Outages in Turkey After PM Threatens Ban

Turkish prime minister says he does not care about the international response after his latest outburst in an increasingly bitter election campaign

Many in Turkey Defy Government Ban on Twitter

Many Turkish users appear to have succeeded in defying a government ban

Video Ukraine's Social Media Revolution Years in the Making

One of the key players, activist-journalist Mustafa Nayyem says their revolution is far from over
The Turkish government’s attempt to block Twitter has largely backfired, analysts and social media watchers say.

Not even a day after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the social media service would be “eradicated” from the country, Turks were still actively tweeting by the millions through a variety of workarounds.

A Turkish website,, said 2.5 million tweets had been posted since the ban, reportedly setting traffic records in Turkey.

Twitter has a reported 10 million users in Turkey, and the popularity of the site has grown “rapidly during last summer’s Gezi Park protests with people using it to share views and receive information not reflected in the mainstream media with close business links to the authorities,” according to Amnesty International.

The hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey was trending globally as free-speech supporters around the world voiced their concerns.

According to Doug Madory, an analyst with Renesys, an Internet intelligence company based in Manchester, New Hampshire, a Turkish activist contacted the firm requesting data on the blockage.

Renesys said there was Domain Name Service (DNS) poisoning “from some (not all) DNS servers in Turkey."  DNS is a service that translates domain names into IP addresses.

DNS poisoning is used to block users from certain addresses. In essence it scrambles the numbers during the process of converting a website name into IP numbers, sending people to the wrong website.

Renesys said international DNS servers such as Google ( did not seem to be impacted.

“This should be easily circumvented by Turkish users,” Renesys said.

The Google DNS address was reportedly spray painted on a building in Turkey.

Another method to circumvent the blockage has been to use Twitter’s SMS – mobile phone messaging - service.

Turks can also get around the blockage using a virtual private network or using Tor, a service which hides your location and browsing habits.

The Turkish telecommunications authority said access would be restored when Twitter removes "illegal content," referring to audio recordings that spread across social media which appeared to put Erdogan in the center of a corruption scandal.

European Union Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said Friday that being free to communicate and freely choosing the means of communication is a "fundamental EU value."

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kores criticized the Twitter ban as "groundless, pointless, cowardly."

“The decision to block Twitter is an unprecedented attack on internet freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s researcher on Turkey in a statement.

“The draconian measure, brought under Turkey’s restrictive internet law, shows the lengths the government is prepared to go to prevent anti-government criticism.” Kores said.

The White House is urging Turkey to restore access to Twitter.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that the U.S. has conveyed its "serious concern'' to the Turkish government.

The U.S. State Department also slammed the ban.

"An independent and unfettered media is an essential element of democratic, open societies, and crucial to ensuring official transparency and accountability,” a State Department statement said. “Democracies are strengthened by the diversity of public voices.”

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: baber from: brampton
March 21, 2014 8:59 PM
Huh social media is fitna.see same thing happening every wher and every nation is not. In peace now .o muslims remember the teachings of PROPHET PBUH ...your rizk is given by God .dont beg other than Allah. Respect ur rulers or wait till the time of elections .even if u have a bsd ruler should hold islam and dont do killing.see what happen in iraq sham.egypt no threre is civil war.please be patience dont beleave on vedios .one eye media.beleave Quran .make ur emaan. Stronger.turn to fear

by: Ariely Shein from: Jerusalem
March 21, 2014 2:52 PM
yi şanslar türkiye

Erdugan is using the democratic system to change Turkey into an Islamist state-
1: Erdugan declaration:
*" democracy is like a train. You take it where you have to go, and then you get off"
Remember; Islamist states are anti democracy&gt;
Example: Islamist Iran constitution
2:Turkey in international index reports:
*The democracy index shows:
in 2002 Turkey scored 7 points out of 7,making it a “limited democratic regime”.
In 2012 and 2013, Turkey dropped to only 3 points.
*The press freedoms index:
In 2002 Turkey was 99th out of 139 countries&gt;
By 2013 Turkey had fallen to 154th place out of 179 countries.
3:In January 2014-Turkish counter-terrorism police have raided the offices of IHH, in an operation against suspected links to al-Qaeda.
* Erdugan supports and is supported the Turkish IHH organization which supports
international terror.
*Danish Institute for international Studies:
IHH is connected to Al Qaeda.In IHH offices Explosives,terror instruction
manuals, weapons and Improvised explosive documents have been founded.
*French intelligence report:
IHH transfers firearms and money to Islamist terrorists to shelter apartments
in various EU countries.
IHH produce false documents which facilitated travel by Islamist terrorists.
*IHH was connected to the Islamist terror attack attempt at Los Angeles
*IHH has sent several convoys to Islamist terrorists in Iraq Fallujiah
4: Erdugan said that Hamas, Hisbullah terror organizations are his sister parties and he supports those terrorists&gt;
*” we consider the assassination of Bin Laden an Arab holy warrior" –said by Hamas leader
*Hamas charter:"The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims kill the Jews

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs