Cats make a comeback in Turkish politics with gov't statement
Deputy Prime Minister and Government Spokesman Bülent Arınç complained about Turkey's Constitutional Court's April 2 ruling to lift the widely-criticized Twitter ban, using eyebrow-raising examples to justify the government’s position at an April 7 press conference.
“Some say that anything can be done in the virtual world. Such freedom does not exist even in the animal world. [Without legal restrictions] anyone would be able to slaughter his cat or spread through the Internet how he had a sexual relationship with an animal. The Constitution gives us certain duties that we must fulfill,” Arınç said, following a Cabinet meeting in Ankara.
He added that "the individual should be protected" while defending freedoms.
The veteran politician acknowledged that the government had to abide by the court ruling, but claimed that the ruling "did not serve to protect the rights of Turkish people," instead serving "the interests of the San Francisco-based company."
"Twitter has not abided by 23 separate court rulings in Turkey, but the Constitutional Court ruling will be a trump card for it," Arınç said.
Last week, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız had sought to explain power blackouts during the crucial vote-counting process after the March 30 local elections by saying that "a cat entered a power distribution unit."
Social media in Turkey responded by pushing the #kedilobisi (The Cat Lobby) hashtag to the top of Twitter's worldwide trending topics list, with ironic memes being shared by thousands.
The Warriors for Nature Association later sued Yıldız on charges of “misconduct,” accusing the Turkish government of “causing the death of animals” by not implementing sufficient security measures along power distribution lines.