Turkey’s Deputy PM Arınç tweets schedule despite Twitter ban
Turkish Deputy PM Arınç had in the past voiced his discomfort regarding PM Erdoğan’s remarks that would contradict his official press statements. DHA photoThe first government official to breach the Twitter ban is Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, who tweeted his schedule on March 21 hours after the website became inaccessible without VPN tunnels or other proxy services.
Arınç, who is not usually one of the most active ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members on Twitter, announced that he would be in his hometown of Manisa on March 21.
It was unclear whether Arınç’s gesture was a way to show his disagreement with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s salvo against the microblogging website, or a simple reminder to his followers that he was due to visit his hometown.
Also serving as the government’s spokesperson, Arınç has in the past voiced his discomfort regarding certain remarks of Erdoğan, perhaps most notably last year when he denied reports that the government was planning to close the test prep schools.
Erdoğan said March 20 that he would “wipe out Twitter” regardless of what the international community has to say, in order to “protect Turkish citizens from harm” and show “the strength of the Turkish Republic’s state.”
Ankara's controversial Mayor Melih Gökçek also tweeted, but was less apologetic about the ban. "I hope those who use fake accounts and slam everyone have taken a lesson," he wrote.