Turkish Foreign Ministry declares itself ‘global leader’ in Twitter followers
The declaration comes months after Turkey banned TwitterThe Turkish Foreign Ministry has declared itself as “global leader” based on the number of its official Twitter account’s followers, although its U.S. counterpart has actually more followers.
“The number of followers of our Turkish-language Twitter account exceeded 621,000 on Oct. 23,” the Foreign Ministry said in a booklet prepared for members of a parliamentary commission on Nov. 25.
In the booklet, titled “Our Foreign Ministry as 2015 Approaches,” the ministry noted that its U.S. counterpart "has only 335,000 followers on its Twitter account," while the U.K. Foreign Office has 261,000 followers, the French Foreign Ministry has 380,000 followers, and the Russian Foreign Ministry has 399,000 followers.
In reality, the U.S. Department of State has over 1.1 million followers as of Nov. 2014.
The ministry’s boast comes just months after Turkish authorities blocked access to Twitter on the eve of the local elections in March, hours after then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to “eradicate” the social media platform. Damaging allegations of corruption, based on leaked wiretap recordings, had appeared on Twitter in the months before the elections, and were cited as possible reasons for the government’s block.
The Constitutional Court later ordered the authorities to unblock Twitter in April, saying the ban violated the rights of the users who had appealed the decision.