Twitter could be blocked in Turkey if required, says former minister
ISTANBULA deputy from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the former transportation minister said on Oct. 15 that Twitter could be blocked if required over the social media giant’s hampering to share user information of accounts allegedly linked to the Oct. 10 Ankara bombings.
AKP Antalya deputy Lütfi Elvan said Twitter did not share the information of users who tweeted about the Oct. 10 Ankara bombings, which left at least 99 dead and wounded hundreds, beforehand on Twitter due to the right of privacy.
“A terror incident happens and you are trying to investigate who was behind this terror. And you already have the court ruling. If Twitter responds this way, we [will] do what is required which is our duty to take all kinds of precautions,” said Elvan, speaking in an interview with TGRT Haber news channel.
Elvan also added that such counter-terrorism precautions may include the blocking of the social media site.
“If the fight against terrorism required [the blocking of Twitter], we will do that. But it is unacceptable that Twitter steps in such tendency to protect the terror organization. In such a case, what is required will be done and Twitter could be blocked if required. If they bent on the fight against terrorism, they have to help us in this subject,” he said.
Turkey has a history of blocking access to Twitter several times over the past two years.
The first block came in March 2014, when the Turkish government banned Twitter, closed almost all of its online backdoors and even blocked access to t.co, the link shortening service of the popular social media platform, along with banning YouTube.
On April 6, Turkey blocked access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube over their initial refusal to remove photos of a prosecutor who was taken hostage by militants in Istanbul, but the ban was revoked when all three social media platforms complied with a court order after several hours.
On July 22, a Turkish court blocked Twitter for more than two hours after ordering a publication ban on photos and videos of the deadly Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) bombing in southeastern Turkey that killed 34 members of a socialist youth group that were bringing toys to children in Kobane in Syria.
In 2014, Turkey became the third country in the world to ban access to Twitter, tarnishing the country’s international reputation, according to the tech giant.