Twitter keen to open office in Turkey, but needs time and communication: Turkish watchdog
AFP PhotoTurkey’s communications watchdog has said social media giant Twitter is open to the idea of setting up a representative office in Turkey, adding that talks will resume next week.
The representatives of microblogging websites and Turkish Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) had their third round of talks in Istanbul on Aug. 25, in which they discussed several issues, including the establishing of a Twitter office in Turkey.
“Twitter representatives said the issue of the establishment of an office in Turkey is on their agenda, but it would take time,” the BTK said in a statement released late Aug. 26.
Twitter also said the progress in bilateral cooperation would encourage the establishment of the office, according to the BTK statement.
BTK Chairman Tayfun Acarer met with Sinead McSweeney, Twitter’s director of public policy of Europe, Middle East and Africa, about the prospect of the office. They discussed the implementation of court decisions, Turkish support lines, blurring practices and account verification. BTK officials insisted that despite improvements on many issues, most of the technical problems between the parties could be only solved through an office in Turkey, the statement added.
The BTK said Acarer will also hold a fourth meeting with Twitter’s Vice President and Global Public Policy Head Colin Crowell as part of the International Governance Forum to be held in Istanbul between Sept. 2-5.
In April, Crowell came to Ankara to hold talks with BTK officials after Turkey blocked access to Twitter.
Turkey blocked the social media platform on March 20, hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to “wipe out” the social media platform in a campaign speech.
Crowell sought to solve the dispute with the Turkish government, which had accused the San Francisco-based company of not removing content “violating laws or secrecy of private life.”
Senior Turkish officials also criticized the microblogging website for not paying taxes in the country, despite earning income there.
A number of ministers had called on Twitter to open a representative office in Turkey, but Twitter officials then rejected the call, saying they did not have such plans.
In May Twitter’s management also met with representatives from the Turkish regulator in Dublin.