Turkey bans Twitter — and Twitter explodes
This was the last thing Erdogan said Thursday before the lights went out on Twitter near midnight. “We now have a court order,” declared Erdogan, who’s ensnared in a scandal inflamed by social media over recordings that purportedly reveal corruption in his administration. “We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”
There’s no arguing: it has been witnessed.
After Turkey’s Twitter was apparently disabled, the hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey went supernova, though Twitter is still accessible via the site’s SMS service, which allows Turks to text in a tweet.
From across the world last night, thousands of Twitter users dispatched outraged — and sometimes hilarious — updates and photos touching upon feelings of dismay, humor, resignation.
Erdogan’s showdown with Twitter has been long coming. In mid-2013, thousands of protests ripped across Turkey ostensibly in opposition to a proposed urban development of Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park. But many say that discontent was more rooted in the government’s shift away from secularism – Erdogan is Muslim — and its recent crackdown on freedom of press and expression.