Turkey’s president has ruled out a ban on Facebook and YouTube in the country calling it “out of the question.”
President Abdullah Gul was responding to a threat by Prime Minister Erdogan on Thursday to shut down the sites after local elections this month.
Erdogan made his comments after audio recordings were posted on the sites allegedly showing him involved in corruption.
The latest supposedly has the prime minister berating a newspaper owner on the phone about an article and telling him to sack the journalist.
Erdogan said the recordings were fabricated by his political enemies and were fragments of different conversations fitted together to give a false impression.
“Myself and some of my friends – not all of them – We are determined on this subject. We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook, “ Prime Minister Erdogan told Turkish broadcaster ATV.
Turkey’s president said authorities could only block access to the sites if a “person’s privacy is violated. “
The prime minister’s threat however is not an empty one. Turkey banned YouTube for more than two years until 2010 after users posted videos the government said were insulting to the republic’s founder, Ataturk.