Turkish President Abdullah Gul
has taken to Twitter to protest a blanket ban on the social media site. He said such a move was unacceptable.
Turkey’s courts blocked access to Twitter after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to “wipe out” the service. He is on the campaign trail ahead of local elections later this month.
Erdogan is battling a corruption scandal fed by social media – which are awash with allegations of government wrongdoing.
“It’s true that we’ve learnt many facts through social media. Not being able to report in this way is censorship. We can get rid of this censorship with the help of these sites,” said Dr. Mehmet Sagnak, from Bahcesehir University.
“That’s why we have this reaction from some circles against social media.”
One man in Istanbul described the Twitter ban as “weird.”
“It’s history repeating itself. In the past, the printing press was banned in this land,” he added.
“But now it’s not possible. The internet cannot be banned in any way. Even if it is banned, there are many other ways of logging in.”
A woman added her criticism: “The ban is wrong. We have our freedom. No one can take this from us. I think it’s rubbish.”
Speaking from Istanbul, euronews correspondent Bora Bayraktar said: “Shortly after the Twitter restriction, the ban was breached and its lost its meaning. But the decision to block access has given rise to concerns about freedom of speech in Turkey.”