Twitter is looking into reports that its service has been blocked in Turkey after users of the social media site reported outages on Friday, hours after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan threatened to shut down access to the site.
Erdogan is running for reelection and has been battling a corruption scandal. Two weeks ago he hinted at banning Facebook and You Tube after recordings claiming to reveal shady dealings in his inner circle appeared online. The prime minister has denied claims of corruption.
“Can you imagine there are international conspiracies. Twitter, schmitter!” he said, addressing crowds of enthusiastic AK party supporters. “We have a court order now. We will wipe out all of these. The international community can say what they like. I don’t care. Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is,” Erdogan added.
The Twitter disruption has sparked a virtual uproar.
Many are comparing Turkey to Iran and North Korea, where social media platforms are tightly controlled.