Thousands of Turkish citizens have invented other possible ways of airing their grievances to the whole world just a few hours after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his government had officially banned the use of Twitter in the country. Before the ban, Erdogan had issued a series of threats after he was implicated in a major corruption scandal that involved some members of his inner-circle, including his son. The recorded messages were leaked via popular social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, consequently attracting the wrath of the prime minister.
The secret files allegedly revealed Erdongan’s voice instructing his son to dispose large sums of money, gag the media, among other allegations. In response to the ban, Turkish citizens are now using SMS-based tweets to communicate to the world about the shocking scandal. A recent survey indicates that the number of texts being sent within Turkey had increased by a huge margin just a few hours after the ban was implemented.
However, it was discovered that the ban had been upheld by a simple DNS block which leaves a huge vacuum for Turkish citizens to access Twitter just like they used to. A DNS is a system responsible for routing the domain name that has been typed into the browser to the IP address of the site. According to experts, Google provides this system free of charge and it is accessible to all internet users.
Speaking at a campaign rally in Bursa, Erdogan said, “We have received a court order to eliminate Twitter. I do not care how the international community reacts, but everyone will have to witness the real power and potential of the Turkish Republic. They gave us no other choice than blocking it.” The latest decision to ban twitter has been met with sharp reactions from Germany, and other countries are also expected to air their views. Political analysts reveal that Erdogan’s actions could hurt his political career as more citizens refer to him as a dictator.
An official from the Turkish government who did not want to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter also revealed that YouTube and Facebook have not been banned just yet. He explained that Erdogan’s office will not hesitate to eliminate these and other social media sites if the situation gets out of hand.
However, in a bid to restore public confidence, Turkish President Abdullah Gul has criticized the decision by the prime minister to ban Twitter. The president joins thousands of Turkish citizens in the fight for their freedom of speech. He tweeted that it was not technically possible to completely block access to social media platforms used all over the world. He also explained that some specific pages could be blocked if they were found guilty of violating people’s privacy but this could not be done without a court order.
The San Francisco-based company was celebrating its eighth anniversary this year despite the recent Twitter ban by the Turkish government. Turkey joins the ranks of China and Egypt in the list of countries that had to shut down social media platforms to tame their citizens.
By Andrew Wandola