BURSA (Hurriyet Daily News)—Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to close down Twitter, two weeks after saying he would shut down Facebook and YouTube “if necessary.”
“We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic,” Erdogan said at his campaign rally in the western city of Bursa on March 20, 10 days before the upcoming local elections.
On Feb. 25, Erdogan had accused a “robot lobby” of targeting the government through Twitter messages, while strongly denying the authenticity of new phone recordings leaked onto the Internet and implicating his government in corruption allegations.
During the Gezi Park protests last June, Erdogan described the social media site as “trouble,” claiming that “unmitigated lies are there [on Twitter].”
On March 6, Turkey’s premier had also threatened to shut down Facebook and YouTube “if necessary,” via a controversial recently passed law.
Meanwhile, Twitter has recently started to remove fake accounts created in Turkey with allegedly “manipulative” political motives. Twitter has become an increasingly bitter battleground between pro- and anti-government forces in Turkey in recent months.