Category Archives: Rants

Obama BFF: Turkey PM threatens to ‘wipe out’ Twitter

“We will wipe out Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says,” premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an election rally in the western province of Bursa. (File photo: Reuters)

Turkey’s combative prime minister warned on Thursday that he would eradicate Twitter after a number of audio recordings anonymously posted on social media purportedly exposed corruption in his inner circle.

“We will wipe out Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says,” premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an election rally in the western province of Bursa.

“They will see the Turkish republic’s strength,” he added.

Early this month, Erdogan warned that his government could ban popular social media networks Youtube and Facebook after the crucial March 30 local election, triggering U.S. concern.

Erdogan, Turkey’s all-powerful leader since 2003, has been under mounting pressure after audio recordings allegedly show his involvement in corruption, and others portraying him interfering in business deals, court cases and media coverage.

He dismissed most of the recordings as “vile” fakes concocted by his rivals.

Erdogan’s government has been rocked by a vast corruption probe launched in December which saw dozens of people rounded up including the premier’s close business and political allies.

The Turkish strongman has accused associates of a former staunch ally — U.S.-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen — of being behind the graft probe that claimed the scalps of four ministers.

Gulen however has denied any involvement.

Turkey recently tightened government control of the Internet saying it wanted to defend privacy.

Erdogan’s critics said the new law was a further bid to hush up corruption allegations flooding social media and video sharing sites.

 

Obama BFF Erdogan threatens to ban Facebook, YouTube

Proposed Internet crackdown follows online publication of corruption allegations against Turkey’s PM

 

 

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey. (photo credit: AP Photo/File)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey. (photo credit: AP Photo/File)
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s prime minister has threatened drastic steps to censor the Internet, including shutting down Facebook and YouTube, where audio recordings of his alleged conversations suggesting corruption have been leaked in the past weeks, dealing him a major blow ahead of this month’s local elections.

In a late-night interview Thursday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a TV station that his government is determined to stem the leaks he insists are being instigated by followers of an influential US-based Muslim cleric. He has accused supporters of Fethullah Gulen of infiltrating police and the judiciary and of engaging in “espionage,” saying that the group even listened in on his encrypted telephone lines. The Gulen movement denies involvement.

“We are determined on the issue, regardless of what the world may say,” Erdogan said. “We won’t allow the people to be devoured by YouTube, Facebook or others. Whatever steps need to be taken we will take them without wavering.”

Asked if the steps could include shutting those sites down, Erdogan replied: “That included. Because these people or institutions are (using social media) for all kinds of immorality, all kinds of espionage and spying.”

Erdogan this week acknowledged some of the leaked recordings, including two where he is heard meddling in a court case against a media proprietor and in a tender for the construction of warships. He has rejected as “fabrication” five recordings purported to be of Erdogan instructing his son to dispose of large amounts of money on the day that prosecutors and police carried out raids on the homes of three former ministers’ sons as part of a corruption and bribery investigation.

Erdogan, claiming to be a victim of a Gulen-orchestrated plot, has taken a series of steps to stall the corruption investigation, including removing hundreds of police officers and prosecutors and expanding government controls over the judiciary and the Internet. The new Internet restrictions sparked violent protests in Istanbul.