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Last updated: March 21, 2014


Banner Icon Social media reactions on the Turkish Twitter ban.

During an election rally Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared, “We will wipe out Twitter. I don't care what the international community says.” Some hours later the micro-blogging site was blocked in the country causing outrage around the world. 

However, the plan seems to have backfired. According to online news site Zete.com, there have been almost 2.5 million tweets, 17 000 tweets per minute, from Turkey since the ban came into effect, which would indicate a new record for the already active 10 million Turkish Twitter users.

One of the tweeps defying the ban was President Abdullah Gul who even criticised the ban in a tweet, “The shutdown of an entire social platform is unacceptable.” Turkish leaders including Ankara mayor Melih Gökcek and deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç followed in his footsteps and continued using the powerful social media platform.

Many ridiculed the ban…

Norbert Ellias ‏@kibriskarabekir
@MohamedHemish even the president tweets, burasa turkiye, either Turks have a loose sense of the Law or they not care about PM orders

Louis Fishman ‏@Istanbultelaviv
Erdogan's attempt to ban twitter has turned to be one of his greatest miscalculations of his career. Instant failure. 

Jennifer Hattam ‏@TheTurkishLife
Let's tweet again like we did last summer... #TwitterisblockedinTurkey

Transparency Int'l ‏@anticorruption 
Three times as many @twitter users in #Turkey today than in 2012, keep the #Turkish voice alive @TransparencyTR #TwitterisblockedinTurkey

Mohamed Hemish ‏@MohamedHemish  
#Turkey State run agency is tweeting. Isn't that technically against the law? I mean it is THE STATE that banned twitter. I am confused

Esin Efe ‏@esinefe
Social media shouldn't be afraid of the government. Governments should be afraid of social media. #VforVendetta #TwitterisblockedinTurkey


...others raised their concern…

Neelie Kroes ‏@NeelieKroesEU  
Repeating my message: the Twitter ban in #Turkey is groundless, pointless, cowardly. Freedom to speak is fundamental #TurkeyBlockedTwitter

ilhan tanir ‏@WashingtonPoint 
Twitter block in Turkey is an unwarranted & unacceptable attack on freedom of expression #TwitterisblockedinTurkey by @aforgutu @AmnestyNow 

Bulent Kenes ‏@bkenes
European Union 'gravely concerned' over Twitter ban in Turkey http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?newsId=342679 … via @todayszamancom #TwitterisblockedinTurkey 

Sherif Elsayed-Ali ‏@sherifea
Pre-election Twitter shutdown brings internet freedom to a new low | Amnesty International http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/turkey-pre-election-twitter-shutdown-brings-internet-freedom-new-low-2014-03-21 … #TwitterisblockedinTurkey

...there were also tip on how to get around it… 

The Big Pharaoh ‏@TheBigPharaoh
WOW. @mattcutts, head of webspam at Google in Bay Area, CA, is advising Turks on how to go around #TwitterisBlockedinTurkey 

The Guardian ‏@guardian
How to get around Turkey's Twitter ban http://gu.com/p/3nmxy/tw  #twitterisblockedinturkey

Christine Petré
Christine Petré is an editor at Your Middle East. You can follow her work at www.christinepetre.com.
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