Once again Twitter users in Turkey have reported their access is blocked to the social network. As per Venture Beat article Facebook appears to be blocked also. It is believed social media sites are blocked to suppress spread of images of violence in the country, as breakdown of ceasefire between Turkish forces and Kurdish rebel population continues to escalate after a suicide bombing this past July and another terror attack on peaceful rally attendees in Ankara on October 10th.
A horribly sad day in Turkey where over 80 people have been reported killed and over injured after a powerful blast during a peace rally. Turkish Media Watchdog RTÜK report that they is indeed an government imposed ban on broadcasting images of the blast. A statement by RTÜK released on its official website said that; “The Turkish Prime Minister has imposed a temporary broadcast ban regarding the terror attack conducted in Ankara this morning.”
It is believed the Turkish government would want to ban the popular social media tool because it is being used to sway opinions of the global audience. Is is problematic as Turkey has over 10 million Twitter Users and nearly 40 million Facebook users connecting on a daily basis and they need access to communicate with family and access the latest news. Blocks to access social media sites have been issued in the past in both Turkey and other countries experiencing political unrest.
2014 March Youtube and Twitter both blocked after an audio clip was shared online, apparently incriminating Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is now Turkey’s president, of corruption.
//Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not a fan of Twitter: “Now we have a menace that is called Twitter. The best example of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society. – Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – New York Times (2013)”//
2015 April Turkey blocked Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to stop the sharing of graphic images of prosecutor held hostage and a gun being held to his head were posted online. Once the images were removed from the social media sites, access to them was reinstated.
2015 September A temporary (?) ban on twitter ensues during political unrest between Turkish forces & Kurdish protesters. Social media blackout could return as tensions grow in the country. This past Tuesday (Sept. 8th), Turkey send in troops to Syria to look for rebel Kurdish Troops after a number of violent altercations with police ended with a death toll of 33.
2015 October 10 A horrible terrorist attack has shocked Turkey with over 80 people reported dead and many more injured during a Peace rally in the country capital Ankara. Hours after the attach Turkish government has launched news censor from the country and blocks to both Facebook and Twitter were reported soon after.
Blocking social media sites has become a symbol of political tensions in the country.
2016 March 5 An attack on free expression as one of the biggest newspapers was seized on presidential orders. The raids of Zaman newspaper offices in Istanbul and Ankara shook the nation that has undergone countless freedom of speech censorship initiatives in recent years. Change.org had started a petition to end Turkey’s crackdown on free press.
2016 March 14 Ankara court bans Facebook and Twitter in wake of photographs of an explosion appearing on social media channels.
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