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Turkey's President and officials comment on Twitter ban

21 March 2014 14:04 (Last updated 21 March 2014 18:25)
Turkey's President Abdullah Gul says ban on Twitter should be ended as soon as possible while others state that the courts imposed the ban not the politicians.
ANKARA 

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul said on his official Twitter account Friday that a permanent restriction on accessing social media websites is not acceptable. 

Gul wrote that he hopes that the blocking of access to Twitter within Turkey that began on Thursday night will end as soon as possible.  

However, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc on Friday in Manisa said that the restriction of Twitter is not ban or prohibition; it is only the implementation of a decision taken by the Turkish court, upon the application of persons.

During his local election campaign in Manisa, Arinc said some social media sites had a tendency to broadcast irresponsible things and that they try to abuse people’s private lives and identity. 

"Any court in any country would implement this kind of decision whenever it notices an attack against people's personal privacy rights," he added.   

Meanwhile, Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu defended the official telecommunications authority's decision.

"The Turkish government realized some malicious groups or social formations that wanted to derail Turkish democracy, and it took steps to protect the country's political stability," he said.

Earlier today, Lutfi Elvan, Minister for Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications had said that the courts, not politicians, made the decision. 

He said Turkey must protect its citizens' rights and that social media sites such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have to comply with Turkish laws.

“Twitter has to obey Turkish laws just like it has to obey other counties' laws such as the United States and England," said Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek during a televised address.

Veysel Eroglu, Minster of Forestry and Water Affairs, defended the ban by claiming Twitter had been used to publish false reports during local election campaigns.

englishnews@aa.com.tr

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