Turkey’s Prime Minster Tayyip Erdogan is threatening to ban Facebook and YouTube. The PM claims that his political opponents are using those networks to fabricate recording that allegedly expose corruption in his inner circle.
The country is set to hold key local elections in late March and supporters of free speech fear that social networking could be attacked ahead of those elections.
Erdogan, a head of the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party told Turkish television, “We will take the necessary steps in the strongest way … because these people… encourage every kind of immorality and espionage for their own ends.”
According to Ergodan, portions of his recorded telephone conversations were edited to give false and misleading information.
Turkey’s PM in a speech last week told supporters, “We will not let our people be ruined by Facebook and YouTube.”
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Turkey’s president Abdullah Gul, a co-founder of the AK Party, counteracted that claim, stating that removing the networks was “out of the question.”
Gul notes that steps have already been taken to remove materials that violate a persons personal privacy. “We are always proud of the reforms we have made regarding the broadening of freedoms,” he said.
Facebook currently supports 34 million people in Turkey, not bad for a country with an overall population of 77 million. Turkey is currently one of the top 15 countries for Facebook use.
You may recall that YouTube was put back online in Turkey in 2010. The social video sharing platform had previously been suspended for two years.