Turkey PM backtracks on social media ban

Erdogan says he will continue to fight against lies on the internet but rules out ban on YouTube and Facebook.

Last updated: 11 Mar 2014 13:48
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Erdogan has faced stiff opposition over his controversial internet laws [AFP]

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has backtracked on a threat to shut down Facebook and YouTube in Turkey.

In comments published in the pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper on Tuesday, Erdogan said the government was determined to fight "fabricated and dubbed" recordings on the internet but acknowledged that a total shutdown of social media was "out of the question".

Erdogan, who is fighting allegations of corruption, had earlier said the government was considering steps to prevent secretly wiretapped recordings from being leaked on the internet, including shutting down Facebook and YouTube.

The prime minister and his ruling AK Party sparked controversy last week, when audio recordings were leaked in which he and his son allegedly discuss how to hide vast sums of money.

The government insists the corruption allegations and leaks are the work of the followers of influential US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who have infiltrated police and the judiciary.

Last month, parliament passed a law that increased government controls over the internet.


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