An innovative way to discover the story of Palestine
Reporting on xenophobia in South Africa
22 Mar 2014 13:14 GMT | Politics, Europe, Turkey
Turkish and global social media users have mocked moves by Turkey's government to restrict access to Twitter.
The hashtags #TwitterisblockedinTurkey and #Turkey blockedTwitter became the top trending topics globally on Friday, just hours after the Turkish government imposed the ban.
The number of tweets from Turkey reportedly rose by 138 percent as savvy Internet users, including the country's president Abdullah Gul, found it easy to circumvent the shutdown.
"The whole world is laughing at you #ErdoganBlockedTwitter," users tweeted, as dozens of images mocking the ban - including one showing Twitter birds covering Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's head in droppings - were shared on the platform.
Another popular tweet shared a poster of the prime minister on a Barack Obama campaign poster with the message, "Yes, we ban".
Erdogan on Thursday night promised to "root out" and wipe out" the social media platform after users published claims of corruption against him.
Leaked recordings shared and linked on Twitter include one in which Erdogan allegedly instructs his son to dispose of large amounts of cash from a residence amid a police corruption probe.
Erdogan insists the recordings are fabricated "vile fakes" and part of a plot to discredit the government ahead of the March 30 election.
On Friday, Twitter users were forwarded a statement by twitter.com from Turkey's telecoms regulator, TIB, which cited court orders for the site's apparent closure.
Twitter also posted a message instructing Turkish users on how to continue using the service via SMS text message.
Many of the country's estimated 12 million Twitter users shared instructions on other workarounds for the ban, including the use of a virtual private network, or VPN, that hides the origin of tweets.
The ban was denounced as censorship throughout Turkey, including by President Gul, who tweeted that "the shutdown of an entire social platform is unacceptable".
"Besides, as I have said many times before it is technically impossible to close down communication technologies like Twitter entirely," Gul tweeted to his four million-plus followers.
The mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, became the first member of Erdogan's own Justice and Development party to breach the ban. "I am able to tweet because my DNS settings allow it," he tweeted.
In response to the shutdown, Turkey's main opposition party, Republican People's Party, announced it would file a legal challenge to the court order.
The closure was also criticised globally, with the vice-president of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, tweeting that the ban was "groundless, pointless, cowardly".
"Turkish people and intl community will see this as censorship. It is," Kroes said.
Source: Al Jazeera
Is the move by Turkey's regulator to block the social media site an isolated move or the start of greater restrictions?
Court-ordered restrictions come hours after PM threatened a ban over publication of corruption claims against him.
Content on this website is for general information purposes only. Your comments
are provided by your own free will and you take sole responsibility for any direct
or indirect liability. You hereby provide us with an irrevocable, unlimited, and
global license for no consideration to use, reuse, delete or publish comments, in
accordance with Community Rules & Guidelines and Terms and Conditions.
Former SNP leader is pressing his case for a sovereign Scotland in the beating heart of Britain - London Westminster.
Politics, Europe, United Kingdom
Despite no new Ebola cases in the West Africa country, the effects of the outbreak will linger for years to come.
Ebola, Healthcare, Sierra Leone
Undocumented migrants from Bangladesh are crossing the 4,100km long border to build better lives.
Migrants, Bangladesh, India
Ahead of World Malaria Day, doctors urge governments to find solutions to prevent infection and death.
Health, Africa, Congo
Rescuers dig through rubble as aid efforts kick in, a day after magnitude 7.8 earthquake devastated Himalayan nation.
Airstrikes continue across country despite Saudi claim that focus would be shifted to diplomacy and humanitarian issues.
War & Conflict, Middle East, Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia
Kite-balloons and spectrometers - how community activists use DIY technology to investigate environmental polluters.
Environment, Science & Technology, US & Canada
The story of a young Chinese woman who sells her time online to earn money by helping strangers with their errands.
Business & Economy, Human Rights, China
Fault Lines investigates how the US helped create the world's newest nation, and then watched it spiral into civil war.
War & Conflict, Politics, South Sudan
An examination of the deep wound that remains at the heart of Turkish-Armenian relations.
War & Conflict, Politics, US & Canada