The Stream

Turkey’s latest Twitter ban backfires

Government attempt to block site leads to top trending hashtag.

The hashtag #TwitterIsBlockedInTurkey shot to the top of Twitter’s worldwide trends on Monday after Turkish authorities banned the site.


The move comes after a court-ordered ban on the publication of images showing Turkish prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz being held hostage last week. Kiraz and his captors, who were linked to the outlawed Marxist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), were all killed in a failed rescue attempt.


During the standoff, the DHKP-C posted pictures online showing the prosecutor with a gun to his head. Internet service providers in Turkey were ordered to block access to any social media sites where users were circulating the images, which the government labelled “terrorist propaganda”.


Twitter users responded immediately by criticising the Turkish government, which had previously blocked the site in March 2014.