The federal government of Turkey has banned Twitter in the country for being biased and was used for “systematic character assassinations” of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
The Turkish authorities blocked Twitter late on Thursday, hours after Erdogan vowed to “wipe out” the social media service during the campaigning period for local elections on March 30.
Erdogan’s office said in a statement the ban on Twitter had come in response to the company’s “defiance” in failing to comply with hundreds of court rulings since last January.
“Twitter has been used as a means to carry out systematic character assassinations by circulating illegally acquired recordings, fake and fabricated records of wiretapping,” the prime minister’s office said.
In recent weeks, audio recordings have been released via Twitter on an almost daily basis purporting to be telephone conversations involving Erdogan, senior government members and businessmen that reveal alleged corruption.
“It is difficult to comprehend Twitter’s indifference and its biased and prejudiced stance. We believe that this attitude is damaging to the brand image of the company in question and creates an unfair and inaccurate impression of our country,” the statement from Erdogan’s office said.