Turkey Bans Twitter, Blames Porn

Mar 24, 2014 4:45 PM PST

ANKARA — Turkey banned Twitter wholesale last week — to much global criticism and hullabaloo. Now a senior member of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has provided an explanation to flabbergasted critics: the government had to restrict access to the site due to it citizens’ sensitivity to porn, insults and swearing.

“This is the most important issue for us. There are insults, swearing and porn about Turkish citizens on Twitter,” Burhan Kuzu told Al Jazeera. “Or some European countries can handle some content as a society while Turkey cannot. There is content where photos of women are used in porn through Twitter. Turkish society cannot handle that. It is a matter of perception.”

Opponents of the ban don’t buy it, instead arguing that the government retaliated after Turkish Twitter users began tweeting links to officials, including Prime Minister Recap Tayyip Erdogan, engaging in corrupt activities.

Last month Turkey passed a law that allows the government to block access to web pages without a court order, making the recent ban perfectly legal — by the government’s account.

Turkey’s recent Twitter ban represents only the latest installment of mounting government mandated censorship.


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