Turkish prime minister threatens to shut down Twitter

New York, March 20, 2014–The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s threats today to close down Twitter. The threats come only days after he vowed to shut down Facebook and YouTube in Turkey. 

“We call on Prime Minister Erdoğan to stop his vitriol against social media in the country and focus on ensuring that all information platforms are free to function freely in advance of local elections,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “Turkish authorities must stop viewing the media as the enemy and embrace the role of a free press in a democratic society.”

The prime minister made the threat to ban Twitter today in the western city of Bursa at a campaign rally for elections scheduled for March 30. Referring to an unspecified court order, the premier said, “We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic,” the English-language Turkish daily Hürriyet Daily News reported.