“Twitter, mwitter!” Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cried on Thursday.
Rough translation: Twitter, schmitter!
This was the last thing Erdogan said Thursday before the lights went out on Twitter near midnight. “We now have a court order,” declared Erdogan, who’s ensnared in a scandal inflamed by social media over recordings that purportedly reveal corruption in his administration. “We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”
There’s no arguing: it has been witnessed.
After Turkey’s Twitter was apparently disabled, the hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey went supernova, though Twitter is still accessible via the site’s SMS service, which allows Turks to text in a tweet.
President Abdullah Gul, a political ally of Erdogan’s, was among those who circumvented the order, which he contested in a series of tweets. “I hope this implementation won’t last long,” he wrote. Many — although not all — users trying to access the network early on Friday instead saw a notice from Turkey’s telecommunications authority, citing four court orders.
From across the world last night, thousands of Twitter users dispatched outraged — and sometimes hilarious — updates and photos touching upon feelings of dismay, humor, resignation.
But not everybody is abiding by the ban. Like Turkey’s president. Via the BBC:
President Abdullah Gul has challenged a ban on Twitter in Turkey after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to “wipe out” the micro-blogging service.
Twitter users across the country reported that the site had been blocked on Thursday.
But like many others, President Gul evaded the ban to tweet that the “shutdown was unacceptable.”
Mr Erdogan is angry that people used Twitter to spread allegations of corruption in his inner circle.