World

Turkey's Prime Minister Blocks Twitter But Users Fight Back

Within hours of the late night ban, #TwitterIsBlockedInTurkey and #DictatorErdogan were trending in the country.

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Twitter is investigating reports that the service was blocked in Turkey late Thursday after Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned at a rally that he will "eradicate Twitter" and had a court order to do so.

#ALERT | #Twitter has been blocked by the government in #Turkey now!

aysee@__aysee_

#ALERT | #Twitter has been blocked by the government in #Turkey now!

05:52 PM - 20 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"In the ongoing situation, Twitter has remained indifferent to remove certain links despite court orders favoring the citizens of the Turkish Republic," Erdogan's office said in a statement published by the Turkish website Sabah and translated by Al Monitor. "We came to [the] conclusion that in order to relieve our citizens, there is no way left beyond blocking Twitter, which disregards court orders, does not obey the rule of law."

At a daily press briefing on Thursday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: "As we have previously stated, we remain very concerned by any suggestion that social media sites could be shut down. Democracies are strengthened by the diversity of public voices.

"An independent and unfettered media is an essential element of democratic, open societies, and crucial to ensuring official transparency and accountability"

As the news spread, Twitter offered users a way to bypass the ban by tweeting via text message.

Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.

Policy@policy

Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.

03:30 PM - 20 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Twitter users in Turkey and abroad immediately shared information on how to bypass the ban via SMS and VPN. From inside Turkey, #TwitterIsBlockedInTurkey and #DictatorErdogan began to trend within hours.

#twitter blocked in #turkey tonight. folks are painting #google dns numbers onto the posters of the governing party.

Engin Onder@enginonder

#twitter blocked in #turkey tonight. folks are painting #google dns numbers onto the posters of the governing party.

09:25 PM - 20 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

In spite of 'block' there have been 272K tweets using #TwitterisblockedinTurkey in past 3hrs. 207K of those from Turkey itself.

Anne-Marie Tomchak@AMTomchak

In spite of 'block' there have been 272K tweets using #TwitterisblockedinTurkey in past 3hrs. 207K of those from Turkey itself.

08:47 PM - 20 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Erdogan — who is currently fighting corruption allegations and waves of anti-government protests — has made repeated threats against social media users. Memes mocking the embattled Erdogan and his latest media crackdown also circulated widely.

12 milyon kullanጜısı olan #Twitter'a erişim engellendi! Dünyada sadece 2 ülkede yasak! http://t.co/6xxOdU7eVs

Radikal@radikal

12 milyon kullanጜısı olan #Twitter'a erişim engellendi! Dünyada sadece 2 ülkede yasak! http://t.co/6xxOdU7eVs

07:28 PM - 20 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#TwitterBlockedinTurkey by#DictatorErdogan we won't give up you are such a loser!!!

Tugce Yazici@Tugcemrem

#TwitterBlockedinTurkey by#DictatorErdogan we won't give up you are such a loser!!!

10:22 PM - 20 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Twitter da Erdoᇺn’ı çizdi… http://t.co/OkrAkatqkp

Diken@DikenComTr

Twitter da Erdoᇺn’ı çizdi…
http://t.co/OkrAkatqkp

07:56 PM - 20 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#twitterblockedinturkey Turkey's lead troll

#occupytwitter #twitterblockedinturkey #VPN #turkeyblockedtwitter #TwiterımaDokunma

naber?@erinilkcanaslan

#occupytwitter #twitterblockedinturkey #VPN #turkeyblockedtwitter #TwiterımaDokunma

06:49 PM - 20 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

a list of apps on an average turkish phone. in case.

Engin Onder@enginonder

a list of apps on an average turkish phone. in case.

07:14 PM - 20 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

All these jokes/pics about death of Twitter in Turkey? I see them all from tweeps tweeting FROM Turkey.RT @DTJ_Online

Zeynep Tufekci@zeynep

All these jokes/pics about death of Twitter in Turkey? I see them all from tweeps tweeting FROM Turkey.RT @DTJ_Online

08:10 PM - 20 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"So?.. What's wrong? Everyone is still tweeting..."

Emre KIZILKAYA@ekizilkaya

"So?.. What's wrong? Everyone is still tweeting..."

09:03 PM - 20 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#occupytwitter #twitterblockedinturkey

Former BuzzFeed World Reporter, Current BuzzFeed News Contributor

Contact Miriam Berger at miriam.berger+done@buzzfeed.com.

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