Turkey's Attack on Twitter

by shusbands on March 20, 2014 - 10:26pm

On CNN.com, I read an article by Ivan Watson and Gul Tuysuz titled “Turkish PM vows to 'eradicate' Twitter, users see service disruptions”.  The article stated that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a speech at a campaign rally about wiping out Twitter which is 10 days before election.  He stated at this speech that eradicating Twitter has nothing to do with freedom but the world will know their power once they get rid of twitter. Watson and Tuysuz stated that just hours after his speech, pursuant to the article, those users on Twitter starting seeing blackouts and could not access their accounts.  Twitters assisted the members with circumventing the blackout in order to get online.  Twitter was asked by the Turkish government to take some political information down from the website.  Even with a court order, Twitter stated they would not take it down.  Some social network sites have leaked embarrassing recordings of the Prime Minister Erdogan performing some illegal acts.  The article continues to state that is why the Prime Minister possibly wanted to take the websites down. 

The Turkish government along with the Prime Minster are stakeholders involved in the issue along with the citizens of Turkey.  The Prime Minister does not respect the freedom of speech as well as social media.  He should understand that he possible could not try to bully the citizens yet show a positive look on the situation.  Prime Minister could have utilized the social media websites to display that positive outlook on his campaign.  Instead he chooses to go the negative route which made the situation worse.  Now because of website and social media, every around the globe is aware of what type of politician he really is.  This was not the best move for him and his party especially with the election only 10 days away on March 30, 2014.

Ivan Watson and Gul Tuysuz. March 20, 2014. CNN.com. Turkish PM vows to 'eradicate' Twitter, users see service disruptions. Retrieved on March 20, 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/20/world/europe/turkey-twitter-blackout/index...


This is an interesting and informative news blog. I think it is foolish that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was trying to get rid of twitter to try and conceal illegal acts for the most part. Although I am not a fan of social media websites, I think it would taint someone’s reputation to try and take something down that so many people are obsessed with and use in their daily lives. Since I personally do not have any social media accounts, I would not mind this move if it occurred in the United States. I would not be affected, and think that they ruin people’s lives by creating excess drama. It really does show what kind of person the Turkish Prime minister is after an act like this. I think that your summary did a good job explaining what the effects of this action could result in. It is true that due to social media news can be almost instantaneous and can shape the public’s opinion of a topic. Perhaps you could further explain how he could have utilized the social media websites to put a positive look on the situation. Giving a potential example would help readers to clarify where you think the Prime Minister could have gone with this move to enhance his image. Could you also try to examine what the illegal acts were?

Hi jmord1,

The prime minister's illegal acts could have possibly trying to but some votes for the upcoming elections.


Well, it seems that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has a very interesting approach to winning people over to vote for him. Well, I must say I am not an avid user of the Twitter website, but I know that it is popular because you get to tell people what you are doing at that very moment, hoping that someone will care and show appreciation by commenting… or whatever happens on Twitter when one is Tweeting about their life.
This is an extreme approach on the Turkish Prime Minister because many people already despise him and he is not adding a nice effect to himself by stating that all will know his power and control when he comes into power on election day. My, what a cruel essence of this person, because obviously the Prime Minister is not happy in his life so he wants to ruin other people’s lives and use his “power” to control others. This is sad. Granted, I am not a fan of many popular social media networks, but this is haltingly inappropriate to just backlash against people and ruin their days and their ability to be able to express themselves through the many different mediums of speech. However, if this happened in American I would not be affected, as I would rather keep my private life, private. On the other hand, this would violate laws set in place in America on Freedom of Speech. I do not know how the government in Turkey is structured and how their laws are set in place and enforced, however, this is a precedent issue as this is utterly ridiculous because the Turkish Prime Minister just wants to abuse his “power.”

I agree with your response that the prime minister definitely abused his power by blaming social media for him getting caught in his alleged legal acts.

This is a very interesting blog. The way the Prime Minister of Turkey is taking an extreme approach towards the citizens. People deserve to have the right to freedom of speech and I feel that taking away social media takes away that right. I am a big user of social media and I honestly would be upset if this happened. I would feel that I wouldn't be able to see others points of views on controversial topics and such. The Turkish Prime Minister is abusing his power but taking this to an extreme and eliminating the freedom of speech. This is going to cause problems not only in Turkey but also with the people who are in charge of Twitter. They shouldn't have to get rid of their site because a Prime Minister wants it demolished for his election. It just doesn't make sense to me. Overall this is a very interesting blog.

Thanks for your insightful response rande2!

This is a great post concerning what people will do when negative information gets out about them. The prime minister in Turkey was doing inappropriate acts and people’s knowledge of these acts was spreading across the twitter universe. In an attempt to cover his feet he wanted to demolish twitter so people couldn’t find about about these acts. I find this article kind of humorous because a prime minister of a country shouldn’t be engaging in acts that will hurt his reputation. If he put as much time into his job as he does these acts, maybe the country would run smoother.

Great response tlise1, I too found the article humorous because I believe the prime minister's response to this twitter attack made him look worse in the citizens of Turkey's eyes. It did seems to back fire and make more users in Turkey want to go on Twitter.

It interesting to learn that the prime minister wants to do away with Twitter so that “the world can learn of their power.” And then all on a sudden there’s proof of him doing something illegal on other social media websites. Also to add on to the fact that he doesn’t believe in the freedom of speech and social media. I don’t think its just coincidence. I don’t think that with those comments he would gain supporters in Turkey, or international support. Instead of concerning himself about twitter, he should focus on more important issues.

I totally agree julianmoody3, the prime minister proved the Twitter followers leak about his alleged illegal acts to be more true than false. He should be focused on the countries issues and not what people on social media see.

It's upsetting that the Turkey Prime Minister only wants to get rid of this to cover up his mistakes. Social media can be used very positively for a country if they plan to use it that way. I hope the Prime Minister doesn't get re-elected because it could cause a big problem if he was to completly ban twitter for all of the country. I like how twitter responded to the situation too, proving that nothing should be hidden from the people of this world especially if the leader of your country is making poor decisions. Without social media people wouldn't have the power they do now to exploit the corrupt societies in the world. For instance, when the people of Iran were being killed by their own army and police for no reason people were able to capture the videos on their phone and post them to facebook. When different countries caught wind of the videos that is when Iran started to stop killing innocent people because it gave them a very negative look on their country. All in all, social media is a great thing to have and for the Turkish Prime Minister to ban it is absolutley unbelievable and I hope he is not re-elected.

Hi ashoe1,

We will indeed see how the Turkey vote turns out tomorrow , March 30 and did this latest stunt by the prime minister will effect tomorrow's vote. Your comment about Iran was surprising and insightful to me. I can see how videos on the phone can be effective proof and apparently in this case is saving more Iranian's lives.

I completely agree with this notion! Recently, Twitter has become one of my addictions. I made an account a couple of weeks ago, and I tweet just about everything, from the new shoes I bought to my take on the latest rumor in pop culture. Twitter and other social media websites are very influential. It is influential on our time, our thoughts, and our behaviors. Although there are bad sides to Twitter and other social media, there can also be a harmless side. I agree that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gone too far, wanting to take the website down because embarrassing footage of him performing illegal acts has leaked to the public via twitter. This is not Twitter’s fault, but his own. People always tend to blame others for their mistakes. An issue similar to this has played out in my neighborhood when our Vice President for our local park clean up organization had a secret affair with someone on the e-board. Members of the club were repeating details they heard and relaying messages to others about the scandal. Pretty soon, the entire organization knew about the affair. The Vice President immediately wanted to get a member fired, so he put the blame on the person he figured started it all. However, he failed to realize that it was his own fault as to why the rumors were spreading in the first place. Similar to Prime Minister Erdogan, the Vice President blamed someone or something specific for the reason behind the scandal. Both could have turned the negative press into something positive by owning up to their wrongs, and acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes.

I agree Raisa,
If Prime Minister Erdogan would have owned up to his alleged illegal act that was leaked on Twitter, people tend to forgive more easily if we own up to mistakes.

Social media has been spreading like a wild fire nowadays. I can't blame the Turkish Prime Minister for wanting to get rid of twitter, but he may not be doing it for the right reasons and that is what people are having trouble understanding. The prime minister made getting rid of Twitter part of his campaign ten days before election day. Perhaps this is a one last seriously rally attempt by the prime minister? It would make sense if that is the case because, if all else fails, go big or go home. Tayyip Erdogan is definitely trying to go big with his attempt at office. For myself, I am not a part of any social media and I think it is better that way. Social medias are good if you can handle their effects. I have seen so many people get enticed way too much into facebook and twitter that it becomes pathetic. Getting rid of twitter is Erdogan's hailmary pass for something to happen and I believe he cannot back up his words. We will see in time though, but I highly doubt with the world that we live in today, that he will win the election.

HI ngros3,

Thanks so much for your response. Yet, time will tell if the people will vote him in but unfortunately, it is my opinion that he is possibly so corrupt, he might stay the prime minister of Turkey.

Social Media is looked at negatively by many because of how it can be used against them but I believe just how it can be used against one, it just as equally can be used to work for and benefit one. I do believe that the Turkish Prime Minister negatively affected his campaign by bashing twitter because it had no possible results of a positive outcome. When he could have been using Twitter to promote his campaign. It was merely a stupid move to state that he wants to banish Twitter due to the fact that there are millions of people in this world that are active twitter users and almost everyone has the app on their phone. I know I do. It is a way to connect and unify this enormous world of ours. I believe the only reason for Recep Tayyip Erdogan wanting to banish twitter was because he was caught doing something he wasn’t supposed to and was exposed on Twitter. Now he just feels bitter and wants to get rid of it because he doesn’t want it to happen again. When the motive is driven by personal reasons instead of reasons to bring an up rise to a state, it will never uphold.

I agree with your response tcoop95, he could have used Twitter to gain positive feed back and instead he did make a silly more by trying to bully the Turkish's citizens as well as Twitter by blocking the website usage.

I find it ironic that Turkey’s Prime Minister wishes to terminate the social networking site of Twitter. Although social media can be misleading and has the potential to misconstrue messages and information between users, I think the Prime Minister’s purpose behind his requested termination of the site is wrong. If he wants to terminate Twitter for his own selfish gain with hopes to not be exposed then his intentions are in the wrong place. I agree that social media can be misleading and controlling; however, every individual has the right to speech and his or her own opinion. This is a very interesting topic for an article because Twitter is so prevalent in today’s society. I believe this topic is incredibly relatable to anyone who is reading it because almost everyone knows what Twitter is and how quickly information multiplies and spreads through it. I personally think that each person should be given a choice whether or not to have social media networks like Twitter. By wanting to eliminate something so popular in society, the Prime Minister is not progressing towards a good image from the people. It will be interesting to see what the people’s reaction will be towards the Prime Minister for wanting to get rid of such a popular piece of social networking.

Thanks for your response bstre3,

I agree that social media can be what you make it and word does spread like a wild fire especially when it is negative. Positive information barely makes it around as quick as negative information on social media. It will be interesting to see how the people vote tomorrow in Turkey.

Social media is a large part of society. It can be a good tool to express feelings and keep in touch with people, but the same reason it is intended for is what can be against the user. There are very revealing things on social media. By putting pictures and inappropriate messages on the internet, it can hinder a person from accomplishing goals. In Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s case, he had revealing information on the internet through Twitter. I can understand his feelings towards eradicating this information, but once something is on the internet it is near impossible to remove it. So ultimately, he is fighting a losing battle trying to remove the recordings just from Twitter. This was a good post. It was very interesting and different.

Thanks Zachary, I agree that this was not the best move for the prime minister to make especially so close the a pending election.