March 22, 2014 11:17 am -

Turkey is defending its ban on Twitter claiming it prevents “character assassination.” What Turkey really didn’t like was that it was exposing government corruption.

“Twitter has been used as a means to carry out systematic character assassinations by circulating illegally acquired recordings, fake and fabricated records of wiretapping,” the prime minister’s office of public diplomacy said in a statement sent to AFP in English.

It added that the government was not against the Internet but what it said was “the free circulation of the illegally acquired recordings over Twitter and other social networking sites which aim at hampering national security and the reputation of the citizens.”

Turkey took the radical step of blocking access to Twitter on Thursday after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government is engulfed in a vast corruption scandal, defiantly vowed to “wipe out” the messaging service.

Erdogan, who has been in power since 2003, has also threatened to ban YouTube and Facebook following crucial local elections on March 30, which will be a test of the premier’s popularity.

The government said it took a “preventive measure” after the US-based social media giant refused to abide by “hundreds of court rulings” since last January on the removal of content deemed illegal.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.