“Turks Evade Premier’s Bid to Ban Twitter as Criticism Mounts”
The Washington Post, Mar. 22, 2014, p.A10
“An attempt by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ban Twitter backfired Friday, with millions of Turkish Twitter users — including the country’s president — finding ways to circumvent the restrictions to express outrage with the move. This latest manifestation of what many in Turkey regard as Erdogan’s growing authoritarianism came amid a mushrooming scandal over corruption within his administration that has mostly been spread by social media. With key municipal elections this month expected to provide an important test of his party’s chances of winning a third term in power next year, Erdogan appeared to be hoping to stifle further revelations ahead of the poll. … The initial reaction was one of disbelief that Erdogan had gone ahead with his threat to ban Twitter in a country hailed as a paradigm of democracy in the Muslim world. Turkey ranks among the top 10 Twitter nations, with more than 12 million users — among them Erdogan, who has 4.17 million followers and has tweeted 3,043 times. The dismay quickly gave way to scorn as tech-savvy Turks found ways to bypass the restriction. … Turkish President Abdullah Gul, an Erdogan ally who could emerge as the biggest beneficiary of his missteps, also defied the ban and tweeted his disapproval.”
Quickie analysis: Erdogan has been good for Turkey. But he now seems intent on ruining his legacy.