Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accused by rioting Turkish activists of not respecting democratic principles, is saying that he does not respect a Constitutional Court ruling in his country that lifted a two-week old ban on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). Erdogan, the subject of a corruption scandal that was exposed on social media, has nonetheless said he will comply with the court ruling.
Ban on YouTube persists
Erdogan’s statements in a news conference Friday came as Turkey’s top court ruled the government ban on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) violated free speech. YouTube, however, continues to remain blocked in the nation, half of which is on the European content and the other half in Asia – a geographic divide that also reporesents a political divide. Erdogan’s fundamentalist supporters tend to reside in the eastern Asian region while the more liberal supporters tend to reside west of the Straight of Bosphorus that divides the country.
Audio discloses discussion of Syrian intervention
YouTube blocking comes after the web site circulated what was believed to be an audio recording of top Turkish officials discussing possible plans for military intervention in Syria. Both bans have drawn international condemnation, which seems not to impact Erdogan.
“We complied with the verdict because it is a Constitutional Court ruling. So we have given instructions to our friends and acted accordingly. But I don’t respect it,” Erdogan said in the press conference. He also warned that Turkey’s “national and moral values” have been trampled, and that that “insults to a country’s prime minister and ministers are all around.”
Erdogan had faced an election on Sunday, which was seen as a referendum on his rule. He and his “Justice and Development party had claimed victory. Erdogan had described the leaks as a “villainous” plan to discredit him and his party ahead of the elections.
As previously reported in ValueWalk, Erdogan had engaged in a high level battle against Twitter. In June last year, Prime Minister Erdogan said Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is a trouble maker. According to him, “unmitigated lies” are posted and disseminated through the popular microblogging site. He added that false tweets misinform people. He said, “The thing that is called social media is a troublemaker in societies today.”
Last month, the prime minister also alleged that a “robot lobby” used Twitter messages to harm the progress of Turkey and damage the ruling Justice Development Party (AKP). He also questioned the authenticity of the new telephone recordings that were leaked in the internet.