World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that it was unacceptable to impose complete bans on social media platforms such as Twitter.
Turkey's courts blocked access to Twitter following complaints on privacy from many, including PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a defiant stand, Erdogan said he did not care what the international community had to say about it.
Gul took to Twitter himself to say complete bans on social media platforms were unacceptable and to voice his hope that the block would be short-lived.
Turkey's main opposition party said it would challenge the ban and file a criminal complaint against Erdogan on the grounds of violating personal freedoms. The country's bar association filed a separate court challenge.
"One cannot approve of the complete closure of social media platforms," Gul tweeted. He said only individual Internet pages should be blocked if there is a court order on the grounds that a person's privacy is being violated.
Telecoms watchdog BTK said the social media platform had been blocked by the courts after complaints were made by citizens that it was breaching privacy. It said Twitter had ignored previous requests to remove content.
"Because there was no other choice, access to Twitter was blocked in line with court decisions to avoid the possible future victimization of citizens," it said.
Twitter users in Turkey began reporting widespread outages in direct connections overnight. Some users trying to open the Twitter.com website were taken to a statement apparently from another regulator citing four court orders as the basis for the ban.
European Union Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said he was "gravely concerned" by the move.
"Being free to communicate and freely choose the means to do it is (a)fundamental EU value," Fuele wrote on his Twitter account.
Turkey's financial markets were also unsettled, with the lira weakening to 2.24 against the dollar, shares falling 0.7 percent and the benchmark 10-year bond rising to 11.24 percent from 11.12.
San Francisco-based Twitter said it was looking into the matter but had not issued a formal statement. The company did publish a tweet addressed to Turkish users instructing them on how to continue tweeting via SMS text message.
Last Mod: 21 Mart 2014, 13:31