Turkey to lift ban on Twitter-UPDATED

Tweets from Turkey have dropped by 50% since the ban was introduced on Thursday.

Turkey to lift ban on Twitter-UPDATED

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey's telecoms authority TIB has 30 days to implement or appeal a court ruling halting a block on access to Twitter, a source in the office of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told Reuters on Wednesday.


Turkey's Deputy PM Bulent Arinc said Wednesday that the government would follow the court order lifting the block on Twitter access.

"We may or may not like a court decision, but we certainly abide by it," Arinc told journalists in the southern city of Hatay.

Earlier in the day, an Ankara-based administrative court issued a temporary injunction ordering Turkey's official telecommunications authority TIB, to lift the block on access to Twitter, which was implemented on Thursday night.

"If its reasoned decision has been issued, what TIB should do is obvious," Arinc said.

One of the most senior voices in the Turkish cabinet, Arinc said his government had taken steps that were even more progressive than those taken by the U.S. in terms of promoting broadband internet and its access.

"But, Twitter is a private corporation after all; whatever is crime in real life is still a crime when it is committed in cyberspace," he said.

He noted that some people's privacy rights had been violated and attacked on social media. "If a court orders blocking a webpage on the grounds of these violations, we, of course, will abide by it," he said.

Arinc also pointed to a double standard that the Twitter management ignored court orders taken in Turkey, although in the past they followed verdicts issued in other Western countries. "What is missing in Turkey? Aren't courts in Turkey 'courts'?"

"For us, human is the focal point. Whenever people's honour and privacy are under attack, we are against it," he said.

Turkey's Internet authority blocked access to Twitter late on Thursday after a court issued an order demanding the website remove tweets containing certain links.

Claiming that Twitter's management ignored calls from the Turkish government, the authorities described the move as a temporary measure, not a ban.

Turkey tweet rate decreased by 50%

Turkey's recent ban on Twitter has reduced Tweets made from the country in half, statistics have shown.

According to Semiocast, before the ban on Thursday midday, Turkey was posting 1.2 million tweets an hours. Once the ban was introduced on Thursday night, many Turkish citizens resorted to changing their DNS settings to get around the ban.

Nonetheless, Friday saw a dramatic decrease in tweets. In the first 24 hours, tweets decreased by a third to just 750,000 tweets an hour.

On the second day when Turkey starting banning some DNS servers that were providing access to Twitter, the hourly tweet rate dropped to 550-600,000.

The total percentage of tweets in the Turkish language also saw a drop. Before the ban 2.98% of tweets were in Turkish, whereas only 2.36% of tweets were in Turkish after the ban. On Sunday, this dropped to 2.04% and then again to 1.58% after the DNS server ban was introduced.

Twitter has filed lawsuits in Turkish courts to challenge a block on the service imposed by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government last week, the social media platform said in a statement on Wednesday.

It said it had suspended content related to two of three court orders given as the legal basis for the ban because they violated its own rules. But it was challenging a third order to remove an account accusing a former minister of corruption.

Last Mod: 26 Mart 2014, 17:05
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