Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan is fed up with Twitter, and he’s just not going to take it any more:
“Twitter, mwitter!,” he told thousands of supporters at a rally, in a phrase translating roughly as “Twitter, schmitter!”.“We will wipe out all of these,” Erdogan said. “The international community can say this, can say that. I don’t care at all. Everyone will see how powerful the Republic of Turkey is,” he said in a characteristically unyielding tone.
All this colorful bluster came yesterday as Erdoğan ordered access to the social network to be blocked ahead of the hotly contested local elections on March 30. But the ban has not worked, as his tech-savvy opponents are swapping instructions online on how to get around government obstacles to accessing the service.Most notable of the people going online to criticize Erdoğan has been his erstwhile ally President Abdullah Gül, one of the founders of the AK Party. Gül actually took to Twitter despite the ban to complain:
“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.
Erdoğan has long ranted and raved that the continuing corruption probes against him are the result of an international conspiracy—a conspiracy he has more than once linked sotto voce to Jews. As we noted yesterday, Gül had already started to distance himself from this toxic drivel, and his defiance on Twitter today indicates further deterioration of their relationship. The fracture lines in the AK Party are becoming more pronounced.