“Erdogan killed our little bird”, the Turks comment
Gulen reacted strongly with messages on Twitter
The Turkish people are not conforming and are posting messages on Twitter
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
“The dictator is stuck in the swamp. He is already drowning in corruption scandals. Now he is trying to force bans like the one on Twitter, but he doesn’t have the power”, comments a columnist of the newspaper Sözcü, regarding the ban Erdogan has imposed on Twitter, which has shocked Turkey.
Officially, the social network that has 12 million users in Turkey was banned by the country’s Telecommunications Committee “based on a court order” that was asking for the limitation of its use. The complain has been made in court by the former minister of Transport, Binali Yildirim, who is AKP’s candidate for mayor in Izmir.
Everyone in Turkey knows that the decision has been taken by the Turkish prime minister himself, who a few hours earlier was making the following statement during one of his campaign rallies in the western city of Bursa: “we now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic”.
The internet resistance of the Turkish people to Erdogan’s bans
However, “the power of the Turkish Republic” was immediately limited on the internet, since tens of thousands of Turkish citizens circumvented the blocking and by using DNS-tweaking and VPN services started posting messages on Twitter.
Gul reacts by posting on Twitter
Something that has caused an impression was the fact that the country’s President, Abdulah Gul, also circumvented the ban posting messages on Twitter and expressing in a clear way his opposition to Erdogan’s bans. It is not “technically possible to totally block access to platforms used all over the world” Gul said and added that he hoped the decision would “not last long.”
Essentially, this reaction by Gul is the first clear expression of the President’s opposition on a decision made by Erdogan. The President of Turkey however had only a few weeks ago approved the law that paved the way for more limitation on the internet.
The government’s deputy prime minister, Ali Babacan, stated that he hopes “the ban does not last long”.
Guidelines from the founder of Twitter
The founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, a few minutes before the ban posted a message and called the Turkish citizens to continue posting messages through the sms services of mobile phone companies and asked them to send those messages to specific phone numbers.
The internet resistance of the Turkish people has proven to be quite effective. Most of the turkish Mass Media are instructed to “circumvent” the blocking of Twitter resulting in 700,000 posts having been registered up to 12:00, while a day earlier during the same time period, before the ban, there were 900,000 twits. The Turkish people it seems are slowly finding ways to access Twitter despite the obstacles put forward by the Erdogan government.
It is worth mentioning that the Turkish prime minister, who issued the ban, has an account on Twitter and is being followed by 4 million users.
“You have turned our country into North Korea”
The Turkish newspaper Sözcü reports that the ban, which was imposed by the government is “similar to the bans that are in effect in China and North Korea. There are also bans in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Egypt”.
“Our little bird sings again” and “you will not kill our little bird”, are some of the humorous posts from Twitter users.
In Turkey they are afraid of more bans, such as on Facebook and YouTube.
The real reasons behind the ban
Erdogan and his staff have seen their popularity plummeting from the revelation of the telephone wiretaps. Tens of millions of Turkish citizens have heard the prime minister asking from his son to move millions of dollars from his residence, ministers and members of his environment taking bribes, and have learned that some of the government’s ministers were keeping millions of dollars in their sons’ residences. The government’s corrupt way of governance is being revealed through the internet on a daily basis. The government speaks of montage, but not all of Turkish citizens are convinced by this theory.
Now the Turkish prime minister wants to impose a silence at least until the public elecitons of March 30. “Erdogan, being cornered by the scandals as he is, has found the solution in the banning”, comments the newspaper Cumhuriyet with a front page publication.
In Turkey there are rumors going around, concerning video documents that show the Turkish prime minister’s family members moving dozens of bars of gold and suitcases from the residence
At the same time this ban will disorientate the public from the ongoing corruption scandals, such as the new ships the Erdogan’s son and relatives are buying.
A nightmarish scenario is that the Turkish prime minister wants to cause tension in the country and rally the conservative voters against those who will take to the streets to protest.
Erdogan forbids the demonstrations in Taksim Square
Since June 2013 and the riots in Gezi Square, Erdogan has expressed his opposition to Twitter and had stated that “some people are trying to spread false rumors” through this social network.
The government’s worst fear are riots similar to those in Tahrir Square in Egypt and in Maidan in Kiev. This is the reason why for a year now no rallies of any sort or even a simple gatherings are allowed in Istanbul’s center-most place, Taksim Square.