Turkish gov’t wants ‘interlocutor’ to unblock Twitter

Photo: Turkish gov’t wants ‘interlocutor’ to unblock Twitter / Turkey

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Spokesperson Huseyin Celik has said access to Twitter and YouTube could be unblocked, if the companies agree to set up a mechanism for the Turkish authorities to easily contact them when necessary, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Celik was sharing his views on the March 30 local elections on CNNTurk TV, and described the results as "our eighth victory in the ballots" and a "victory of the national will." When asked about the blocking of Twitter, Celik said a "positive dialogue" with the San Francisco-based company had been started.

Turkey blocked access to Twitter on March 20, hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to close down the social media platform in a campaign speech.

Twitter had expressed the hope that full access to the website would be returned soon, after a lawyer representing the microblogging platform met with Turkish authorities in Ankara on March 21. The access is still blocked.

The Turkish government, which has still yet to abide by a court decision ordering the unblocking of Twitter, subsequently also blocked YouTube and started to practice a controversial DNS policy.

Speaking to CNNTurk, Celik said the recently leaked recordings were "slander" to "implicate" the government in several areas.

"If character assassination, slander and exposing people's private lives are crimes for the traditional media, how can it be good on social media? For instance, you apply to Twitter, saying you're being insulted and slandered with disgusting claims; but the company is stone-deaf. If an international company ignores the laws of my country, then I have the right to ignore it," Celik said.

"If Twitter and Youtube set up an office in Turkey or send their lawyers and representatives here, forming an interlocutor mechanism through which the Telecommunication Directorate [TIB], and if the Communication Technologies Institution [BTK] can contact them when needed, then this ban can be revoked immediately. Otherwise, it will continue," he added.

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