Turkish PM blames Twitterati for snobbery against its own nation

Photo: Turkish PM blames Twitterati for snobbery against its own nation / Turkey

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again hit out at the country's Twitterati after last week's Soma mine disaster Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Those who criticized the government for failing to provide timely help to the disaster-struck Soma, where 301 miners died, despite promoting its assistance to Africa as a great success, are "ruthless," Erdogan said. He repeated his claim that Turkey, thanks to his government's performance since 2002, has become powerful enough to help both Soma and Somalia.

"For God's sake, what kind of an understanding do they have?" he asked, addressing an expanded meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) provincial chairs.

"Holding their smartphones in their hands, they sit and pontificate, lie and make provocations. That's what they do. You can be rest assured that an issue doesn't mean anything to them if it's not on [Twitter's trending list]. When they write 140-character-long messages on issues that are on the agenda there, they start seeing themselves as the saviors of the world," Erdogan added.

Earlier this week, Twitter and the Turkish government held talks in Dublin to iron out their differences, following a dispute in March that saw the authorities in Ankara block the site for two weeks, drawing a storm of international criticism.

Twitter will be more sensitive in responding to Turkish court orders calling for content to be removed from the site, and will open a live customer support service in Turkish to address complaints, a senior government official told Reuters news agency on May 21.

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