EU scolds Turkey for Twitter ban

March 21, 2014 at 10:35 AM
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BRUSSELS, March 21 (UPI) -- European leaders said Friday they were frustrated by Turkey's decision to restrict access to the social media website Twitter.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement, published Friday by the newspaper Today's Zaman, that the San Francisco-based Twitter wasn't following Turkish orders to remove some links from the popular site.

"If Twitter officials insist on not implementing court orders and rules of law ... there will be no other option but to prevent access to Twitter to help satisfy our citizens' grievances," the statement said.

His decision followed a posting of documents on Twitter that suggest widespread corruption within the Turkish government.

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said the decision was a violation of the most basic of human rights.

"This authoritarian drive is a direct attack against freedom of expression in the country," he said in a statement Friday.

Stefan Fule, the European commissioner in charge of neighborhood policy, said the ban could jeopardize the European Union's relationship with Turkey.

"The ban on the social platform in Turkey raises grave concerns and casts doubt on Turkey's stated commitment to European values and standards," he said.

Turkey aspires to a closer relationship with the EU.

Several Western media outlets Friday published ways to get around the ban.

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