Turkey’s Twitter ban upheld

Ankara court denies appeal from bar association, ahead of Sunday’s elections

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Turkey’s Twitter ban upheld If the ruling stands, Twitter will be blocked until after local elections. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  March 27, 2014

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan yesterday scored another victory in his battle to ban the use of Twitter nationwide during the run-up to a critical local election, which he fears may be influenced by the release of online of tapes accusing him of corruption.

According to a report from Reuters, an Ankara court denied an appeal from the bar association, but a source in Erdogan's office said the country's telecoms regulator had 30 days to either implement the ban or lodge an appeal.

Twitter also challenged the ruling in a separate filing, describing the blocking order as "disproportionate and illegal". If the current ruling stays in place, the ban of the microblogging service would stay in place until after the polls close on Sunday.

The election is being seen as a test for Erdogan as he stands accused of graft. The premier asserts that the tapes are fake and that all corruption allegations have been fabricated by a former ally, US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

On Friday Erdogan made moves to "root out" Twitter and instructed the telecoms authority to block the service, leading to widespread condemnation at home and abroad.

Some Turkish tweeters have implemented workarounds, and Reuters cited "Internet analysts" who reported an increase in tweets since the block was imposed.

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