Bloomberg News

Turkey Blocks Google DNS as Erdogan Defends Twitter Action (1)

March 22, 2014

Twitter Blocked in Istanbul

“Preventive measures” against Twitter Inc. Swere taken in response to its defiance of hundreds of court rulings, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office of public diplomacy said in a statement today. Photographer: Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images

Turkey blocked a Google Inc. (GOOG:US) service used by Turks to circumvent a ban on Twitter Inc., the Hurriyet and Haberturk newspapers said, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government defended the social media clampdown.

The government prevented access to Google DNS today, the newspapers reported. To use Twitter, Turks had turned to DNS, which was created in the 1980s to help computers find websites using words instead of numbers. Calls to Erdogan’s office and the country’s telecommunications watchdog went unanswered today.

“Preventive measures” against Twitter were taken in response to its defiance of hundreds of court rulings, Erdogan’s office of public diplomacy said in a statement today. “Twitter has been used as a means to carry out systematic character assassinations by circulating illegally acquired recordings, fake and fabricated records of wiretapping.”

Turkey has said it will lift restrictions on Twitter (TWTR:US) when the company complies with the nation’s requests. Twitter suspended an adult-content account today, reacting to a Turkish request, state-run Anatolia news agency said.

Erdogan said on March 20 he would stop leaks that threatened his government before March 30 local elections, drawing condemnation from the U.S. and the European Union.

Turkey’s government is struggling to block access to almost daily leaks, primarily from two anonymous user accounts. The government says the recordings are assembled by montage.

The prime minister has also said he may ban Facebook and YouTube, where users have shared videos, recordings and transcripts that were first published via Twitter.

To contact the reporters on this story: Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at shacaoglu@bloomberg.net; Onur Ant in Ankara at oant@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net Paul Dobson, James Amott


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