back to article Right, Turkey – elections are over. You can use Twitter again

The Turkish government has finally lifted its ban on Twitter after a largely unsuccessful attempt at state-sponsored censorship in the run-up to key local elections held last Sunday. Prime minister Tayyip Erdogan’s administration blocked the popular microblogging platform a fortnight ago after complaining of a smear campaign …

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Two different Turkeys

To generalise, Erdogan's support base is amongst the working class and those who'd like a more religious constitution, not the middle-class, secularist, urban twitterati. The gap between the two visions for Turkey's future looks like becoming more profound.

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If Carrie Fisher were Turkish...

"The more you tighten your grip, Turk, the more tweets will slip through your fingers."

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Re: If Carrie Fisher were Turkish...

So just have the Turkish Daily Mail claim that twitter harms the little children and have it banned

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Anonymous Coward

Definition

So now we all know what twurking means?

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Anonymous Coward

What is the fuss?

If Twitter or any other company breaks the local law then why would they not be banned from conducting that business? Is there some magical feature of Internet companies that makes them immune to the law that other companies have to obey (apart, that is, from them being American)?

Try setting up a shop selling cocaine in your local high street and see how long is is before Mr Plod blocks your users' access.

OUR government should be blocking Google, Amazon and the rest of the Internet's tax avoiders.

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Re: What is the fuss?

The fuss is quite simply explained as this - this was a poor attempt by Erdogen to control speech during an election period without legal basis. The courts have stated the ban was illegal.

In the UK, any such ban requires parliamentary or judicial oversight. No-one in government can simply go and block a site when they feel like it.

It used to be the same in the USA too, until they started letting agencies steal domain names from suspected copyright infringers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What is the fuss?

"Try setting up a shop selling cocaine in your local high street and see how long is is before Mr Plod blocks your users' access."

It happened in Bournemouth UK, the shop was open for 3 years before finally being shut down by the police...and it moved 2 postcodes away and traded for another 2 years before the owner moved to Spain.

"OUR government should be blocking Google, Amazon and the rest of the Internet's tax avoiders."

I assume that you never use Google or Amazon services then? After all if you feel that strongly about it I am sure you wouldn't be a total hypocrite.

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Re: What is the fuss?

@Robert Long 1

Twitter didn't brake any laws in Turkey, which is why the Turkish Courts overturned the Turkish governments decision.

This was a clear attempt to block free speech in the run up for the election. That's the fuss here.

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Re: What is the fuss?

Hey Mr. RobertLong, I sure hope your are writing from the well-endowed retirement home. Ranting against "tax avoiders" (presumably these are bad people who don't pay you for the services to which you are entitled) and being for hardcore statist interdiction of the people's free exchanges of ideas and goods is very much a situation demanding a "disregard; grampa's national-socialistic tendencies are breaking out again" commentary.

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Re: What is the fuss?

"Twitter didn't brake any laws in Turkey, which is why the Turkish Courts overturned the Turkish governments decision."

That's not actually the reasoning, in fact. The decision was that the government doesn't have the power to order a block. Which isn't really that clear as a point of Turkish law, but in any case the point remains that blocking an website which is breaking the law is not that big a deal and should be seen as perfectly normal, just as it is for citizens to be restrained from breaking the same laws.

If the law is the problem, then that's a whole other issue.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What is the fuss?

Criticise the Turkish Prime Minister's tie and you risk being branded as an Islamophobic terrorist.out to destroy Turkey and its "conservative democratic" way of life. That's what the fuss is about.

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Re: What is the fuss?

"In the UK, any such ban requires parliamentary or judicial oversight. No-one in government can simply go and block a site when they feel like it."

I suppose you missed all the stories on the reg about the City of London police blocking sites, or the powers the Civil Contingencies Act gives to ministers? :P

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Is Censorship the Issue Here?

I wish this story had a poll attached to it. I would be very interested to know what the general readership (visitorship? I guess that could be aliens though, huh?), what they thought the primary problem was in these elections in the land of Thanksgiving.

I don't seethe censorship as the biggest issue here. It is most certainly a problem, and it sure does suck, but censorship, and what it means, or doesn't, is a very thorny issue and, rightly enough, there are very few easy answers in any debate about censorship.

What most certainly is not a thorny issue is the Rule of Law, which Turkey, among others, claims is at the core of their legislative system. The Rule of Law is a straightforward concept, and all sorts of nutters throw it out there all the time, but very few actually understand it. They nearly always get the 'law applies to everyone equally' bit right, but rarely do the get the 'the law is applied equally part, and all the good stuff is in that part. It is spelled similarly as well, but 'applies' and applied are vastly different things.

They are vastly different, and you must have both parts in equal measure, or your system of governance does not include Rule of Law. Rule of Law, hilariously (ironically?) does not recognize the granular, situational vagaries we attempt to pile onto what we call Law. Rule of Law is or Rule of Law is not. No sometimes, maybe, grey area, perspective, security bullshit.

See, that's the thing with with putting high minded ideals on your banner then waving it in everyone's face; you better do what it says on your tin, or you've devolved into one of thousands of various things, but none of those things include the Rule of Law. That can only exist completely, digitally, on or off, yes or no. Rule of Law has no five nines.

This bit here is the good part. Why do you think Turkey is such big buddies with 'The West'? Justinian was a long time ago, it's something else. Nobody? Turkey has such great pals in 'The West' because they've got the same kind of disingenuous moosedicks running their country as we've got here.

If you've done much traveling you'll know why expats all hang out together, it's because the language is shared, the nuances of spoken communication and body language that can only be understood by someone from the same place as you. Countries are the same.

Countries that speak the same 'language' are always going to prefer each other's company. It gets tedious if you have to haul around 33,000 pages of text explaining what democracy is not. It is just so much easier if everybody starts on the same page. That means you can get right to the business of fucking people, that's why everybody came anyway.

So, yeah, I'm not going to recognize anyone's 'righteous indignation' over some shitsock Turk abusing the law to meet their own goals. I'm willing to wager not one person who reads this today can truthfully say they don't know anybody who would be happy as a pig in shit if their favorite political candidate in their country's elections did this to the opposing party. We all know people that would be overwhelmed with joy at such a thing. And that's a problem.

Censorship never works. Information always gets loose, sometimes a bit tattered and in need of repair, but it gets free. But hypocrisy never works, nor does believing your own bullshit. You think it is working, but it isn't. Sure, there's a lot of action, but that's what happens when you start renaming everything in ways blatantly contradictory to the vernacular, which all elected politicians claim to be a product of.

So rock on Erdogan. Face forward, head held high, basking in the blinding light that can only come from the reflection of sunlight off the heads of millions of prematurely balding, blue collar navel gazers reexamining the distinctions between murder and assassination. Upon review, it appears that the system recognizes and supports taking action, then repositioning those actions as something necessary. Maybe that's just the best way, if nothing else it is consistent. Just do it, then ask the guy what he thinks: Were you assassinated or murdered?

If nothing else, the miracle of broadcast television has shown us that Liberty, Equality, Fairness and Respect all have dark blue blood. Otherwise it would show up on the suits of everyone of these jackasses that spell democracy FUCK YOU. So give Erdogan, US Presidents and Congresspeople and UK Prime Ministers and members of Parliament credit. They are respecting day time TV rules and not showing gore or savagery. That's.... Something? Yeah? Maybe?

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Trollface

Erdo the cleaner

The ban followed some fighting talk from the PM, who branded Twitter a “scourge” and said of social media “we will wipe out all of these”.

Talks about HITLER and MUNICH will probably start soon. Or not, as this is *our* cleaner. No pictures of Kerry doing retarded talk on prime time CNN. Phew.

Carry on. Germany sure is ready to deliver everything to keep the house in order. Who apart from Turkey buys Leopards these days?

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