Turkey’s Prime Minister Threatens to Pursue Tax Evasion Case against Twitter
Twitter may have been off the hook in Turkey when the Turkish Supreme Court ruled that banning it in the country is unconstitutional. But the microblogging site is set to continue worrying about how the Turkish government would run after it.
Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan today launched a new set of tirades against the highest court of his nation, specifically regarding the recent rule on the lifting of a two-week ban against Twitter. He said the court decision simply puts the rights of international businesses above the rights of their country.
After saying that he still does not respect the ruling of the high court, Erdogan released another bomb that may explode into Twitter’s face soon. He declared that he would ‘go after’ the Website through filing a tax evasion case against it.
Profit-making foreign firms
In his speech, Erdogan reiterated that Twitter, along with Facebook and YouTube, is an international company that generates profits. He emphasized that those international companies should abide by the Turkish laws, constitution, and tax rules.
He criticized the constitutional court’s recent verdict to retain Twitter services in the country by describing the decision as an advocacy to commercial law for foreign companies. He said that decision does not defend Turkish rights, even calling it as ‘interference in politics.’
Going against national sentiment
It could be recalled that Erdogan enforced a ban on Twitter in Turkey on March 20. That measure came after the social media site became a portal where leaks pointing to corruption in his government were posted. Those tweets sparked an outrage among the NATO allies of Turkey. Most international human rights groups also viewed the prohibition as a setback for democracy within this EU-hopeful nation.
But as history has it, Turkey’s high court decided to lift the ban on April 3. That was after the court said it found that the blockade of the online site serves more as a breach of the right to free speech. During the two-week ban, over 12 million Turkish Twitter users were affected. Many of them had discovered ways to circumvent the ban through relying on posting tweets through sending text messages. Some Twitter users even discovered adjusting their Internet settings to continuously access the Website despite the national ban.