No less than the White House is stepping in to help resolve the conflict between Twitter and the Turkish government. The US government has officially asked Turkey to end its current ban on the microblogging site. This development takes this issue to the next level.
In a statement, Jay Carney, White House’s Press Secretary, said that the US ‘is deeply concerned’ over the Turkish government’s recent move to block access to basic Internet communication tools in the country. He reiterated that the US government is opposing such a restriction as it undermines the Turkish online users’ right to exercise freedom of expression.
The press secretary added that such a measure is against the principle od demographic governance as well as universal rights, which the US is proudly standing for around the globe. Thus, the Obama administration is urging Turkish government officials to restore full access to Twitter and other blocked online technologies soon.
Ban on Twitter
It can be recalled that access to Twitter started to be blocked on Thursday after the Website refused to pull out tweets that are critical to the government. By Friday, US ambassador Francis Ricciardone, Jr has already expressed the US concerns about the ban to Turkey officials.
Even former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken out about this issue. On her own Twitter account, the former first lady said the freedom to speak out and connect to others is a fundamental right. She reiterated that the Turkish people deserve to restore that right.
Ways to get through
Last Sunday, Turkey’s president Abdullah Gul has declared that while it is totally illegal to fully shut down online platforms, the government reserves the right to close down links that contain offensive content. That was obviously how it tries to justify its action against Twitter.
However, despite the prohibition on Twitter use in the country, many of its users can still figure out ways to post tweets on the site. Turkish netizens could still post their tweets by sending those messages via SMS. The people are advised to simply text their tweets through local networks Avea, Vodafone, and Turkcell. This was revealed by Twitter itself through its own @policy account.
Turkey even banned access to Twitter through Google DNS. There are now fears that the Turkish government would also ban YouTube next since there are videos in the Website that can be considered as offensive against certain Turkish officials.