The International Federation of Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists have condemned the Turkish government's decision to block access to the Twitter social media site.
Access to twitter.com was blocked in Turkey soon after midnight this morning, March 21, 2014. The Turkish government blocked access to the microblogging site some hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to "root out" Twitter, during a stump speech in Bursa on March 20, 2014.
A statement from Turkey's telecommunications regulator (TIB) cited four court orders as the basis for blocking the site, where some users in recent weeks have posted voice recordings and documents purportedly showing evidence of corruption among Erdoğan's inner circle and family.
Turkish telecoms watchdog BTK said on Friday that the ban came after complaints were made by citizens that the social media platform was breaching privacy. The watchdog had previously asked Twitter to remove some content but Twitter had failed to do so, the BTK said in a statement.
"We strongly condemn this disgraceful move by the Turkish government which clearly undermines freedom of expression and the right to access information of Turkish citizens," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.
"The government's censorship has taken an anti-democratic turn which brings the country into the same league as the most oppressive regimes in the world. We call on the Turkish government to lift the closure order with immediate effect."