Turkey PM Talks Of Banning Facebook Inc, Google’s YouTube; President Thinks Otherwise

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and YouTube are endangered for a ban in Turkey by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to stop political equals from allegedly posting audio recordings in to expose corruption and other misconduct in his inner circle.

However, on Friday, Turkey’s president Abdullah Gul ruled out any type of ban on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and YouTube, saying the government respects the freedom of expression. “Closure (of the social media sites) is out of the question,” Gul said when asked about Erdogan’s threat.

Audio recording tarnishing image

Recently, an audio was posted on the YouTube where Erdogan was heard shouting at a newspaper owner over the telephone about an article and suggesting the journalists to be dismissed.

This week, a total five recordings were uploaded on YouTube, which according to Erdogan are allegedly done to tarnish his ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party before the March 30 local elections and a presidential poll due later this year.

Erdogan has dismissed all the allegations of corruption and blamed a U.S. based Turkish Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, a former friend, for the audios, which he refers to be fabricated. Gulen, who has many followers in Turkey, mostly in police and Judiciary, reject these allegations outright

“We are determined on this subject. We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook,” Erdogan said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster ATV aired, late on Thursday.

Not the first time

Erdogan, also, said that the government will take strict actions after the municipal elections in Turkey, which are scheduled for March 30. When Erdogan was asked if the sites can be banned entirely, he replied affirmative saying that these people (Gulen) are encouraging every kind of immorality and espionage for their own ends.

Previously, also, YouTube was banned in Turkey for more than two years till 2010 after users posted videos that were marked as insulting to the republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Internet protocol has become stricter in Turkey after government cited it is necessary to defend privacy. Those opposing Erdogan’s view said that the new law was another step by the government to stop the allegations of high-level corruption flooding social media and video sharing sites.