Thursday, April 18, 2024

Twitter restricted in Turkey following earthquake response criticism

The NetBlocks internet observatory says Twitter has been restricted in Turkey since Wednesday as online criticism mounted of the government’s response to the devastating quake.

“Real-time network data show Twitter has been restricted in Turkey; the filtering is applied on major internet providers and comes as the public come to rely on the service in the aftermath of a series of deadly earthquakes,” it said.

NetBlocks, which tracks connectivity worldwide, added that “the measure is distinct from the impact of the recent earthquakes, and can by circumvented by use of a VPN service”.

Meanwhile, Turkish police have detained at least 18 people and arrested five after what were described as “provocative posts” on social media about Turkey’s earthquake, according to a tweet from the force.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned criticism of the government’s response to the earthquakes that have killed nearly 12,000 people in southern Turkey and northwestern Syria.

“This is a time for unity, solidarity,” he told reporters on his arrival in the southern province of Hatay, adding, “In a period like this, I cannot stomach people conducting negative campaigns for political interests.”

The president said it was not possible to be prepared for such a disaster but his government would accelerate rubble removal and housing construction.

The death toll in Turkey had risen to 9,057, he stated.

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