In an interview on 6 March, 2014, Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened that the government was considering blocking social media websites.
Telephone recordings of Recep Tayyip Erdogan have surfaced on Facebook and Youtube websites since the year began. In these recordings the Turkish PM talks about the country’s political matters, while negating the image of the country’s economy and Erdogan’s practices that is generally shown to the public. Needless to say, the recordings are puncturing Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s re-election campaign at a very vital point of time.
Related Article: Turkey Approves Internet Restrictions – A Threat or A Relief
Turkey Seems Destined to Share China’s Censorship Fate
Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to clamp down on social media in the region. This means that internet users in Turkey can expect to experience the same internet censorship as the Chinese people have come to know. In China, people do not have access to the social media websites that the modern world has come to trust and rely on.
The Chinese government has locked away everything from Facebook to Youtube behind the Great Firewall of China; and it looks like Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to do the same with Turkey. Erdogan claims that the released recordings have been forged and are not real while also insisting that a social media blackout will be implemented across Turkey if necessary to stem the tide.
The Tide is Rising Against Erdogan’s Government
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is known for his authoritarian approach and opposition against his party is heating up. This is not the first time that people have taken to the streets in protest. Locals in Turkey lashed out against his government’s policies last year when the people used the Social Media to organize and orchestrate protests across the country.
Remember that over 45 percent of the Turkish population uses the internet. So it was no surprise that over 3 million people took part in the 5000 protests across the region. The protests spanned a period of two weeks at the end of which 5 people died and over 8000 were reportedly injured because of the aggressive crowd control and dispersion tactics used by Turkey’s local law enforcement agencies, on the orders of the government. Roots of the civil unrest can be traced back to the time when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk died, leaving behind factions in his opposition as well as in his support.
Social Media Block Might be part of Erdogan’s Cover
Note that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also under investigation for corruption and bribery allegations. All the more reason for him to take extraordinary measures to conceal and suppress information that may stand against him as he fights for re-election after having spent 11 years in office already.
Desperate Allegations Show Erdogan Weakening
The Turkish Prime Minister is trying to suppress anti-government sentiment and bolster support before the Turkish general elections. According to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, social media is being polluted by his contender Fethullah Gülen, founder of the Gülen Movement, in an attempt to weaken Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chances for re-election.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gone so far as to claim that the entire movement is part of a coup undertaking fueled by Fethullah Gülen in coalition with opposing parties. Erdogan believes that Fethullah Gülen’s Hizmet network tapped into his encrypted phone lines and the phone lines of his supporters in order to record conversations with the objective of creating a case against Erdogan.
Preparing for Turkey’s Social Media Blackout
Judging by the increasing momentum of instability in Turkey, the situation will continue to devolve from bad to worse in the coming weeks. Netizens looking to sustain their connection with the rest of the world can use VPNs.
If you are planning on jumping on the VPN bandwagon, don’t make the mistake of going for the first flashy VPN you see. VPNs ideal for use in this situation will offer you lots of servers in the US and UK region while offering at least one server in Turkey.
Avoid free VPNs if you can and go for (at least) a 3 to 6 month VPN subscription. Make sure you read a few in depth reviews before you subscribe to a VPN.