Turkey News

Twitter inaccessible in Turkey

Journalists were unable to access Twitter in Turkey.

Twitter became inaccessible on Turkey’s main mobile phone providers on Wednesday amid mounting online criticism of the government’s response to the earthquake that struck its country and Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited the province of Hatay (south), one of the most affected, on the Syrian border, recognized “gaps” in the response to the earthquake.

Journalists were unable to access this social network in Turkey. Internet governance watchdog netblocks.org pointed out that access to Twitter was restricted “through several internet service providers in Turkey”.

“Turkey has a long history of restrictions with social media during national emergencies and security incidents,” the body added.

Turkish police have arrested more than a dozen people since Monday’s earthquake for social media posts criticizing the Turkish president’s government’s handling of the disaster.

Turkish social media is flooded with messages from people complaining about a lack of rescue efforts and searches for victims in their areas, especially in Hatay.

Turkish officials made no immediate statement about the service disruption.

But they had repeatedly warned against spreading disinformation ahead of the crucial May 14 elections, in which Erdogan is seeking a new term after 20 years in power.

Rescuers still manage to find survivors in the rubble on Wednesday, even if the chances of survival are dwindling, two days after the terrible earthquake, the toll of which continues to grow and now exceeds 11,700 dead in Turkey and Syria.