(CBS SF) — The attempt by Turkey to block access to Twitter has been less than successful and roundly mocked by Turks on Twitter both within the country and worldwide.
A Turkish court on Thursday ordered a closure of the social media network following postings of voice recordings and documents purportedly showing evidence of corruption by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inner circle.
Erdogan has said he would “eradicate” Twitter for spreading what he calls false information about government corruption.
However, Turkish President Abdullah Gul called the ban “unacceptable” and took to Twitter himself to announce his opposition to the ban in a country in which a Twitter penetration of 31 percent leads all other countries, according to eMarketer.
Meanwhile, many of Turkey’s 12 million users found creative ways around the ban, either by altering Domain Name System settings or by connecting to virtual private networks.
Twitter also informed its users in Turkey they could send their tweets using text messaging, otherwise known as Short Message Service (SMS).
A hashtag quickly gained popularity #TwitterisblockedinTurkey and the inevitable Internet memes lambasting the government emerged instantly.
Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan told a private Turkish broadcaster the decision to block Twitter was not good for Turkey’s international reputation, but doing nothing would have even worse repercussions.
“Sometimes you have to choose between two evils, and you choose the lesser of the two,” Babacan was quoted as saying by state-run Anadolu News Agency.
Babacan predicted the ban would be short-lived and called for a solution to be reached reciprocally between Turkey and Twitter, the news agency said.