It wouldn’t take long for Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cut off the country from the rest of the world. After banning Twitter in the country, the Government has closed one of the most popular backdoor that Turks have been using to circumvent the blocking of Twitter.
According to a leading news source from Turkey, the government tightened the circle early on March 22 by blocking access to the Google public DNS service. After the government had blocked Twitter on the grounds of protection measure, many Turkish Twitter users had started typing 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52, the DNS addresses belonging to Google, into their network settings, therefore bypassing the block.
Residents of Turkey had also spray-painted graffiti on balconies and government portraits with the public DNS addresses to spread the word.
Twitter is blocked in Turkey. On the streets of Istanbul, the action against censorship is graffiti DNS addresses. pic.twitter.com/XcsfN7lJvS
— Utku Can (@utku) March 21, 2014
With the government now blocking the DNS options, VPN method is the only option left for Twitter to enter the country.
Twitter which has been under immense pressure from the Turkish government since mid 2013, has already offered an SMS workaround in the country. It has advised Turkish customers of Avea and Vodafone to text “START to 2444.” Turkcell customers can text “START to 2555.”
Besides Twitter has issued an official response condemning Turkey’s actions and hopes to be active in the country very soon.
The blocking of Twitter has already backfired the government with people opposing it aggressively; the hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey became a globally trending topic on Twitter. According to Guardian, Turkish users collectively tweeted 2.5 million times since the ban went into effect, potentially “setting new records for Twitter use in the country,”
Like YouTube and Facebook, Erdogan considers Twitter as a “menace to society”. However, reports are also stating that it is an attempt to curb the conversation on reported evidence of his involvement in a corruption scandal as key local elections are on the horizon.
While the government states that there are “hundreds of court rulings in Turkey” ordering Twitter to remove content, but the San Francisco-based social media company has yet to abide by them. Meanwhile a Turkish court has ruled that the government’s blocking of access did not originate from a court ruling, but rather a direct executive order.
In fact the Turkish President Abdullah Gul stands against the prime minister’s actions, and he took to Twitter to express his disapproval, saying that he hoped the ban would not last long. Turkey’s main opposition party has also said that they are seeking to end the ban.
Apparently with elections inching closer, Erdogan wouldn’t budge to re-open Twitter in the country. Will Facebook and YouTube receive the same fate in Turkey where governments have had a past of being apprehensive the about common man using social media?