When Will Turkey Unblock Twitter?

The good news is that a Turkish court ordered that the Twitter ban be lifted.  The bad news is that the government has 30 days to lift the ban.  They were very fast to block Twitter last Friday after the Prime Minister threatened to cut access to social media sites.  How fast will they take action to lift the ban with elections coming in just 5 days?  What will the decision to censor and block sites like Twitter mean in the months to come?

Twitter blocked in Turkey

The lifting of the Twitter ban came on Wednesday when an Ankara court ruled.  The Prime Minister didn’t comment directly.  Instead the Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Annc, said that “We will implement the court’s decision. We might not like the court decision, but we will carry it out”.  The question is still how long it will take to renew access to the site.  By law the government has 30 days to comply with the court order.

We were saddened to see Twitter agree to block a user account and remove some content.  Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogen, said that the actions weren’t enough stating that the government has demanded more than 700 pieces of information be removed.  Watching the actions taken to censor and track Internet users in Turkey it isn’t likely this will be the last we hear on the topic.  It definitely drew more attention to their actions.

With local elections only 5 days away it will be interesting to see if the Turkish government unblocks Twitter or waits until after the elections.  If they wait the action will be very clear to anyone who doubts their motives.  We should mention that users in Turkey can still use VPN services to circumvent the censorship.  Companies like Hide My Ass and CyberGhost have offered free VPN access to those affected by the censorship.