Swoboda: "Erdoğan banning Twitter is a blatant attack on freedom of speech in Turkey"
Ten days before local elections in Turkey, prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a political rally in Bursa yesterday, where he vowed to 'eradicate Twitter', the social media network that was used by scores of protesters to organise anti-government demonstrations last year.
Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said:
"Mr. Erdoğan has lost all sense of direction and balance. Banning a social media network with ten million users in Turkey is nothing short of a blatant attack on freedom of speech.
"Turkey, as a country in the process of accession talks to join the European Union, has a duty to respect fundamental human rights. Freedom of speech is a core right of people and Erdoğan's authoritarian oppression of it will not succeed.
"Mr. Erdoğan may not care what the international community thinks about him, but the international community cares about the rights of the Turkish people. I recommend he takes a look at article 26 of the Turkish Constitution; emergency anti-terror legislation does not justify curtailing the rights of ten million people."