Tehran, YJC. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended his government’s decision to ban Twitter, saying he was “obliged” to take whatever measure to protect national security.
Erdogan made the remarks at a campaign rally on Sunday ahead of the key local elections on March 30.
"I cannot understand how sensible people still defend Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. They run all kinds of lies. I am obliged to take measures in the face of any attack threatening my country's security, even if the world stands up against us,” the Turkish Premier said.
Erdogan also said that the ban was in place as the network disobeyed Turkey’s laws.
On March 20, Twitter was blocked in Turkey after Erdogan warned to "rip out the roots" of the website over "illegally acquired" or "fake and fabricated" records of wiretapping, which were circulated online.
The leaked phone conversations allegedly revealed Erdogan asking his son Bilal to turn millions of euros in cash stashed at several houses into "zero".
Bilal at one point can be heard saying, "There is 30 million euros ($41 million) more."
The phone conversations, whose authenticity has not been verified, were said to date back to December 17, 2013.
Erdogan has also threatened to ban other popular websites such as YouTube and Facebook in an attempt to fight the graft scandal that has gripped his government.
President Abdullah Gul has voiced his opposition to the ban, saying on his Twitter account that a "complete ban on social media platforms cannot be approved.”
The country’s main opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP), also said that it will file a lawsuit against the government’s decision.