Social Media in Turkey
Last night in Turkey the government initiated a ban on Twitter. The ban was rolled out slowly, my fixer was blocked almost immediately and alerted me with a screenshot.
Some people speculate that the block serves a few purposes, to incite street protests and to stop a government whistleblower on Twitter. (https://twitter.com/fuatavni
The government claims that the ban has come after users have complained of privacy violations.
Regardless of the ban people have found very simple work arounds to get onto Twitter. My phone uses a US configuration so I am mostly unaffected.Leaks
Aside from the twitter whistleblower a series of audio leaks have been coming out nearly every day on Youtube. The most alarming leaks allegedly show that the Prime Minister is trying to hide two billion Turkish Lira (TL) and that the government is shipping weapons to Islamic Fundamentalists in Nigeria.
The leakers claim that on March 25th "the bomb" will be released, a leak that they claim will be very serious. The two main rumors about what the major leak could be are evidence of a political assassination plot and a sex tape with the Prime Minister. (But again, just rumors)
The government has challenged the authenticity of the tapes, but several audio and security experts have claimed it is either real or a very sophisticated forgery.The only apparent “montage” was combining the five different conversations into one audio file, said Joshua Marpet, a U.S.-based cyber analyst who has testified in court on the validity of computer evidence in other Turkish criminal cases. He said there was no sign that the individual conversations had been edited.“If it’s fake, it’s of a sophistication that I haven’t seen,” he said.
Municipal elections are March 30th and many people I have spoken with believe that the AKP will win. Some believe that regardless of which parties win in Istanbul street protests are likely.
Currently the opposition political parties and main activist social accounts are calling for people to remain calm and wait for elections.
The Prime Minister has stated that after the elections he will move to ban Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. (though obviously they already banned twitter)Strange Viral Political ad
Lastly, check out the last bit of this strange AKP political advertisement that was banned in Turkey. The video depicts people rushing to save a flag that has fallen and has a strange World War Z moment at the end.http://youtu.be/80J0FCe69to?t=2m14s