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Turkey goes after Twitter again, this time over taxes

Twitter may have won the battle, but the war isn't over yet

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 14, 2014 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3647

Twitter may have won the battle against the Turkish government by getting is site back and up and running in the country, but that does not mean that the war is over. Not by a long shot.

Just a few weeks after a Turkish court ordered that the service be turned back on, following its ban in late March, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the man behind the banning, is back, and once again going after the service.

This time he is giving a brand new reason for the company to be banned in his country: apparent tax evasion.

"Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook are international companies established for profit and making money. Twitter is at the same time a tax evader. We will go after it," Erdogan said, according to a report by AFP that came out this weekend. ‘These companies, like every international company, will abide by my country's constitution, laws, and tax rules."

Whether Erdogan has any prove of any wrongdoing, or if he really plans to make an issue out of this, remains to be seen. VatorNews has reached out to Twitter for comment on the remarks. We will update if we learn more. 

Erdogan was behind the original Twitter ban, implemented by in late March, which came after he was accused of corruption on the social network. In a speech on March 20th, Erdogan mocked Twitter, and then said that he would "wipe out" the service. Hours later, it was taken down.

That is, of course, not the official reason the government gave for the move, though. Their explanation involved them accusing Twitter of refusing to remove certain links from its site, which had been deemed illegal by the country's courts. 

The ban was overturned earlier this month Turkey’s Constitutional Court, which declared that blocking Twitter is a violation of individuals’ freedom of speech.

Erdogan addressed the ruling in his remarks on Saturday, saying that they amounted "to interference in politics," and that while he would abide by the ruling, "I don't respect it."

In addition to Twitter, the Turkish government also banned YouTube. The service was shut down on March 27th after a video appeared on the site with audio from a conversation between Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief, and a top general in a high-security meeting that centered on the military situation in Syria.

A court has since also deemed that ban unconstitutional, saying that it was too broad. The decision still allowed the government to ban 15 individual videos.YouTube, however, has not yet been turned back on in Turkey because its highest court did not hand down the decision.

(Image source: thesocialmediamonthly.com)


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