Turkish President Erdogan vows social media 'control' after family insulted

President of Turkey and leader of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
President of Turkey and leader of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Adem Altan, AFP
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his family was insulted online.
  • This was in connection with apparently negative comments to the birth of a child by a family member.
  • Erdogan has criticised social media in the past, once promising to "eradicate" Twitter.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday vowed to tighten government control over social media after he said his family was insulted online.

Erdogan over the years has made no secret of his dislike for social media, once comparing them to a "murderer's knife" and previously promising to "eradicate" Twitter.

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also Erdogan's son-in-law, on Tuesday tweeted that his wife, Esra Albayrak, had given birth to their fourth child.

Erdogan said despite the majority of positive messages congratulating the couple, there were some "dark-hearted" users who insulted the Albayrak family, especially Esra.

He pointed to "an uncontrolled media" after such remarks, which were condemned by women's rights organisations as well as political parties from across the spectrum.

Morals

"Do you see why we are against social media like YouTube, Twitter and Netflix? To eliminate these immoralities. They don't have morals," Erdogan said in Ankara.

"We don't want to experience, see these developments which don't suit this nation," he added, speaking via videoconference to his ruling party officials.

"This is why we should bring this to our parliament, to remove these social media networks completely, to control them," Erdogan said.

Soon after his comments, the hashtag in Turkish meaning "don't touch my social media" was trending on Twitter.

The government under Erdogan previously blocked Twitter and YouTube in 2014 after audio recordings were posted implicating the president, then prime minister, and his inner circle in an alleged corruption scandal.

His aversion also dates back to anti-government protests in 2013, which were often mobilised by Twitter and Facebook posts.

Erdogan's angry remarks come after a videoconference with young people last week during which Erdogan was met with a flood of negative comments on YouTube.

The Turkish presidency soon turned off comments but there were 388 000 clicks on the "thumbs down" button, compared with 114 000 on the "thumbs up" button.

The Turkish National Police later on Wednesday said 11 suspects were detained over "insulting posts" against Albayrak and his family.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
38% - 4060 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 2764 votes
No, I don't think they need it
36% - 3900 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.29
(-0.52)
ZAR/GBP
21.24
(-0.12)
ZAR/EUR
18.29
(-0.11)
ZAR/AUD
11.81
(-0.08)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-0.10)
Gold
1700.44
(+0.04)
Silver
25.20
(+0.16)
Platinum
1128.01
(+0.31)
Brent Crude
69.67
(+3.93)
Palladium
2329.95
(+0.62)
All Share
68271.19
(+0.78)
Top 40
62788.64
(+0.87)
Financial 15
12759.80
(+0.67)
Industrial 25
87613.31
(-0.32)
Resource 10
70801.78
(+2.36)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo