Sci/Tech

Turkish president loses Twitter followers

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Media reports say close to 80,000 people have stopped following Turkey's president on Twitter after he signed a controversial bill increasing government controls over the Internet into law.

Abdullah Gul, who has more than 4 million followers on Twitter, announced in a tweet late Tuesday that he had ratified the legislation following government assurances that two disputed articles on Internet controls would be amended.

The move sparked a campaign for people to stop following Gul on Twitter and Hurriyet newspaper said Wednesday that the Turkish president lost some 78,000 followers overnight. The legislation allows Turkish authorities to block websites for privacy violations without a court decision. It also forces Internet providers to make users activities available to authorities.

The EU had called the legislation "a step back" for media freedom.

Related Headlines

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    Turkish PM threatens to ban Facebook, YouTube

    Turkey's prime minister has threatened drastic steps to censor the Internet, including shutting down Facebook and YouTube, where audio recordings of his alleged conversations ... 

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    Turkish court backs Twitter but site still blocked

    In a second ruling against Turkey's ban on Twitter, a Turkish court has overturned an order for the social media network to remove an account that accuses a former minister ... 

  • Abdullah Gul, Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov

    Turkey restores access to YouTube

    Turkish authorities say they have restored access to YouTube five days after the country's highest court ruled that the two-month ban on the video-sharing website violates ... 

  • Yusuf Halacoglu

    Turkish Internet restrictions raise more concerns

    New Internet restrictions approved by parliament are raising concerns the government is trying to control the flow of information amid a corruption scandal, and a senior ...