In a desperate attempt to control corruption leaks, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan closed Twitter in Turkey. «I don’t care what the international community says,» said Erdogan earlier this week and threatened to stop Twitter. Shortly after Twitter users in Turkey faced major technical problems.
«Norwegian PEN strongly condemns this dramatic action,» says pesident William Nygaard. «Norwegian and International PEN have followed developments in Turkey closely for several years. It is with the greatest concern we have monitored the developments in the last few days. Erdogan is now desperately attempting to restrict ordinary citizens’ freedom of expression. The fact that Twitter is being closed, sends an important signal: That the democratic development in Turkey is about to collapse. It is now essential that both the EU and Norway react sharply to the development in recent days.»
Turkey’s undisputed leader over the last decade has faced a political crisis in recent months.He strongly believes that he is facing a coup attempted by a «parallel government» that will harm him. Every day he lashes out to his enemies. Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul rejected the idea of a «parallel government» in a candid interview given to Turkish and international media during a state visit to Denmark earlier this week. Gul rebuts Erdogan’s claims that an «international conspiracy consisting of outside forces» is trying to topple his government. «I do not accept this claim and I find it improper,» said Gul in the interview published in the newspaper Al-Monitor 18 March.
Erdogan is under a lot of pressure and it is expected that the outcome of local elections in Turkey later this month will be very important for his future political career.