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Erdogan says Twitter shutdown order came from him

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March 24, 2014 06:57 AM EST | AP


ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed that he gave the orders to shut down Twitter in Turkey.

At a campaign event in Istanbul Sunday ahead of March 30 municipal elections, Erdogan said he had given the order because Twitter was not obeying Turkey's laws. Previously, the Turkish government said that the telecommunications authority had blocked Twitter on court orders. However, the move came shortly after Erdogan threatened to "rip out the roots" of the website.

Erdogan said Twitter was applying double standards, shutting down accounts when the U.S. or the U.K demand it, but defending freedom when Turkey, Ukraine or Egypt have concerns.

He said: "This isn't a banana republic!"

Despite the blockage, many in Turkey are finding ways to continue to tweet.