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 suggesting
corruption have been leaked in the past weeks, dealing him a major blow
ahead of this month’s local elections.
In a late-night interview Thursday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
told ATV station that his government is determined to stem the leaks he
insists are being instigated by followers of an influential US-based
Muslim cleric. He has accused supporters of Fethullah Gulen of
infiltrating police and the judiciary and of engaging in “espionage,”
saying that the group even listened in on his encrypted telephone lines.
The Gulen movement denies involvement.
“We are determined on
the issue, regardless of what the world may say,” Erdogan said. “We
won’t allow the people to be devoured by YouTube, Facebook or others.
Whatever steps need to be taken we will take them without wavering.”