Azeris support Turks banned from Twitter

Azeris support Turks banned from Twitter

Twitter marked its eighth birthday on last Thursday, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presented a birthday gift to millions of Turks, who are among world's top 10 users of Twitter.

Erdoğan banned Twitter as it became a real headache for him when major political and economic issues of Turkey, including the wiretapped conversations laying corruption within his government bare, started to be discussed among journalists and politicians in the public eye on Twitter.

 The political turmoil  that intensified via tweets discomforted him as it was a damaging blow onto his government's reputation and threatened his seat for the next election. To control tweets about his authoritarian rule as we are approaching the local election time, due to be held this weekend, the prime minister resorted to take an action that would never happen in a democratic state: blocking Twitter. It came after he threatened to "root out" the social media network.

By banning Twitter and making it one of the most trending topics within a short time under the hashtags of #TwitterisbannedinTurkey, #TwitterisblockedinTurkey and #TurkeyblockedTwitter, Erdoğan sparked national outrage and international backlash for restricting freedom of speech and promoting censorship.

While users in Turkey were rushing to use bypassing proxies and changing DNS numbers, social media activists in Azerbaijan made a move on Facebook, the most widely used social media website across Azerbaijan, in a bid to support the freedom fight of Turks against the corruption-infected authoritarian rule in Turkey, Azerbaijan's staunch ally.

Here is a selection of the most discussed and liked Facebook statuses of Azeri activists since the Twitter restriction in Turkey.

Turxan Qarışqa: “Tutdu qatıq, tutmadı Erdoğan” [In English this means: yoghurt if milk rots, ayran (a Turkish yoghurt drink) if it does not].

“Tutdu qatıq, tutmadı Erdoğan”  is a phrase that is derived from an Azeri proverb “Tutdu qatıq, tutmadı ayran.” So you have two choices when you leave the fermented milk: either yoghurt if it succeeds, or ayran if it fails. The Azeri Facebook user draws a similarity between Erdoğan and ayran, a failed version of yoghurt, which was labeled by Erdoğan as Turkey's national drink last spring when he condemned any alcoholic alternative such as traditional alcoholic drink of Rakı last spring.

Altay Göyüşov: Erdoğan “dig the root of the trouble, which is called twitter." They have shut it down late night hour. If he succeeds in the upcoming election, he will shut down the book of Turkey.

Farhad Mehdiyev: Who else other than a psychopath would ban Twitter? If they have made this sort of decision, it means they are expecting serious compromising materials about important figures in the government before March 30. The reading out of the summary of proceedings [in Turkey's Parliament] was not allowed to prevent revelation of everything.

Bakhtiyar Hacıyev: Not a proper democratic neighbor do we have. One side is Iran, another side is Russia, the other side is Turkey. Now you come and tell the [Azeri] government whether "this is not good and that is bad, or something else might damage your reputation in the international arena.” Luckily, at least Misha [Georgia President Mikhael Saakashvili] was in power for 10 years in Georgia.

After a while he posts another status saying: If I were [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev, I would say via my Facebook and Twitter accounts, “What's up, wounded gazelle. Do you appreciate me now?”

(Today's Zaman)

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