As Erdogan Faces Turkish Coup, The Guy Who Once Banned Social Media Sites, Forced To Address Nation Via Facetime & Twitter

from the digital-irony dept

We've written a fair amount about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Lately, it's mostly been about his ridiculously thin skin over insults, and his willingness to take his hurt feelings international. But, even prior to that, he had a history of irrational hating on social media. Back when he was Prime Minister, he tried to blame Twitter for social unrest, even going so far as to order it banned in the country. And, when that failed, he actually sued his own government over the failure to block content on Twitter that he disliked.

Now, as you hopefully know from news sources other than Techdirt, as I write this, it appears that there's a military coup going on in Turkey, trying to usurp Erdogan. As part of that effort, all those social media sites that Erdogan himself does not like, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are being blocked. For Erdogan himself, that's meant that he's been cut off from his own means of communication to the public, leaving him to use Apple's Facetime to call a local TV station to put him on the air:
And, of course, the social media blocks aren't even that effective anyway -- with many Turkish citizens using VPNs to get around the blocks. Plenty of people are now seeing live coverage of what's happening in Turkey thanks to Facebook Live and Twitter's Periscope.


I have no idea how this will turn out, but from the perspective of how the internet has changed the media landscape, this is all fairly incredible to watch as it plays out.

Update: And the irony gets thicker. Erdogan is now reaching out to the public... via Twitter:

Filed Under: coup, facetime, recep tayyip erdogan, social media, turkey
Companies: facebook youtube, twitter


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  1. icon
    Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 16 Jul 2016 @ 4:56am

    Secretive coup plotters overlooked potential of civilian allies

    Given years of discontent by Turkey's Westernizing urban classes with Erdogan's Islamizing and increasingly authoritarian ways, I was surprised that all of the street activism was in support of Erdogan. But the coup plotters apparently made no effort to recruit allies on the Internet, instead trying to smother it as an unpredictable element. They were a conspiratorial faction in the security services (the Gulenists) who did not understand how society and the Army had changed. Erdogan has had twelve years to purge the Army of secularist Kemalist generals who might have supported a coup.

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