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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2016 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: This is good

    In this case yes -- a Military coup would be pro-democracy. When the first-past-the-post elected hardline theocrat frames all dissident leadership for various crimes and then invites his own people into those positions without election, and the military is a drafted military of the people that doesn't answer to the elected government, but has the mandate to protect democracy and overthrow the government if it goes too far out of line from the constitution (sound familiar?) Then yes. The Turkish military is kind of like all the US militias rolled into one, combined with the Swiss army. Their mandate isn't to protect the government, but to protect the country. When the government appears to be acting outside of the interests of the country as a whole, the military steps in and removes them, calling a new election so the people can elect someone better.

    In Turkey, some variation of this happens about every 10 years. The 2007 one happened bloodlessly, as the militant party attempting to get elected and disband democracy disbanded themselves when the people's army rattled their sabres.

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