Twitter 'left Turkish requests unanswered'

ANKARA - A ruling by a Turkish court that the country’s controversial restriction on Twitter violated freedom of expression has been criticized.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court demanded on Wednesday that Twitter access be restored but some Turkish figures have now said the court’s decision left reasonable demands from the Turkish government of Twitter unanswered.

The court decided on Wednesday that the Turkey’s blocking of Twitter violates the right to freedom of expression and demanded Twitter access be restored.

The court, which took into consideration individual complaints from three social media users, demanded the country’s Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) and Transport, Maritime and Communication Ministry follow the court order. 

Twitter’s official website on Thursday claimed: “Today we are pleased to announce that a Turkish court overturned that take-down order on freedom of expression grounds.”

However, the court decision is against “national interests,” said the deputy chairman of Turkey’s ruling AK Party, Yasin Aktay.

Speaking to The Anadolu Agency, Aktay criticized the court’s decision as "the case is between a company and Turkish nation, and the court gave very a fast decision in favor of Twitter Inc."

Twitter should be more responsible was an accusation from sociologist and AK Party member, Mazhar Bagli of Yildirim Beyazit University Ankara.

“The court’s decision cannot be questioned, but this is not only about freedom of expression; Turkey wanted someone from Twitter to respond to Turkey’s requests,” he said

“Because there is often violation of personal life via Twitter, in order to stop such incidents, Turkey wanted Twitter to be more responsible,” Bagli added.

Turkey's Official Gazette -- a daily printed record of legislative acts and notices --  published Thursday the court's decision, which brought extra pressure on the TIB authorities to lift the ban.

Responding to reporters in New York after attending a U.N. event, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: "Court orders need to be respected everywhere across the world," adding that Turkey had asked Twitter to restrict access to accounts which violated people's rights, however, the company had refused to do so. 

"The Twitter ban was a temporary measure and it does not aim to restrict freedom of expression," he added.

Deputy spokesperson at the U.S. State Department, Marie Harf, said on Wednesday, "We think it [the ban] needs to end, and if there has been a court decision, we think it needs to be implemented quickly, as quickly as possible."

Turkey's Internet authority blocked access to Twitter after a court issued an order demanding the website remove tweets containing certain links. Claiming that Twitter's management ignored calls from the Turkish government, the authorities described the move as a temporary measure, not a ban.

Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul said that court orders were related to private accounts unconnected to political freedom and freedom of expression, adding that he hoped Twitter officials will take these legal instructions into consideration and remove illegal content.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that Twitter had been blocked because it did not obey court decisions.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency