The prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to take drastic steps to censor the use of Internet, including shuttering YouTube and Facebook, where taped audio recordings of alleged conversations of his suggest corruption, were leaked over the past few weeks, which have dealt him a major blow leading up to local elections later this month.
In an interview late Thursday night, the Prime Minister told a television station that his government was determined to stop the leaks he claims are instigated by those following a Muslim cleric based in the U.S.
He is accusing Fethullah Gulen supporters of infiltrating the judiciary and police and for engaging in a form of espionage, saying the group listened in on telephones lines that were encrypted. The Gulen group has denied any involvement.
Erdogan said the government was determined to stop the leaks regardless of what the rest of the world might say. He said Turkey would not allow people to become devoured by Facebook, YouTube and others. Erdogan said the necessary steps would be taken without wavering.
When the Prime Minister was asked about shutting the sites down, he replied that it was included in the plan, because the people or the institutions are using these sites for many things that are immoral including spying.
Abdullah Gul the Turkish President who carries the moral authority for Turkey dismissed the idea Erdogan has during an interview on Friday. He said shutting the social media sites down was not something that would be done.
Erdogan has acknowledged this week some of the recordings leaked including two that he is heard meddling in a legal case against a proprietor of the media and in a tender for warships constructions.
However, he rejected what he called fabrication recordings that purported to be him telling his son to get rid of large sums of money the day prosecutors and the police carried out different raids on three former ministers’ son’s homes in the ongoing bribery and corruption investigation.
Erdogan claims to be a Gulen orchestrated victim and has take a number of steps to stall the investigation into corruption.