Turkey Censors Twitter and Websites During Kobani Siege

By Amy L. Beam, Ed.D:

On Oct. 9, Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Lutfi Elvan Elvan stated that Twitter withheld “provocative tweets against Turkey’s national security” during the recent protests.

“We faced tweets that threatened our national security, unfortunately provoking some of our citizens and even inviting others, like terrorist groups, to armed struggle. We did what was necessary and a considerable portion of those tweets were blocked by Twitter,” Doğan News Agency quoted Elvan as saying during a ceremony at Bahçeşehir University on Oct. 9.

It was not the tweets that provoked citizen demonstrations against the Turkish government.  It was Turkey’s inaction to protect Kobanê against the Islamic State attack and its refusal to allow Kurds in Turkey to cross into Syria to defend Kobani.  U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura said if Kobanê falls to the IS there will most likely be a terrible massacre of thousands of trapped Kurds, including elderly who did not escape.

News on Oct. 10 stated that the Islamic State had taken control of 40%.

The count as of Oct. 11 of Kurdish protesters who have been shot dead allegedly by police using live ammunition now stands at 40.  This cannot be confirmed because Turkey is blocking all tweets and websites describing these police murders.  From within Turkey, it is unclear who controls Kobanê.

According to an imctv.com report on Oct. 11, close to 20 journalists reporting on Kobanê are being held in Urfa Suruç  by Turkish police.

I am in Turkey and my tweets of links, photos, and certain hashtags have been blocked since Oct. 10.  So are hundreds of websites blocked.  Here is a sample of the blocked tweets and websites that according to Minister Elvan are “provocative tweets against Turkey’s national security.”

Sept 24, 2014 – Turkey’s PKK commander Buyik threatens to resume war in response to “the AKP’s war against our people:


Sept. 28, 2014 – Facebook photo of demonstrations in Diyarbakir:


Sept 29 – Supplies in Turkey Are Drying Up After Islam State Attack, The Washington Post:


Oct 3, 2014 – Turkey’s leaders defend press freedom record but agree to address delegation’s concerns- Committee to Protect Journalists; links do not load:

Only CPJ banner header loads; story does not load:


CPJ Twitter page does not load:


Oct 4, 2014 – Iraqi Kurdistan oil company’s callous disregard for villagers’ lives – Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT.org):
 T1 T20


Oct. 9, 2014 – Turkey promised safe corridor to Kurds by Salih Muslim, PYD co-chair – KurdistanTribune.com:


Oct. 9, 2014 – Turkey promised safe corridor to Kurds by Salih Muslim, PYD co-chair – KurdistanTribune.com:


Oct 10, 2014 – censored tweet with list of 29 Kurds killed by police during protest demonstrations:


Oct. 10, 2014 – List of 29 people killed by police or Hizbullah in Turkish protests:


Blocking posts on pastebin.com – One of Turkey’s more common “legal” notices on web pages it blocks:


Oct 10, 2014 – U.N. says thousands likely to be massacred if jihadists take Kobani – Reuters – cannot re-tweet this story:


Oct 10, 2014 – Iraq journalist killed by ISIS today was Raad al-Azzawi – cannot re-tweet:


Oct 12, 2014 – Kurdish PKK fighters called back to Turkey after protests – The Daily Star – cannot re-tweet:

 Dr. Amy L. Beam promotes tourism in eastern Turkey (North Kurdistan) and writes in support of Kurdish and Ezidi human rights.  Read her stories atKurdistanTribune.com.  She is writing a book, “Love and Betrayal in Kurdistan.”   Follow her on Twitter @amybeam or contact her at amybeam@yahoo.com or 240-696-1905 (U.S.) or 0090 537 502 6683 (Turkey).

One Response to Turkey Censors Twitter and Websites During Kobani Siege
  1. Amy L Beam
    October 12, 2014 | 13:47

    Twitter is blocking the ability to retweet many news stories about Kobani, ISIS, and Kurds. You can go to tinyurl.com and make a different URL then tweet that. Here is an alternative URL for this story about censorship: Make tinyurl to retweet stories blocked by Twitter http://tinyurl.com/tk-censors

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