Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signed an agreement with internet service providers Facebook, Twitter and Google to block their services from access to Turkey’s Twitter account.
“We’ve agreed to implement this deal by April 3, 2021, with the objective of keeping the country’s social media platforms secure, in line with international standards and with the public interest,” Erdogan said during a speech at a government conference on Monday.
Erdogan also said that the government would introduce legislation to block Facebook and Twitter accounts that it believes “threaten the security and stability of the country”.
The government said the agreement with Facebook, Facebook’s parent company, was aimed at tackling a growing threat to Turkey and its people, but that its aim was to protect national security.
“The internet is our country’s key tool for the future, and we will use it to protect the people, to keep them safe, and to keep their country strong,” Erdogan told reporters.
Erdoğan has faced criticism from the European Union over the crackdown on internet freedoms that has been in place since a failed coup attempt in July.EU leaders on Monday voiced concern at Turkey’s crackdown on free speech, media and other civil liberties, saying they were concerned about the potential for violence and harassment against Turkish citizens.
Turkey has been under EU sanctions since the failed coup and is on the EU’s list of priority countries.