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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]


Shortly after the Twitter ban came into effect around midnight, the micro-blogging company tweeted instructions to users in Turkey on how to circumvent it using text messaging services in Turkish and English. Turkish tweeters were quick to share other methods of tiptoeing around the ban, using “virtual private networks” (VPN) – which allow internet users to connect to the web undetected – or changing the domain name settings on computers and mobile devices to conceal their geographic whereabouts.

Some large Turkish news websites also published step-by-step instructions on how to change DNS settings.

On Friday morning, Turkey woke up to lively birdsong: according to the alternative online news site Zete.com, almost 2.5m tweets – or 17,000 tweets a minute – have been posted from Turkey since the Twitter ban went into effect, thus setting new records for Twitter use in the country.

May it continue thus.

23 comments to #TwitterisblockedinTurkey

  • Mr Ed

    The trouble is that Mr Erdogan can do this, and whether he succeeds or not, the bulk of the population probably would not care one iota.

    For those who speak Spanish, here is a wonderful clip of a Venezuelan opposition politician, Maria Corina Machado, in their National Assembly denouncing Chavez and his regime as having destroyed the institutions and the economy of Venezuela, the ethics of the people, ruined the economy, distributing misery, whilst Brazil and Columbia grow and of introducing Cuban-style Communism, the highest inflation on Earth, etc. “You lot are a bunch of communists, and we want justice and freedom.”

    She is now facing criminal charges.

  • Laird

    Good for them.

    The Turkish Prime Minister is banning Twitter but the President objects and is ignoring the ban? How does that work? Is one superior to the other? And why does a country have both a Prime Minister and a President anyway?

  • So does France, and several other countries.

  • RogerC


    Essentially one’s the CEO and the other’s the Chairman of the board. Broadly speaking, one is responsible for the day to day running of the company/country, the other mainly represents it to outside organisations. That’s a very approximate way of putting it of course, but the analogy’s generally close enough to be useful.

    In Britain the Prime Minister is the CEO, the sitting Monarch is the Chairman. In many other countries, the President fills the Chairman’s role, but there’s still a PM. Some countries, like the US, dispense with the split and have one post that covers both roles.

    Then you have Russia of course, which does have both a President and a PM, but where whichever role Vladimir Putin occupies is CEO and Chairman rolled into one.

  • Mr Ed

    It’s far better in San Marino, with two Captains-Regent for the Head of State, a kind of political Zaphod Beeblebrox, but borrowing from Rome.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    How did I not know about San Marina Mr. Ed!!!? I had a look – it’s amazing.

    Unless I’m misreading things, it is practically libertarian utopia. Low taxes, freely available firearms, nice climate, non-intrusive government.

    Sounds like paradise. I wonder how hard it is to get citizenship….

  • Antoine Clarke

    The President is the head of state and in theory is above the daily faction fights of party politics. The Prime Minister is merely the head of the biggest faction in the House of Representatives.
    In many countries, the President can sack the PM, usually to considerable public approval.

  • xfghom

    @Jaded Voluntaryist:


    In short, you need to (continuously) live there for at least 25 years.

    Guess you better get started soon 😉

  • Mr Ed

    JV, I have an unfulfilled wish to visit San Marino, if I could drag myself away from Venice when on holiday there, I might manage it, the Republic deserves a note for its tenacity, and unoffensive nature. San Marinese citizens may not move freely in the EU to work, and need work permits in the UK, so reciprocity may be an issue.

    One curious feature of Italy is Campione d’Italia, its enclave in Switzerland, which has no VAT.

  • Sorry JV, but an entity maintaining its “independence” by either relying on the protection of the surrounding state and its military (hiss boo), or by kissing up to dictators (either local or foreign) is not independent in my book. And if it is not independent, it is not libertarian.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Every country that has a Prime Minister (parliamentary system – head of government chosen by the legislature) also has a head of state: a President or a monarch. (Or a monarch’s representative – the governor-general in many Commonweath countries.)

    The Prime Minister is answerable to the legislature, and may be dismissed on a moment’s notice. The duty of the head of state is to manage the election of the Prime Minister by the legislature. For instance, choosing which party coalition can try to “form a government” first, when there is no majority. Or dissolving the legislature and calling new elections when no majority can be assembled, or the ruling coalition has clearly lost popular support.

    Usually these decisions are automatic, but sometimes they can be difficult or controversial. In 1932-1933, German President Hindenburg refused to let the Nazis form a government for nearly a year, even though they were the largest party. In 1975, Australian Governor-General Kerr dismissed Labour PM Whitlam, provoking massive protests by Labour supporters, though Labour was badly beaten in the resulting elections.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed – Turkey (though economic problems are there) is not the total mess that Venezuela is.

    The toxic mixture of Marxism and Keynesianism in Venezuela is truly astonishing.

    As for Turkey – I can remember when the “liberal” establishment were presenting the government as a model of “moderate Islam” (fools).

    By the way – Turks do care about Twitter.

    They are very heavy uses of it.

    As for Italy.

    Long live a restored Republic of Venice! I hope it comes.

    And may the other “regions” regain their independence also.

    Not “independence in Europe” – real independence.

    Italian and German “unification” were two of the greatest mistakes of the 19th century.

  • AndrewWS

    *Italian and German “unification” were two of the greatest mistakes of the 19th century.*

    Hear, hear!

    Es lebe das freie Bayern!

  • Mr Ed

    Paul, an unofficial referendum on independence is taking place now in the Veneto.

    The Turkish old guard (as it were) are dyed-in-the-wool statists, them or Erdogan, not a great starting point.

    Venezuelans cannot say that they do not know what they are facing, there are many scum out there.

  • JV,

    Very hard. Very hard indeed.

  • the other rob


    I looked it up. As Cats says, it’s hard. The residency requirement is 30 years, for starters.

  • Alsadius

    Alisa, it’s not perfect, but I think you’re making the perfect the enemy of the good.

  • Sorry Alsadius, but I think that you may have missed my point: I never said that it was bad, and I never said I that was looking for perfect (I never do). All I said was that this entity is not independent and is not libertarian. FWIW, if I was born there, I might have well stayed and enjoyed what the place has to offer (which I’m sure it does), imperfections and all. We all make do with what cards fate may have dealt us, and more likely than not the good people of San Marino have done just that.

  • […preview is my friend, preview is my friend,…sigh.]

  • The Turkish old guard (as it were) are dyed-in-the-wool statists, them or Erdogan, not a great starting point.

    True, but if I had to choose between the rock and the hard place, I’d still take my chances with the non-Islamist bunch.

  • Mr Ed

    Alisa, indeed, but if possible, walk away and hope for a meteorite or two.

  • Absolutely, Ed. Unfortunately, I no longer know of any place on Earth where it is practically possible to walk away from making such choices (although luckily the Islamist component is not yet at play in every single case).

  • Very retired

    You can’t stop the signal, Mal.