updated 08:50 pm EDT, Sun April 13, 2014
Claim of Twitter as tax evader follows lifting of ban in Turkey
The Prime Minister of Turkey is continuing to attack Twitter, accusing the microblogging service of tax evasion. In a televised address, Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed the recent ruling by Turkey's highest court against a ban on the service places the interests and rights of companies ahead of those of Turkey itself, and that his government will "go after" Twitter for supposedly due taxes.
"Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook are international companies established for profit and making money. Twitter is at the same time a tax evader. We will go after it," claimed Erdogan in the broadcast, according to the AFP. "These companies, like every international company, will abide by my country's constitution, laws, and tax rules."
Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan
The supposed evasion could be seen as a lashing out against the service, after events during the country's recent elections. Erdogan blocked Twitter in March, in an attempt to curtail allegations of corruption, as well as preventing the spread of politically-volatile audio recordings which Erdogan called "vile" and fake. Citizens quickly moved to work around the ban, which later saw interference with Google's free DNS service. After multiple instances of court action, the block was lifted. A similar ban against YouTube, for distributing sensitive material, is still in place despite a court ordering a partial lift of the block.
The courts themselves were also subject to an attack by Erdogan in his televised speech, including criticism over "advocating commercial law of international companies instead of defending the rights of its own country and its own people." Erdogan claimed the court orders to lift the bans amount "to interference with politics," and reiterated that he doesn't "respect" the Twitter rulings, despite abiding by them.