Turkey may have banned Twitter—the country’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to “eradicate” it from the country on Thursday—but Twitter isn’t going to leave its users tweetless.
Twitter’s @Policy account tweeted instructions on how Turkish users can use the service via SMS text messaging in both the Turkish and English languages:
Though users can send tweets easily using SMS, it’s much more difficult to read them that way. To do so, users have to subscribe to individual accounts via SMS and receive updates from them. So while it’s nice that people in Turkey are able to tweet the word out, it will be harder for them to follow conversations on the platform.
To subscribe to a user’s tweets via SMS, users can send ON [username] to their carrier’s Twitter short code (i.e., 2444 or 2555 for most Turkish users). Twitter provides step-by-step instructions on its support page.
Why Turkey Is Anti-Twitter
“We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter,” Erdogan said at a political rally Thursday. “I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”
Erdogan lashed out after anonymous audio recordings leaked on Twitter exposed apparent corruption among the prime minister’s inner circle, allegedly including Erdogan himself. According to Al Jazeera, the recordings show Erdogan and others interfering with business deals, media coverage, and court rulings.
In June, authorities operating under Erdogan’s orders arrested 25 people accused of using Twitter and other social media platforms to broadcast the anti-government protests that rocked the country last summer.
Turkey is set to hold local elections on March 30 that will determine the fate of Erdogan and Turkey’s ruling AK Party.
Two weeks ago, Erdogan also threatened to ban Facebook and YouTube for similar reasons. China is the only other country that blocks access to Twitter, although Egypt briefly banned access to the social network in January 2011 after massive protests in the country.
Image courtesy of Ceyhun (Jey) Isik on Flickr