Recently, social media has been making a bigger impact, hence the explicit play. Current administration sees itself in an existential struggle and willing to do anything to stay in power. The model that they aspire seems to have switched from the west to Russia/China.
Whether they will be able to succeed in silencing social media will have implications beyond Turkey.
What I wouldn't do is touch anything with media around there.
Note: I lived there for 8 months in 2012, and am partnered to a Turk.
An ex Istanbul resident.
Do we still have non-violent ways to counter this and make our voice heard? Because otherwise violent ways become aspired.
Not Internet related, but there are some large students going on in Taiwan right now  based on concerns on how a new trade agreement with China was passed. The bill was passed in a legal way, but many of the discussions around it were behind closed doors and the Taiwanese people feel that the government is no longer "representing the people." The response against has been pretty described as "unprecedented", people who are normally not interested in politics are getting involved to see how they can help.
"We do not want to clash with the police...we just have to let the government know that never try to fool the people."
I find their vigilance inspiring. This level of spontaneous organization seems difficult to carry out in the US though. Taiwan is considerably smaller than the US, and I think that makes a large difference unfortunately.
EDIT (to respond to guard-of-terra): > "Turns out they just sit in their office and pretend nothing happens."
Definitely a valid point. We shall see how long this sustains for.To clarify, when I say "getting involved" I mean many people are taking to the streets, not just armchair activism.
Of course they say Russians are a nation of slaves but there you go.
Yeah, that's exactly what we had in Russia. The protests were about rigged elections. They also happened to be peaceful. Nevertheless, you can now find a lot of people who call protester names as if that was something provably bad. You can also find a lot of people who outright support everything the state do - thing you could not find before. A lot of people switched from "not caring" to "actively fearing change and swearing on any critique of status quo".
That doesn't stop one from inventing new acts of defiance that break through the monotony with awe and respect.
This is hypothesized to be a reaction to a series of audio recordings that were anonymously released over time. These were ridiculously damning, clearly someone is tapping phones without anyone else's knowledge.
Some highlights from the "alleged" recordings so far:
- PM calling to get news about an opposing party removed from a TV channel multiple times
- Modifying political poll results to manipulate public opinion
- Getting people of opposing opinions fired
- Buying a large paper shredder to destroy documents
- PM calling son to ask how much money there is at home, son replies saying about 1 trillion, then switches to 3-5 kurush (cents in turkish).
- PM calling son to say "they're raiding the houses, zero out the money". Son says there's only 30 million euros left.
- Call to order the judges to be fixed, and says that a specific person is to be imprisoned.
- Trying to manipulate who goes on the supreme court.
- Says "ignore the prosecutor who's running the corruption investigations". Orders documents ripped up.
The official reason for the shutdown is that there were sexual photos of some poor citizen released on twitter against her will, and she complained but twitter refused to take them down. So they decided to shut down the entire website. Yeah, right.
Of course this is ominous that at the end of this month, the local elections will take place. No coincidence.
It's surreal how all this is going down. It's like watching a conspiracy theory movie. Blatant shills everywhere, media manipulation abounds, blatant lies heard on TV from the horse's mouth. We were all skeptical already, it's inevitable when you live in a third world country for years, but wow. When you hear the insiders actually talking to each other, it's a whole new level.
more news on this specific event:
Related old post here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7189577
edit: Erdogan stated a few days ago that he didn't care what the world thought, and he would eradicate twitter. He said "how dare they listen to our encrypted phone conversations". It's expected that on the 25th, something huge is going to be released that might sway the elections bigtime. Whoever is posting these are doing it slowly and deliberately, a few days at a time, building up anticipation. So people think that twitter getting shut down is probably related to this.
edit2: All recordings were put on youtube by someone: https://www.youtube.com/user/haramzadeler333
Most of the leaking tapes are from the corruption investigation that was effectively blocked by the PM. His son was to be detained too but he shuffled or dismissed any prosecutor or police force that would dare to. Later he restructured the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors and did everything to stop the investigation and arrests.
The son of the Interior minister was arrested too but the Interior minister himself remained in power till he helped out Erdogan to restructure judiciary and law enforcement forces.
The legal files were leaked too. Turns out the Interior Minister knew about the ongoing investigation,so he created a team in the police to surveillance the other policemen who were after his son.
I wonder how far men would go (short of just killing people) to suppress the right for people to think, in order to suppress some information floating around in the public space.
Would you flick that switch, to power down an entire nation of drones, just to prevent them from finding out that you did something evil?
Take care you NEVER give other men the right to shut down your brain from afar. It WILL be used against you.
“I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”
Did he actually say that? In regards to shutting down twitter to stop a scandal? If you truly weren't responsible for w/e scandal, then wouldn't you just not care?
Edit: Also that line seems perfect for a James Bond villain lol.
The sentence describes his state of mind: He is the best thing for the country, so any resistance, corruption news, and protest cannot come from people of this country. It must be a conspiracy of the west. So, by blocking twitter, he is blocking west's conspiracy. He started believing his own propaganda.
The truth is people who vote for him is mostly poorer Turks, and those people don't care about twitter.
Especially the ones who get elected after spending some time in the opposition under not-so-democratic regimes.
but china, egypt, and interestingly panama don't. I'd love to report on this but it's hard to prove this kind of thing. any ideas? (i'm also contacting twitter)
edit: here's my story -
please let me know if you see anything wrong. (we're aware of the turkish character issues...sigh)
The tool you are using to check Twitter servers probably don't use a Turkish DNS server.
If you don't believe, check the website status from the Informational Technology and Communication presidency of Turkey website: http://eekg.tib.gov.tr/
The court orders are displayed both in English and Turkish.
this is how the DNS Look-up for twitter looks like at the moment: http://i.imgur.com/yKmmDYc.jpg
I used TTNET's DNS server for this. It's the biggest ISP in the country.
traceroute to www.twitter.com (22.214.171.124), 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
1 192.168.43.1 (192.168.43.1) 3.008 ms 5.479 ms 5.466 ms
2 10.182.5.82 (10.182.5.82) 395.945 ms 395.939 ms 395.924 ms
3 10.182.5.81 (10.182.5.81) 392.815 ms * 392.941 ms
4 10.182.5.234 (10.182.5.234) 395.846 ms 419.025 ms 419.020 ms
5 10.182.5.237 (10.182.5.237) 419.008 ms * 418.972 ms
6 126.96.36.199 (188.8.131.52) 418.958 ms 377.874 ms 798.912 ms
7 184.108.40.206.dynamic.ttnet.com.tr (220.127.116.11)
1208.763 ms 1208.767 ms 1208.767 ms
8 * ulus-t2-1-ulus-t3-1.turktelekom.com.tr.203.212.81.in-addr.arpa (18.104.22.168) 1208.713 ms 1208.699 ms
9 ulus-t3-6-ulus-t2-1.turktelekom.com.tr.29.212.81.in-addr.arpa (22.214.171.124) 1212.270 ms 1212.279 ms 1212.280 ms
10 * * *
This is the blocking point.
This is related to the corruption scandal in Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan's government is trying to stop the release of leaked tapes on social media.
Unfortunately, many countries have resorted to a simple fix of policing twitter. Second unfortunate thing is that twitter is still restricted to the tech savvy crowd. There's still a sizable population outside third world that don't know what it is & how to use it. But as long as we have un-policed social media tools, we might see large scale cleaning in the coming decades.
"It’s about power. It’s like those weird countries man where the army guys overthrow the president. The first thing that they take over is the way people communicate; radio, tv, newspapers. Information is power."
Turkish army has nothing to do with this case of course.
They just say: we can take things from you, and you can't do anything about that. They'll just say that you had them "elected" - as if someone voting for them gave them rights to take what is not theirs.
They're just trying to teach the young generation helplessness.
You can't do anything, better learn your VPN, feel fear and don't touch politics. You're a minority anyway compared to an army of aged citizens so no point in trying. They're vote for any extortion for a small share of profits.
IOW, if twitter is blocked, there should be a browser plugin / standard thing that fires itself up and automatically reconnects through said overlay network.
Because right now, a single domain is a SPoF that govts can flick a switch and neuter most of their populace's communication.
However, this is not the whole story. The current ruling party has huge support from the uneducated and/or religious masses that may not be that informed about the technology. Since 3 months new corruption documents are leaked through twitter, which puts pressure on the PM. Just yesterday there was a phone conversation of one of the Ministers leaked and apparently the guy was mocking Islam when he was trying to look like as devoted muslim in front of the public.
It's a system where every ISP with a license has to abide. They download a list of domains that needs to be forwarded to a server operated by TIB to explain the reason of access blocking. They add these to their recursive DNS servers so traffic goes there. People using another DNS server other than their ISP's (e.g. Google Public DNS, OpenDNS, etc.) are currently able to access.
Highly recommended that people, regardless of location, use encrypted DNS like OpenDNS to prevent monitoring, malicious in-flight modifications and DNS-based censorship.
However it's expected to see Twitter's IP's blocked anytime soon. In Turkey some websites, especially porn websites are also blocked by IP.
Here is the DNS look-up result: http://i.imgur.com/yKmmDYc.jpg
I may start browsing comments which have been downvoted the most to create a list on political-heavy threads. However it may be difficult to determine whether the user is a shill or just stupid.
It's just a big site run by some American company. Amazingly, there are other ways to communicate.
Call me cynical, but it just sometimes strikes me as odd how so many people around the world now rely on a company designed to make money by selling your information to communicate with the rest of the world. Especially in today's post-Snowden-revelations world. It's 'free', but that's how you 'pay'.
It turns out it's a simple DNS block which setting to Google's DNS is fixing for people.
For now, Twitter over VPN/TOR is the only workable solution.
1) In this day and age shutting down Twitter wholesale is simply a silly and undemocratic move. Information can not be blocked and will find its way around anyway. Like many people I am against it.
2) There is a blatant violation of personal rights of people by fabricated phone-tapes. You take it to the court and court decides that these are illegal, and ask the service provider (in this case Twitter) to take down those specific twits. They don't comply. What do you do?
Say there's a link for a fabricated phone conversation of Obama betraying the country disseminated using Twitter. The administration take it to the court and win the legal battle. Could Twitter afford not to comply? Can this happen?
This is the gist of the problem people are having over there.
And if only it was legal...
But come on, "They are as good as those that blocked Twitter in Turkey." is harsh to say the
few things about it:
1) some of the people involved accepted the authenticity of these recordings(some directly, some logically)
2) the recordings that were denied being authentic were investigated by audio forensic experts and they reported that these are real.
3) the pro-government media tried to scam US based audio studios to get reports to falsify these recordings. for an example, the mainstream pro-akp media used a report by Kaleidoscope Sound which was later denied by the studio. You can read their public statement here: https://www.facebook.com/KaleidoscopeSound
4) Other evidence brought to light by the opposition party supports the authenticity of these recordings.
5) These recordings are part of the legal prosecution.
Though there were some recordings that were made illegally, the fact that the ruling party actively blocked the legal prosecution lives no choice for the public to learn about the accusations from the whistleblower.
If the legal process was not blocked it would have been better to wait for the outcome of the prosecution, but in this case we don't have choice.
Again I am against the blockage. However we need try to understand what could have pushed the Turkish Courts to take such grave measures.
this is what Turkish people are dealing with.