Turkey has blocked access to the social media website - Twitter, to prevent the broadcast of images from Monday's carnage of a bombing that killed 32 people in Suruc, Turkey, and also to prevent Turkish Twitter users from calling for protests against the government, the Associated Press(AP) reported earlier today. [Most of my followers @#thereallayman on Twitter are Turkish.]
The AP cited the state-run Anadolu Agency, as confirming the censor of Twitter, noting that Turkey had asked Twitter to remove 107 URLs with images of the aftermath of Monday's suicide bombing in the southeast town of Suruc. Some 50 of the URLs have been removed by Twitter which is working to remove the remaining concerned URLs, the AP report informed.
About midday on Monday, as the Turkish activist group, the Federation of Socialist Youths, was finishing a press conference at which it pledged to help rebuild the battle-ravaged cross border Syrian town of Kobani, a suicide bomber exploded within the activists, killing 32 and spewing carnage over a large area of what had just been a scene of great hope for social activists.
As is in the case of all major events, many posts were Tweeted of the destruction in Suruc. Social protests suggesting that the Turkish government did not do enough to prevent the slaughter in Suruc erupted in Istanbul and many other Turkish towns.
The Turkish government, which has always had a sore spot for social protests and for the communication tool of social media, has decided to block Twitter to prevent protests.
But blocking social media is not a remedy to dissent in Turkey. Good governance is the only remedy to dissent. The satisfaction of the Turks is a remedy to dissent.
Yet, placed in it's true perspective, the action of the Turkish government to censor Twitter, rests squarely with the embarrassment of the government by the bombing. That the Islamic State(IS), which is believed to have carried out the bombing, dared to perpetrate such a heinous act within Turkey's borders, is an embarrassment to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party.
Many observers have criticized Erdogan as previous Prime Minister and now as President as being soft on the IS. Last year, Turkey gained the released of Turks held by the IS and subsequent calls to Erdogan to become sterner against the IS following that release never materialized.
As the IS laid violent siege to the cross border Syrian town of Kobani, Erdogan kept Turkish troops and tanks on a hill overlooking the battered city and never sent one soldier to aid the besieged people. Erdogan's actions raised questions as to whether or not he had made a deal with the IS. Deal or no deal, the IS 'no touch Turkey' vow was broken on Monday with the carnage at Suruc.
That the Turkish government would now seek to further censor social media to prevent protests by the Turkish people, must be construed as preposterous and and as another attempt to keep silent the will of the Turks.
Therefore, to silence dissent in Turkey, Erdogan and his party must not silence the Turks, but silence the violent IS.