March 21 - Turkish Twitter users say the ban ''is not good for the country'' after courts ruled to block access to the social media website a week before a national election. Deborah Gembara reports.
With days to go before their national election, Turks hoping to express themselves on Twitter are out of luck. Turkish courts have blocked access to the site -- which in recent days has been flooded with allegations that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is responsible for widescale corruption. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ISTANBUL RESIDENT, DOGA SATIR, SAYING: "We are starting to resemble Arab countries. Turkey's future is not bright. We cannot even talk to people on the street about this issue. This is not good for the country." Turkish Twitter users say they're already seeing the outages. Late on Thursday, Erdogan accused his opponents of using the site as part of a smear campaign. Speaking to his supporters, he was defiant. SOUNDBITE: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan saying: "Twitter mwitter! We have a court order now. We will wipe out all of these. The international community can say this, can say that, I don't care at all." San Francisco-based Twitter says it is looking into the matter but hasn't officially commented. They did publish a tweet addressed to Turkish users with directions on how to tweet using text messages. Many, including the country's president Abdullah Gul, have managed to circumvent the block, to post at the site. In his tweet, he called the ban "unacceptable." Hours after the ban went into effect --- the hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey was trending globally.