Twitter Files Lawsuit Against Turkish Government Over $50,000 Fine

Published: January 7, 2016 9:58 PM /


Turkish Flag

Twitter is currently facing a $50,000 fine in Turkey over its refusal to remove tweets that are considered to be terrorist propaganda by the Turkish government. Twitter has responded by fighting back with a lawsuit, arguing that the fine is illegal and should be annulled. Twitter has frequently gotten into disputes with the Turkish government and has been blocked in the country multiple times due to its refusal to remove certain content.

The tweets in question are connected to two groups, both considered to be terrorist groups by Turkish authorities. Most of the tweets are related to the PKK, a Kurdish group which has been violently rebelling against Turkish authority for decades and is considered a terrorist organization by NATO and the EU. The remaining tweets were related to the far left group DHKP-C, which is considered a terrorist group by the US and the EU.

Although Twitter has been blocked numerous times in the country, the $50,000 fine was the first of its kind to be imposed on Twitter. Turkish officials say the fine is imposed because Twitter disobeyed a court order to remove content. Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yildirim had previously stated that the Turkish government will not give up on having the fine paid, and will take necessary measures to see that the fine is paid. Its unclear what measures Turkish authorities are planning to take, but it may be another block of the site until the fine is paid.

Even if Twitter is successful in its lawsuit, more trouble may be on the way. The Turkish government is reported to be considering legislation to make site blocking even easier. Considering how many times Twitter has already been blocked in the country, we can only imagine how much worse it will get under that new legislation.

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| Senior Writer

I’m a technology reporter located near the Innovation District of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.