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Citizens in Turkey found accessing Twitter increasingly difficult on Thursday until they couldn't use it at all as the Prime Minister shut it down as he remains embroiled in a corruption scandal.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke at a rally in Bursa and said he was shutting down Twitter, reports Variety. "We will eradicate Twitter," he said, revoking access for almost 10 million Twitter users in the country.
"I don't care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic." He added that there was even a court order in place.
According to CNN, Erdogan also said, "This has nothing to do with freedom-schmeedom. Freedom is not invading someone's privacy."
Not coincidentally, the shutdown of Twitter, and threats to repeat the move with Facebook and YouTube come less than two weeks before citizens are set to vote in municipal elections.
Erdogan has been trying to quash leaks linked to a corruption probe. The prime minister is so desperate to stop the investigation that he has fired thousands of prosecutors and police officers. But despite his best efforts, social media has thwarted him and continued to spread the embarrassing information.