President Erdogan says social media companies are not complying with court rulings in Turkey against accounts found to support terrorism.

Erdogan accused social media companies  of not complying with court rulings in Turkey against accounts found to support terrorism, January 13, 2021. Image: social media apps on a screen.
Erdogan accused social media companies of not complying with court rulings in Turkey against accounts found to support terrorism, January 13, 2021. Image: social media apps on a screen. (Chesnot/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Turkey will not bow to "pressure" by social media companies that see themselves above the laws on individual rights, the country's president said.

"We will not bow to the pressure of social media companies that consider themselves above the law in front of the rights of our people," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday at a media awards ceremony held in the presidential complex in the capital Ankara.

Thousands of US President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol building on January 6th, an attempt to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election that took the lives of five people.

Following the riots in Capitol Hill, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram banned Trump's accounts, alleging of "inciting violence" in the country. 

Trump called banning his accounts against free speech.

"We surely cannot tolerate violent events targeting democracy and democratic institutions; however, we cannot also accept the closure of people's communication channels without any legal basis," Erdogan said, stressing that the US elections demonstrated how far the "digital fascism" could go.

"We will not let you make money from ads in this country without having an office. We won't let you rob Turkey. When we began to fine them, they put themselves on track. You will pay [here] as you pay in the West," Erdogan added. 

READ MORE: Twitter, Facebook block Donald Trump's accounts from posting

'Social media platforms should follow court rulings'

Erdogan accused social media companies of not complying with court rulings in Turkey against accounts found to support terrorism.

"We can't allow terrorism, its propaganda to gain ground in the virtual world just as we don't allow terrorism within our borders," he said.

Erdogan added that recent developments across the world demonstrated the importance of Turkey's legal fight against "digital dictatorship and cyberbullying."

President Erdogan also addressed the long-running sit-in protest of families in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, against the YPG/PKK terror group.

He welcomed the efforts of the Radio, Television Journalists Association to be the voice of the families protesting against the terror group which killed tens of thousands of people in Turkey, including police, teachers and preachers, along with countless civilians including scores of Kurdish people.

The protest outside the office of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) began on September 3, 2019, when three mothers said their children had been forcibly recruited by the party to the terror group. 

The protest has snowballed since then with a great number of families across Turkey joining it.

READ MORE: How reliable is Twitter?

The president said mothers' initiatives to bring back their children demolished walls of horror and exposed the bloody face of the terror group, and added: "On behalf of myself, my wife and nation, I respectfully salute these brave mothers protesting to reunite with their children for over 500 days despite some disgusting attacks of terror group sympathisers."

Referring to those affiliated with the terror group without naming anyone, Erdogan said that they sent their own children to Europe for vacation but sent Kurdish children to Syria and Iraq to make them join the ranks of the terror group.

The Turkish president also criticised Western human rights organisations for not showing solidarity with the weeping families and playing three monkeys, adding that families’ efforts demonstrated the ideological bigotry in the country.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

READ MORE: Why are Turkey's Kurdish families camping outside HDP headquarters?

Source: TRTWorld and agencies