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Twitter share price down, Turkey’s prime minister blocks access to the social network on elections’ eve

The access to Twitter in Turkey was blocked late on Thursday after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the company ignored court orders to remove content concerning government corruption just ahead of elections scheduled on March 30th.

Recently the Turkish government had to deal with a series of voice recordings and documents that became public and were distributed via Twitter. As reported by the Hurriyet newspaper earlier this week, the social media website has been approached by the government and was requested to remove some of its content related to the investigation.

Mr. Erdogan shared in front of his supporters at an election rally that he was considering to ban the social media, which he previously described as a “menace to society”.

As reported by the Financial Times, he also said: “Freedom does not mean interfering in peoples private lives, leaking state secrets internationally through these channels. We will not allow this.”

Mr. Erdogans statement was cited by the Wall Street Journal: “Twitter and the rest, we will root out all of them. I dont care what the international community says, they will see the power of the Republic of Turkey.”

Only about six hours after this statement, the premiers office officially announced: “Access to Twitter may be blocked as a last resort to avert the unjust treatment of our citizens in case of a continuation of this ignorance of the court rulings.”

The office of Turkeys prime minister said that there was no choice but to block access to the social network due to the fact it has shown no respect towards the countrys court orders.

When asked what steps would the company take after being blocked in Turkey, Twitter said in an e-mail to The Wall Street Journal: “We are looking into this now.” Nu Wexler, who is one of the social networks spokeswomen, refused to make further comments on the situation.

Twitter Inc. fell by 2.19% on Thursday in New York to close the session at $50.12. The company is valued at $29.49 billion. According to CNN Money, the 28 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Twitter Inc. have a median target of $51.50, with a high estimate of $75.00 and a low estimate of $32.00. The median estimate represents a +2.75% increase from the last price of $50.12.

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