Turkey blocked access to Twitter late last night, just hours after Turkish prime minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would "eradicate" the social media network in a campaign rally.
Local elections are due to take place in Turkey in ten days. Speaking to supporters in Bursa yesterday evening, Mr Erdogan said:
We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.
He is angry that wiretapped recordings have been leaked on Twitter, damaging the government's reputation ahead of local elections.
The recordings include one in which Mr Erdogan alleged instructs his son to dispose of large amounts of cash from a home amide a police corruption investigation. He insists the recordings are fabricated.
Many users trying to access the network early today were confronted instead with a notice from Turkey's telecommunications authority, citing court orders for the site's apparent closure. Twitter has around 10 million users in Turkey.
Erdogan's office said Twitter was breaking the law by ignoring court rulings, and blocking was the only "remedy".
In a statement to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News, the Press Advisory of the prime ministers office said:
As Twitter fails to change its attitude of ignoring court rulings and not doing what is necessary according to the law, technically, there might be no remedy but to block access in order to relief our citizens.
Twitter has issued advice on how to get around the ban, and said it was investigating claims that its service has been blocked.
Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.