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Turkish PM backtracks on his threat to ban Facebook and YouTube

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that the government was considering shutting down Facebook and youTube in a bid to prevent secretly wiretapped recordings from being leaked.

Image: AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

TURKISH PRIME MINISTER Recep Tayyip Erdogan has backtracked on a threat to shut down Facebook and YouTube in Turkey.

Erdogan, who is fighting allegations of corruption, said last week that the government was considering steps to prevent secretly wiretapped recordings from being leaked on the internet, including shutting down Facebook and YouTube.

The government insists the corruption allegations and leaks are the work of the followers of an influential US-based Muslim cleric who have infiltrated police and the judiciary.

In comments published in pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper Tuesday, Erdogan said the government was determined to fight “fabricated and dubbed” recordings on the internet but acknowledged that a total shutdown of social media is “out of question.”

Last month, parliament passed a law that increased government controls over the internet.

Read: Plastic bullets fired as hundreds protest Turkey internet restrictions >

Read: Turkish government heavily criticised after passing “Orwellian” internet laws >

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