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Twitter ban widens rift between Turkey's leaders ahead of vote

Published on Mar 25, 2014 4:45 PM
 
This file picture dated on May 29, 2013, shows Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) and Turkish president Abdullah Gul (left) attending the opening ceremony of the third Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul. It was arguably the strong partnership between Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul that tightened their party's grip on power over the past decade. -- PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL (AFP) - It was arguably the strong partnership between Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul that tightened their party's grip on power over the past decade.

But Erdogan's controversial ban on Twitter last week, as well as a vast corruption scandal that erupted late last year, has exposed a deep-seated rift between the two ahead of crucial local elections on March 30.

Turkey's 10 million Twitter users were banned on Thursday from accessing the site after Erdogan vowed to "wipe out" the messaging service, which has been used by to publish damaging allegations against his government.

Western leaders and rights groups denounced the move as a violation of free speech.

 
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