France condemns 'shocking' Turkey Twitter ban

PARIS (AFP) - France on Friday condemned Turkey's "shocking" decision to shut down Twitter and said the aspiring EU member had to respect freedom of expression and other basic rights.

The micro-blogging site was blocked in Turkey late Thursday, just hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to "wipe out" the service.

Erdogan has come under mounting pressure since audio recordings that spread across Twitter and other social media appeared to put him at the heart of a major corruption scandal.

"This shocking decision of the Turkish government runs contrary to the freedom of expression and communication which are fundamental principles," said French foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal.

"Turkey has to respect its commitments as a candidate (for EU membership) especially in the field of fundamental rights, including freedom of expression," he said.

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