Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan may ban YouTube and Facebook, saying that his political opponents are using the sites to provide false evidence of corruption in his inner circles. Because nothing says "I'm innocent of corruption" like blindly censoring the opposition.
Erdogan, who has been repeatedly accused of suppressing the press, said "We are determined on this subject. We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook." He added that the measure could take place following March 30 municipal elections as part of other legislation. "These people or institutions encourage every kind of immorality and espionage for their own ends," the probably-corrupt leader said of the websites.
The prime minister blames ally-turned-enemy Fethullah Gullen, a Turkish Muslim preacher who lives in the U.S., for posting the "fabricated" wiretaps. Gullen, for his part, says he is not involved. Facebook and YouTube have not yet responded.
The threat follows a number of leaked anonymous audio recordings revealing private conversations between high-level officials, the latest of which was published to YouTube last night. In it, you can hear a man who sounds like Erdogan pushing the owner of a newspaper to fire journalists over an article the prime minister didn't like. In another tape, Erdogan appears to pressure his justice minister to accelerate a court case against a media magnate for political reasons. Another one plays an alleged conversation between Erdogan and his son over how to hide a lot of money.