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Thursday
Jun202013

Turkey Seeks to Restrict Social Media Use

ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images(ANKARA, Turkey) -- Turkey's government, considered the most tolerant among Muslim countries when it comes to human rights, is now targeting social media.

After nearly three weeks of civil unrest over accusations that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's regime is turning increasingly toward authoritarianism, the government is working to limit the use of Twitter and other websites that its feels are stirring up trouble.

Erdogan has already accused Twitter of being a "troublemaker in societies" by allegedly allowing people to spread lies about Turkey.

As a result, the Turkish justice ministry is crafting legislation that would criminalize certain activities on the Internet that include social media usage.

Social media was an integral part in uniting people opposed to the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt during the so-called Arab Spring in early 2011.  Erdogan is apparently worried that it is fueling the same kind of anti-government sentiment in Turkey.

While he frets about the Internet, riot police continue to clear demonstrators off the streets of Istanbul and Ankara.  Activists have reported four deaths since the trouble began on May 31 and more than 7,500 injuries, largely due to tear gas and water cannons used by authorities.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio