Erdoğan rebuffs 'pressure' by social media providers


Turkey will not bow down to "pressure" by social media companies that see themselves as above the laws on individual rights, the country's president asserted Wednesday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's remarks came at a media awards ceremony held in the presidential complex in the capital Ankara.

He accused social media companies of not complying with court rulings in Turkey against accounts found to support terrorism.

"We can't allow terrorism, its propaganda, to gain ground in the virtual world just as we don't allow terrorism within our borders," he said.

Erdoğan added that recent developments across the world demonstrated the importance of Turkey's legal fight against "digital dictatorship and cyberbullying."

The leader also addressed the long-running sit-in protest of families in Diyarbakır, southeastern Turkey, against the YPG/PKK terror group.

He welcomed the efforts of Radio&TV Journalists Association to be the voice of the families protesting against the terror group which killed thousands of people in Turkey, including police, teachers and preachers, along with countless civilians including scores of Kurdish people.

The protest outside the office of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) -- which the government accuses of having links to the YPG/PKK -- began on Sept. 3, 2019, when three mothers said their children had been forcibly recruited by YPG/PKK terrorists. The protest has snowballed since then with a great number of families across Turkey joining it.

The president said mothers' initiative to bring back their children demolished walls of horror and exposed the bloody face of the terror group, and added: "On behalf of myself, my wife and nation, I respectfully salute these brave mothers protesting to reunite with their children for over 500 days despite some disgusting attacks of terror group sympathizers."

Referring to those affiliated with the terror group without naming anyone, Erdoğan said that they sent their own children to Europe for vacation but sent Kurdish children to Syria and Iraq to make them join the ranks of the terror group.

The Turkish president also criticized Western human rights organizations for not showing solidarity with the weeping families and playing three monkeys, adding that families' efforts demonstrated the ideological bigotry in the country.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.

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