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Turks Use Israeli Start-Up to Get Past Erdogan’s Twitter Ban

Israelis and Turks demonstrate against Erdogan's Turkish regime outside the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv on June 2, 2013.

Israelis and Turks demonstrate against Erdogan's Turkish regime outside the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv on June 2, 2013.
Photo Credit: Roni Schutzer/Flash90

Turkish Internet users have been getting past Turkish Internet Service Providers (ISPs), thanks to an Israeli Internet start-up called Green Team. While Green Team’s goal is to provide solutions to enable safe access to the Internet for kids, schools and families, the service provider also offers a free, alternative DNS (domain name service) that does not block Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media. Turkish users have been utilizing different methods including using the different DNS’s provided by Green Team to access Twitter, YouTube and other social media.

Back in March, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan banned Twitter from Turkey. “We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic,” Erdogan stated at a campaign rally in Bursa on March 20, a day before the ban was officially placed.

When incriminating audio recordings revealing government corruption in Erdogan’s inner circles began appearing on social media sites, Erdogan began taking government actions barring users, stating that his enemies were using those sites against him. Erdogan’s party, Justice and Development Party won in local elections on Sunday, following the Turkish PM’s clampdown on the press and the Internet as well as corruption claims.

Green Team CEO David Allouch told The Times of Israel that his company had noticed significantly more traffic on their servers than usual – with most of them originating from Turkey this past week.

“On Tuesday we noticed there was a lot of traffic on our servers, more than usual,” GreenTeam CEO David Allouch told The Times of Israel. “A check of the IP addresses connecting to us showed that most of them originated in Turkey — with about 100,000 connections from Turkish users over a 24-hour period.”

The traffic spike occurred because Turkish Internet service providers had banned connections to an open server run by Google the previous day. But now that the word is out, Allouch will continue to help out the Turkish users, saying that he believes that his company has an obligation to help them, if they are turning to Green Team. “Starting Thursday, we will set up an alternative DNS server without filtering restrictions, specifically for use by Turkish users.”

In the meantime, Turkey’s highest court challenged the Twitter ban, ruling on Thursday that the government’s block on the on-line messaging service is constitutional, violating freedom of expression and individual rights to citizens.

About the Author: Anav Silverman is a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency.


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5 Responses to “Turks Use Israeli Start-Up to Get Past Erdogan’s Twitter Ban”

  1. Alex Shapiro says:

    I think there's something wrong with the last sentence: did she mean to write 'unconstitutional'?

  2. I was wondering the same thing, but I think it refers to the ban, not the challenge!

  3. I mean the challenge is constitutional, the ban is not!

  4. Acuallly,I'm not sure what I meant, but that is the gist of it.

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