The Foreign Service Journal - May 2014 - page 15

MAY 2014
I feel privileged… If I were outside government now I’d be writing
editorials, seeking meetings with the U.N. ambassador [and] seeking meet-
ings with the Secretary of State. Instead I get to work with the Secretary
every day who’s as committed as I am to dealing with the problem. I get to
talk to the president about it, who has dedicated $100 million to get African
forces in there in as timely a fashion as possible in tough budget times.
So I’m in a much better position now to affect both the pace and the scope
of our response, and we’ve come a long way. But ... neither the new
Samantha Power nor the old Samantha Power can be satisfied when
you still have Muslim and Christian civilians who are living in great
—Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, speaking
about the crisis in the Central African Republic on
Contemporary Quote
Shooting the Messenger
tung by online political attacks,
Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan banned access to the
social media platform Twitter on March
21, just ahead of local elections. At this
writing, the issue is in the courts.
Erdogan has made similar threats to
but has not
yet acted on those.
to prevent the possible “victimization
of citizens,” citing legal complaints from
users who asserted the site had violated
their privacy.
But the English-language Turkish
that the Istanbul Heavy Penal Court told
the Union of Turkish Bar Associations
that Twitter had been blocked as a result
of an “executive decision, not a judicial
verdict.” TBB has filed a petition with the
court requesting the ban be lifted, the
report said.
Erdogan can keep stepping up his attacks
on social media, but they only serve to
show that he is afraid of the message and
desperate to shoot the messenger.”
Twitter is a popular platform for Turk-
Erdogan and his aides—that implicate
top-ranking authorities in corruption,
abuse of power and other wrongdoing.
Anonymous tweets promising to
release even more sensitive recordings
via Twitter on March 25, a few days
before the elections, presumably goaded
Erdogan to issue his edict.
Many Turkish Twitter users have
tweeted: “There is no way that closing
down social media platforms can be
approved.” The hashtag #TwitterIs-
BlockedInTurkey began trending from
within the country a few hours after the
ban was announced.
Neelie Kroes, vice president of the
European Commission who is also in
charge of the European Union’s digital
agenda, called Turkey’s ban “groundless,
pointless, cowardly.”
—Steven Alan Honley,
Contributing Editor
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