Turkey, Twitter to hold more talks

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iol scitech march 26 turkey twitter AFP File photo: Protesters hold placards during a demonstration against the ban on Twitter by the Turkish government in Ankara.

Ankara - Turkey's government will hold a second round of talks with Twitter executives next month in Dublin, local media reported on Thursday.

Turkey's telecommunications authority held high-level meetings with officials from the San Francisco-based company this month after the government banned the service in March for two weeks.

The second meeting is scheduled for the second week of May to be attended by officials from Turkey's Information and Technologies Authority as well as the prime ministry, CNN-Turk television reported.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Twitter - which has almost 12 million users in Turkey - for not paying taxes there, urging the company to open a liaison office.

Twitter has ruled out any such move, refusing to open an office in a state that tried to ban it, and has rejected charges of tax evasion.

It said its advertising sales in Turkey are handled through a reseller that pays applicable taxes.

The government has also accused Twitter of ignoring “hundreds of court orders” to remove links deemed illegal.

Twitter blocked two accounts on Sunday that had been used to spread corruption allegations against Erdogan's government and his inner circle, a move that came after several days of talks with Turkish officials.

The two accounts - (at)Haramzadeler333 and (at)Bascalan - leaked large amounts of secret documents and recorded phone conversations implicating Erdogan, his family and associates in a wide-ranging corruption scandal.

That prompted the embattled premier to ban Twitter ahead of March 30 local elections but the government had to unblock the service on April 3 after the country's top court ruled that the blockade breached constitutional guarantees of free speech.

The video-sharing site YouTube has been blocked in Turkey since the end of March despite two separate court orders calling for the ban to be lifted. - Sapa-AFP

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