Turkey’s opposition leaders have criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with humorous posts on Twitter after the latter vowed to tighten government control over social media following insults directed at his daughter and son-in-law.
“I would be really hurt if you shut down Netflix without me watching the last season of Dark, Mr. Erdoğan,” İYİ (Good) Party chairwoman Meral Akşener wrote on Twitter, referring to the German science fiction drama series aired on Netflix.
Akşener also shared the hashtag “SosyalMedyamaDokunma” in her post, which translates as “Don’t touch my social media,” which became trending on Twitter, soon after Erdoğan’s remarks.
In a separate Tweet, Akşener also wrote, “Here is the vision, the intelligence and strategy. We will then have to watch A Haber.” According to a recent survey, the pro-government TV channel of A Haber was found to be the least trusted news source in Turkey.
In response to Akşener’s Tweet, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu similarly voiced a humorous criticism of Erdoğan’s remarks, writing: “Oh dear Ms. Meral, he [Erdoğan] would now give away spoiler out of his anger :)”
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Pervin Buldan also joined the discussion, responding to Kılıçdaroğlu’s Tweet with the following message: “We were waiting for the last season of La Casa De Papel :(“
Opposition leaders’ remarks came shortly after Erdoğan said on July 1 that the reason behind insults targeting his family is social media usage, adding that “rapid steps will be taken for their complete removal.”
“We experienced similar attacks in the past. The fact that these social media platforms are uncontrolled have a role in the increase in these immoralities. Do you understand why we’re against social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Netflix? To get rid of these immoralities. They are immoral,” he said.
Erdoğan’s plan to introduce legislation to bring social media under the government’s control was widely criticized among Turkish Twitter users, who responded to the president’s threat with humor and satire.
“It seems the chief [referring Erdoğan] did not like Dark’s third season, as he in between also shut down Netflix,” said one Twitter user, whereas another said: “Netflix’s management has just found out that Neflix is social media.”
Another wrote, “Twitter users are experienced about being shut down, no need for panic, but YouTubers are thinking about how this shutting down will happen. And Netflix is still trying to figure out what it has to do with the issue.”
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government previously blocked Twitter and YouTube in 2014 after audio recordings were posted implicating Erdoğan and his family in an alleged corruption scandal.