Turkish GSM operator Turkcell to close offices for ‘technical works’ during election night

Turkish GSM operator Turkcell sent a text message to employees working at its headquarters in Istanbul and informed them that "technical infrastructure works" would prevent them from entering their plazas and offices on election night.

Duvar English

Turkish GSM operator Turkcell will carry out technical infrastructure work on election night and its employees will not be allowed to enter plazas and offices, journalist Alican Uludağ on May 12 reported on his personal Twitter account.

Accordingly, Turkcell management sent the following message to its employees: "From 21.00 on Friday, May 12, until 06.00 on Monday, May 15, there will be no access to our plazas and offices except in mandatory cases due to the technical infrastructure works to be carried out in all our plazas. The VPN connection will also not be possible on the relevant dates.

Uludağ stated that it is vitally important that telephone, internet, and TV broadcasts work properly and that electricity is not cut on election night. He warned that the government might “sabotage” these networks if it loses the elections and added, “Especially opposition TV channels such as Halk TV and Sözcü may be cut off” because the government controls all of the information infrastructure. 

On the other hand, Turkcell's CEO Murat Erkan told Halk TV that "We are not part of a side in this election." Erkan added "Can the internet or telephone communication be interrupted if no one enters the plaza? Even if we do not close the plaza, the internet may be interrupted and slowed down."

The government often limits internet connection, particularly during crisis times. Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) on Nov. 13, 2022 limited the bandwidth of internet platforms after a deadly blast in Istiklal Avenue. Social media sites were restricted in Turkey for several hours on Feb. 8 following severe criticisms of the government’s response to the two major earthquakes that hit the country.