Turkish official warns X of closure risk if local representative not appointed

The chair of the Parliamentary Commission on Digital Mediums from the ruling AKP, Hüseyin Yayman, has warned the social media platform X that it could face closure if it did not appoint a local representative. Major platforms are required to have Turkish offices to coordinate localization efforts as per the social media law.

Duvar English

Turkey’s Parliamentary Commission on Digital Media chair Hüseyin Yayman from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on May 9 warned social media platform X that it could face closure if it did not abide by the country’s social media law and appoint a local representative, following the commission’s regular meeting. 

“We are fundamentally against platform bans,” said Yayman, referring to the recent TikTok ban approved in the United States Senate. 

However, the sanctions against X could go as far as closure, as the platform has ignored the commission’s requests for years. 

“Our relationship has been at a standstill, despite the number of promises, advice, and requests,” stated the commission chair. 

According to Yayman, no platform was above or immune from the Turkish legal system.

X was responsible for maintaining a relationship with every country it operated in. “Just as you cooperate with the governments of Canada, France, and the UK; you are required to follow regulations here,” he said. 

The chair continued, “We are calling upon the X platform for one last time: either come to Turkey or face the consequences.”

Yayman maintained that the commission has remained understanding regarding the changes the company went through, but found it unacceptable that all other social media platforms readily collaborated with them while X did not.   

X accepted to appoint a local representative in 2021 when it was Twitter, per the 2020 amendment to “The Law on Regulation of Broadcasts via Internet and Combating Crimes Committed by the Means of Such Publications.” 

However, the process was not finalized and further stalled following Elon Musk’s acquisition and the restructuring of the company.

Widely used digital technology companies such as Meta, Instagram, LinkedIn, VKontakte (VK), YouTube, Dailymotion, TikTok, Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video, were among those that decided to open representative offices in Turkey.


Following repeated warnings, Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) banned new advertisements on the platform by real and legal persons, and taxpayers residing in Turkey in July 2023.

Transport and Infrastructure Deputy Minister Ömer Fatih Sayan stated that the next step would be decreasing the platform's bandwidth initially by 50 percent and later by 90 percent if they did not abide by local requirements. 

However, Turkey did not implement a bandwidth restriction on the platform regarding its Turkish representation.

A 2023 Competition Authority decision however fined X owner Elon Musk due to failure to notify the deal to acquire Twitter. 

Meanwhile, X revealed in the aftermath of a 2024 mining accident that killed nine that the Turkish government had threatened it with substantial fines to remove 45 posts regarding the disaster.

Elon Musk, the owner of X, has previously met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on several occasions, attempting to maintain a somewhat cordial relationship with the government.