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April 4, 2014 12:44 am

Turks Use Israeli Start-Up to Get Past Erdogan’s Twitter Ban

avatar by Anav Silverman / Tazpit News Agency

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: World Economic Forum.

Turkish Internet users have been getting past Turkish Internet Service Providers (ISPs), thanks to an Israeli Internet start-up called Green Team. While Green Team’s goal is to provide solutions to enable safe access to the Internet for kids, schools, and families, the service provider also offers a free, alternative DNS (domain name service) that does not block Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media.

Turkish users have been utilizing different methods including using the different DNS’s provided by Green Team to access Twitter, YouTube, and other social media platforms.

Back in March, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan banned Twitter from Turkey. “We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic,” Erdogan stated at a campaign rally in Bursa on March 20, a day before the ban was officially placed.

“ŽWhen incriminating audio recordings revealing government corruption in Erdogan’s inner circles began appearing on social media sites, Erdogan began taking government actions barring users from using the sites, stating that his enemies were using those sites against him. Nevertheless, Erdogan’s party, Justice and Development Party won in local elections on Sunday, following the Turkish PM’s clampdown on the press and the Internet, as well as corruption claims.

Green Team CEO David Allouch told The Times of Israel that his company had noticed significantly more traffic on their servers than usual – with most of them originating from Turkey this past week.

“On Tuesday we noticed there was a lot of traffic on our servers, more than usual,” GreenTeam CEO David Allouch said. “A check of the IP addresses connecting to us showed that most of them originated in Turkey – with about 100,000 connections from Turkish users over a 24-hour period.”

The traffic spike occurred because Turkish Internet service providers had banned connections to an open server run by Google the previous day. But now that the word is out, Allouch will continue to help out the Turkish users, saying that he believes that his company has an obligation to help them if they are turning to Green Team. “We will set up an alternative DNS server without filtering restrictions, specifically for use by Turkish users.”

In the meantime, Turkey’s highest court challenged the Twitter ban, ruling on Thursday that the government’s ban on the on-line messaging service is unconstitutional, violating freedom of expression and individual rights to citizens.

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