Turkish PM threatens to shut Facebook

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Turkey’s prime minister has threatened drastic steps to censor the internet – including shutting down Facebook and YouTube.

Recordings of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s alleged conversations, suggesting corruption, have been leaked in recent weeks, dealing him a major blow ahead of this month’s local elections.

Mr Erdogan said his government is determined to stem the leaks he insists are being instigated by followers of a US-based Muslim cleric.

He has accused supporters of Fethullah Gulen of infiltrating police and the judiciary and of engaging in “espionage”, saying the group even listened in on his encrypted telephone lines.

The Gulen movement denies involvement.

Mr Erdogan said: “We are determined on the issue, regardless of what the world may say. We won’t allow the people to be devoured by YouTube, Facebook or others. Whatever steps need to be taken, we will take them without wavering.”

Asked if the steps could include shutting those sites down, Mr Erdogan replied: “That included.”