Protests have engulfed Turkey’s Taksim Square, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan knows exactly what’s to blame: Twitter.
In a news conference, Erdoğan dismissed the protesters as “looters” and “bums” and blasted the country’s opposition party for provoking them. But he reserved his fiercest words for the microblogging site, which has become a hub for activists and a major news source as Turkey’s mainstream media have downplayed the unrest.
News agencies have differed in their translation of Erdoğan’s exact words, but he either called Twitter a “curse,” a “menace,” a “scourge,” or some combination thereof. For good measure, he followed up by unloading on social media at large. Here’s the New York Times’ rendering of his full quote:
Now we have a menace that is called Twitter. The best example of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society.