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Turkey accuses Twitter of tax evasion, demands local office

Published time: April 14, 2014 17:54
Reuters / Dado Ruvic

Reuters / Dado Ruvic

Turkish officials have called for Twitter to open an office and pay tax in the country. This came in face-to-face talks after Turkey banned the micro-blogging site in the country for two weeks following a corruption scandal.

A senior Turkish official told Reuters on Monday that Twitter's head of global public policy, Colin Crowell, had two rounds of talks in Ankara in the hope of ensuring stronger channels of communication. Crowell told the agency that the first meeting was “positive.”

“The aim is for the company to pay tax and to resolve the problem of meeting Turkey's just demands by opening a representative office here,” he said.

On Saturday, the Turkish PM threatened to ‘go after’ Twitter on tax evasion grounds.

“Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are international companies established for profit,” Erdogan said in televised remarks. “Twitter is at the same time a tax evader. We will go after it,” he stated.

The Turkish government puts Twitters annual advertising revenue in Turkey at around $35 million a year, none of which is taxed.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government ordered a Twitter ban in March, sparking international outrage. International human rights groups condemned the move as a setback for democracy.

Sound recordings apparently documenting evidence of corruption in Erdogan’s inner circle had been leaked to both Twitter and Youtube, which prompted the bans.

Last week the Turkish government also confirmed that it would be keeping to its YouTube bans despite constitutional court orders for it to be lifted on the grounds that it breached freedom of expression.

Erdogan has accused the court of showing an ‘increasing appetite for interference in political spheres.’

Comments (8)


Spiral 19.04.2014 06:59

All they do is point fingers at other for their own problems.

F or years, they didn't care, and now suddenly they are so motivated ... a beaten dog barks!


Tom Dick 15.04.2014 14:54

The RT seems to approach anything that is Turkish related very negatively.

At first I thought it was preposterous what the government was saying, but if you dig a little deeper you can understand there point.

Twit ter as like anyother company operating from a region who is making sales and gaining profit within that region is liable to taxes.

If I was sell a $5M worth of goods in the US from Europe or Asia would the US government not ask for taxes to be paid?

Its no different to a starbucks operation in essence.


joshua jackson 15.04.2014 13:55

Did turkey build twitter? the internet? The systems that run it? The internet should of kept the goverments out of there dealings. And built it around them and they should of been in control of the cut off switches. So when officals run there mouth like this guy, cut off his whole country, and see how that works for him. Make them go back to the stone age to do there daily transactions. Taking the internet away would of gave him enough problems that he would of kept his mouth shut about tax or anything.

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