Turkish President Erdogan’s states reason for wanting to censor social media is likely a lie, former Pentagon official Michael Rubin wrote on the Washington Examiner.
Erdogan said social networks should be controlled after his daughter announced the birth of her fourth child and some people on social media reportedly directed insults at her and the president’s son-in-law.
However, Rubin believes that the real reason is different. He recalled a video posted on YouTube on June 28 where Erdogan met with 15 high school students to whom he delivered advice. After the video was posted, dislikes outnumbered likes by 10-to-1.
"He rallied the internet trolls to support him, but when Erdogan had the YouTube video removed, there we approximately 300,000 dislikes to around only 100,000 likes. It was then that he threatened to disconnect Turkey from social media outlets not controlled by the Turkish government," Rubin noted.
Surveys show that about 60 percent of Turkish millennials are against Erdogan, despite its long-standing influence on education in schools and universities, as well as on the media.
"The Turkish president is frustrated, and he is willing to do what all dictators who cannot win policy arguments do: repress rather than convince," Rubin said. "Neither Western journalists nor diplomats should play into Erdogan’s grievance trap. His dictatorial tendencies have nothing to do with family honor and everything to do with ego and ideology."