The United States says there have been more Turkish tweets since the prime minister controversially banned the micro-blogging service than before.
Turkey’s telecommunications authority blocked local access to the US social network last Thursday under orders of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after opposition members used Twitter to post telephone recordings implicating him in a major corruption scandal.
The move has attracted ire from the international community, with Washington on Friday denouncing it as a blow to “the right to free speech.”
But State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf noted that “there have been more tweets from Turkey since the government blocked (Twitter) than there were before.”
It was a signal, she said “to people who try to clamp down on freedom of expression: that it doesn’t work, and isn’t the right thing to do.”
“What the world saw was the number of people inside Turkey tweeting about what they thought about it being blocked there,” Harf said.
The US “said very clearly to the Turkish government that this is not acceptable and that we do not think they should be able to block their citizens’ access to these kind of social media platforms,” she said.
The spokeswoman noted the government was also “in contact with Twitter” but did not say if the US would go to court to force Turkey to restore access to the service.
Washington and Ankara have a long-standing military alliance, including through NATO, and the two countries work together closely to support the opposition and the rebellion in Syria.
But relations have chilled in recent months as the US has increasingly criticised the government’s record on respecting civil liberties and human rights under Erdogan.