On Friday 21st March, the morning after PM Erdogan’s now notorious Twitter ban, I signed up under my own name and started tweeting.
After many months of parasitic Twitter use, during which I read other people’s tweets from a ghost account and refused to wholeheartedly engage in a social medium to which I had an old-fashioned aversion, I am now a fledgling tweeter, proud to be illicitly using the site along with millions of other Turkish Twitter users.
My fogyish dislike of Twitter does not seem important now; I still despair – in principle – of the compulsion to share the inner musings of celebrities as quickly as possible, but that is not the side of Twitter that I see.
In Turkey, Twitter is a vital forum for discovering the news that is often ignored by mainstream news outlets. It is a place where opinions and arguments are shared, challenged, corrected. It is the place where we find what the authorities try to hide from us. It is the very antithesis of trivial chatter in a country which is struggling to make sense of a democratic melt-down.
New account: @AlevScott