Turkey demanded that Twitter take down a prominent American scholar’s account, saying he had violated the personal rights of the country’s leader President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Twitter alerted American Enterprise scholar Michael Rubin on Monday that it had received a court order from Turkey, dated June 16, saying the social media platform had seven days to take down Rubin’s account, or else the company would face punishments under Turkish law, including potential fines.
Rubin, a former Pentagon official, has been outspoken against Erdoğan’s government in the past.
Earlier this month, he tweeted that backing the Turkish leader would result in the country’s eventual collapse.
“Support for Erdoğan is in no way support for Islam and Turkish dignity. Backing Erdoğan will be support for corruption and the collapse of Turkey,” Rubin said in Turkish.
Erdogani desteklemek Islam ve Turk asaletini desteklemek degildir. Erdogani desteklemek yolsuzluk ve Turkiyenin cokusunu desteklemektir.
— Michael Rubin (@mrubin1971) May 27, 2017
Erdoğan responded, filing a nine-page legal complaint in June, accusing Rubin of insulting him and supporting a terror organization.
“Rubin’s illogical accusations and insulting tweets are not only a reflection of his hatred and anger toward President Erdoğan but also against the Turkish Republic,” the Turkish leader’s complaint said, according to Anadolu Agency.
Rubin’s Twitter account was still active as of Wednesday afternoon.
“We don’t comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons,” a spokesperson for Twitter said in a statement.
“The only reason we would suspend an account is if it violates one or more of our rules.”
Rubin, who has declined to respond to the previous suit filed by Turkish authorities, said he will not respond to the government’s latest threat.
“This is something that is kind of common, they will announce they’ve filed charges, but they won’t deliver court papers to you,” he told The Hill.
He added that Erdogan’s recent actions show the leader’s frustration that, while he can clamp down on Turkish press, he is unable to control foreign media.
—Updated at 3:10 p.m.