Turkey's embattled prime minister has warned that his government could ban popular social media networks YouTube and Facebook after a number of online leaks added momentum to a spiralling corruption scandal.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's proposals to tighten his government's grip over the Internet have generated criticism at home and abroad about rights in the EU-hopeful country.
"There are new steps we will take in that sphere after March 30... including a ban (on YouTube, Facebook)," Erdogan told private ATV television in an interview late Thursday.
Erdogan, Turkey's all-powerful leader since 2003, has been under mounting pressure after audio recordings were leaked last month in which he and his son allegedly discuss how to hide vast sums of money.
The Turkish premier dismissed them as a "vile" and an "immoral" montage by rivals ahead of key local elections on March 30. His office claimed the recordings were "completely untrue". Erdogan's government has been shaken by a high-level corruption scandal that erupted in mid-December.