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Turkey’s anti-Twitter leader Erdogan sends his first tweet

Turkey’s famously technology-phobic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has compared social media to the “murderer’s knife”, proudly declared he does not “tweet or schmeet” and overseen blanket bans on Twitter.

Erdogan, currently on an official visit to Colombia, on Monday sent his first ever personal tweet from the account @RT—Erdogan, the presidential administration announced, The Guardian reports.

It was a tweet denouncing smoking on Turkey’s national anti-tobacco day.

“Get a grip of yourself against this poison,” Erdogan wrote, using the hashtag SigarayaTeslimOlma (Don’t give in to cigarettes) and signing off with his initials RTE.

The account handle had in the past been used by supporters of Erdogan but it has now been taken over by the presidential administration for the president’s tweets. It has already been verified by Twitter as an official account.

“The account in question has just been opened. It’s his excellency’s own account. Tweets from him are signed ‘RTE’,” Mucahit Kucukyilmaz, the head of public communications at the presidential office, told the Anatolia news agency.

He added that official tweets from his staff on the account will be posted without the signature.

“He wanted to make a start on a meaningful day like this,” he added referring to the anti-smoking campaign.

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