WASHINGTON - The United States on Friday hit out at Turkey's banning of the online social network Twitter and urged Ankara to restore access to what it called "basic communication tools."
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said an order to prevent Turks from accessing the US firm's micro-blogging site was "contrary to Turkey's own expressed desire to be a model of democracy."
"The United States supports freedom of expression in Turkey and opposes any action to encroach on the right to free speech," she told reporters.
"We urge the Turkish government to unblock its citizens' access to Twitter and ensure free access to all social media platforms."
The White House said it was "deeply concerned that the Turkish government has blocked its citizens' access to basic communication tools."
Washington has conveyed its concerns to the Turkish government and supports "the people of Turkey in their calls to restore full access to the blocked technologies," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
Psaki added she was not aware of any moves by the US administration to play a role in negotiations between Twitter and the Turkish government.
But she stressed that "democratic governments must accept the challenge to... listen to the voices who disagree with us."
"An independent and unfettered media is an essential element of democratic, open societies and crucial to ensuring official transparency and accountability," Psaki added.