WhatsApp gets dumped by Turkish President Erdogan over privacy concerns


ISTANBUL: The media office of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is quitting WhatsApp, joining a global flight from the popular messaging app over new usage terms that have sparked privacy concerns.

The presidency will move its WhatsApp groups to encrypted messaging app BiP, a unit of Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetler AS, on Jan. 11, it said in a message on Saturday to the groups. The switch coincides with Erdogan’s broader campaign against social-media platforms that activists say is meant to stifle dissent.

Changes to WhatsApp’s terms and services effective Feb. 8 will allow it to share data with parent company Facebook. Users must agree to the new terms or lose access to their accounts at WhatsApp.

Erdogan’s office, in its statement, urged Turks to switch to BiP. Turkey Wealth Fund took a majority stake in Turkcell, the country’s biggest mobile phone operator, in 2020.

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