Meta 'temporarily' closes Threads network in Turkey

The interim ruling from the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) has "no impact" for Meta's other services like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in Turkey, the company said in a statement posted to its website.
The logo of Meta. (Photo: AFP)
The logo of Meta. (Photo: AFP)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY (AFP) - Facebook owner Meta said Monday it would "temporarily" shut down its Threads short-messaging service in Turkey after an order from Ankara's competition watchdog over data-sharing.

The interim ruling from the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) has "no impact" for Meta's other services like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in Turkey, the company said in a statement posted to its website.

"We disagree with the interim order, we believe we are in compliance with all Turkish legal requirements, and we will appeal," Meta said -- although it had "no choice but to temporarily shut down Threads" in Turkey.

Meta launched Threads last year as a competitor to X (formerly Twitter), with boss Mark Zuckerberg saying in February the service had 130 million monthly users worldwide.

It was available in Turkey from the start, while European Union users had to wait months for Meta to come up with a version adapted to strict data protection and competition laws.

In its March finding, the TCA had said Meta's combination of user data from Instagram with people's Threads profiles "will lead to irreparable harms".

Given its vast user base, data collection and financial resources, "Meta's practices in the market constitute a barrier to entry" for prospective competitors, the authority added.

Meta said it would allow existing Threads users to delete or deactivate their profiles ahead of the April 29 cut-off, with a chance of reactivating them should the ruling be overturned.