The best explanation for why Turkey banned YouTube on Thursday remains an embarrassingly real leak of top-level government officials discussing possible military action with Syria.
But it doesn’t help that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was also captured sounding absolutely ridiculous in a video also released Thursday. That is one high voice.
Erdoğan is not among the Turkish brass captured in the leaked military discussion, which the foreign ministry has decried as somehow doctored. But Erdoğan is the face of the Turkish government’s recent censor-happy stance. He loudly defended the country’s earlier Twitter ban, and weirdly conflated the two services, saying Tuesday that “What is Twitter? It’s a company. And actually, YouTube is behind it. They are working with YouTube’s lawyers.”
The jury’s still out on what exactly is going on with Erdoğan’s voice in the video. It’s so strangely, consistently high that some people think it may have been artificially adjusted. But plenty of news outlets, including the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News and the BBC, seem convinced it’s just Erdoğan soldiering on while on the campaign trail, despite a nastily, overworked voice. Turks are loving it either way; “helyumlobisi” (“helium lobby”) is still trending on Twitter.
Screengrab via qaraqocani/YouTube