Twitter executives meet with Turkey’s President Gül

A day after having extensive talks with the Turkish government, which accused the San Francisco-based company of tax evasion, Twitter officials paid a visit to President Abdullah Gül in the Çankaya presidential palace in Ankara early Tuesday.

Turkish government officials urged executives from Twitter to open an office and start paying Turkish taxes on Monday in the first direct talks since a two-week ban imposed on the site as the government battles a corruption scandal.

Appearing tech-savvy and Twitter-friendly in comparison to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who called Twitter “a menace to society,” President Gül voiced his opposition to the Twitter ban when access to the micro-blogging site was blocked ahead of the local elections in March.

Prime Minister Erdoğan’s government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites.

The block on Twitter was lifted 10 days ago after the Constitutional Court ruled that it violated freedom of expression, a decision Erdoğan has since said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains largely blocked in Turkey.

Presidential sources said Colin Powell and other executives from Twitter held a brief meeting with Gül. The content of the meeting was not announced to the press.