The U.S. Department of State condemned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decision Thursday to block Twitter access in Turkey. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Friday "We urge the Turkish Government to unblock its citizens' access to Twitter and ensure free access to all social media platforms." The U.S. "opposes any action to encroach on the right to free speech... An independent and unfettered media is an essential element of democratic, open societies. Today's shutdown of Twitter is contrary to Turkey's own expressed desire to uphold the highest standards of democracy." Erdogan announced his decision to seek a court order to "eradicate" Twitter during a campaign rally in Bursa on Thursday. Turkish Twitter users sought and promoted ways to circumvent the government's block on the Twitter site through the use of different DNS and VPN codes. Opponents called the ban "groundless" and "futile." The Turkish government has been working to remove and prevent embarrassing leaks on social media linked to a corruption investigation involving four of Erdogan's former cabinet ministers.