TURKEY urged executives from Twitter to open an office and start paying Turkish tax yesterday in the first direct talks since a two-week ban imposed on the site as the government battled a corruption scandal.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan'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 was lifted 10 days ago after the constitutional court ruled that it breached freedom of expression, a decision Erdogan said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains largely blocked.

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The prime minister on Saturday accused Twitter of being a "tax evader", repeating his combative stance ahead of the talks between his government and the San Francisco-based company.

He said: "Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, these are international companies. We will deal with them.

"They will come like every international company and comply with my country's constitution, laws and tax rules."