And in the end, it didn't work. The protests continued, even without the Internet, and President Mubarek eventually ceded power.
It's hard to know whether Turkey's incremental control over Internet access will have a similar outcome, but it's bound to have consequences that aren't beneficial to the country. One possibility is that businesses in Europe, the U.S. and other nations will decide that it's too risky to invest in the country's high-tech business sector.
That chance, along with other potential consequences of Turkey's action, cannot be good for an emerging economy looking to establish itself as a growing technology center. Showing contempt for the Internet, the very engine of the modern technology economy, does not encourage investment or entice entrepreneurs to use Turkey as a base. Governments have to understand that investors and entrepreneurs have choices, and the best and the brightest can easily head to places that are friendlier to their ideas for new business.
In the end, shutting down free speech, limiting Internet access and displaying scorn for technological advances never work, and chances are this is going to backfire on Turkey.
Everyone benefits from an open Internet. Will governments never learn?
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.