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SOCIAL MEDIA FREEDOMS UNDER THREAT

Protester_Social_Media

TURKEY – Since May 31 the citizens of Turkey have been confronting Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP for their conservative and authoritarian rule. A big part of the population is continuously protesting the restrictions on basic social and personal freedoms. In the past 20 days people have widely used social media as a tool to organize the demonstrations and to spread the news on streets.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has taken a stance against Twitter, calling the micro-blogging site a “troublemaker” on June 2. However, Erdoğan also has a Twitter account with 2,980,869 followers. Since his stance he tweeted more frequently than ever.

Turkish Bar Association head Metin Feyzioğlu met with President Abdullah Gül on June 7. According to Feyzioğlu, “Right now everyone needs to act responsibly and with restraint. I will not allow a ‘witch hunt’ over Twitter. I will follow up the investigation and the judicial process” Gül said during the meeting.

Following the remarks of the Erdoğan and Gül, Justice Ministry has started working on a draft that covers crimes over Internet. Yestreday, Interior Minister Muammer Güler also confirmed that social media websites were under watch. Güler told the press that, the police were investigating and some people had already been detained in İzmir because of their allegedly provocative tweets during the protests. The Interior Minister said, “We have a case on those who used Twitter, Facebook or other social media to provoke the public with false news and drove people towards actions that would threaten the security of society and property. Still, we think that the issue needs its own regulation”

A state department working against cybercrimes has already started to investigate some 5 million tweets about the ‘Gezi Park Protests’. However, today there are no legislations about social media use in Turkey. So, according to which law the government can investigate and detain people for their activities on social media is a question mark.

An AKP Spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik said ‘not to confuse Turkey with China’ but according to 2012 Prison Census by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Turkey is the leading country with 49 journalists imprisoned and China is in third place with 32. At the moment newspapers, TV channels and radio stations are also heavily controlled in Turkey. With conventional media debilitated, social media became indispensable. If it is censored this will mean that the public information is extra hard to get and correspondence nearly impossible.

 

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Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.