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Facebook has denied having agreed to share data regarding postings on the Gezi Park protests with the Turkish government, as had previously been stated by Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yıldırım.

“Facebook has not provided user data to Turkish authorities in response to government requests relating to the protests,” the company said in a written statement today. 

“More generally, we reject all government data requests from Turkish authorities and push them to formal legal channels unless it appears that there is an immediate threat to life or a child, which has been the case in only a small fraction of the requests we have received,” the statement added. 

Yıldırım had said today that unlike Twitter, Facebook had responded “positively” to their request. 

“Facebook has been working in coordination with the Turkish authorities for a long time. They have a unit in Turkey. We don’t have any problem with them. Twitter could also establish a similar structure. Otherwise, this is not sustainable,” Binali told reporters.

His statement had immediately caused a huge reaction among social media users, with some even calling to boycott the massive social network website.

Facebook also stressed that the draft bill on social media that would oblige companies to share data with authorities had also created uneasiness. It said company executives would raise the issue during a meeting with Turkish government representatives this week in the United States. 

“We are concerned about legislative proposals that might purport to require Internet companies to provide user information to Turkish law enforcement authorities more frequently,” the statement said.

Facebook had reviewed the many comments of users prior to the official statement, Turkish media reported.

June/26/2013

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