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POLITICS > Government working on draft to restrict social media in Turkey

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A regulation for social media crimes are needed, Güler says. DHA photo

A regulation for social media crimes are needed, Güler says. DHA photo

The Turkish government launched yesterday a study to restrict social media, an attempt that has been inspired by the Gezi protests that have spread across the country.

The Justice Ministry has started working on a draft on crimes over the Internet, ministry sources told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. “International implementations regarding the issue are being inspected,” the source said.

Yesterday’s remarks by Interior Minister Muammer Güler also confirmed that social media websites are on the government’s radar, as the protesters who have been shaking the country for nearly 20 days have widely used social media as a tool to organize demonstrations. The police are making efforts on this issue, Güler told a group of journalists in Ankara, noting that some people had been detained in İzmir because of their allegedly provocative tweets during the protests.

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“We have a study on those who provoke the public via manipulations with false news and lead them to actions that would threaten the security of life and property by using Twitter, Facebook or other tools of the social media,” Güler said. “Still, we think that the issue needs a separate regulation,” he said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has already taken a bold stance against Twitter, calling the micro-blogging site a “troublemaker” on June 2.

Citizens cannot be permitted to conduct a “witch hunt” over Twitter, President Abdullah Gül said June 7, according to Turkish Bar Association head Metin Feyzioğlu, who met with the head of state over the Gezi Park protests. “In this process, everyone needs to act responsibly and with restraint. I will not allow a witch hunt over Twitter. I will be following the judicial and executive investigation,” Gül said, according to Feyzioğlu.

A state department working against cyber crimes has already started to investigate some 5 million tweets about the Gezi Park protests.

June/18/2013

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READER COMMENTS

Notice on comments

Irish Rover

6/20/2013 6:20:23 PM

It is time for western investors to pull their funds from Turkey and wait to see how much comes flowing in from the middle east. RTE will be out of his palace - unfortunately it means the suffering of the rest of the nation when the economy crashes. For all the naive neo-ottoman Islamist you can sip tea with your Iranian brethren because that will be about all you have left.

mara mcglothin

6/20/2013 5:23:54 PM

SUBHAN AZERI We aren't talking about drunk drivers. I am talking about some who believe that because they don't drink, and they can't go into restaurants who sell alcohol, that the drinkers should drink at home. Sparring with others is the way we learn each others ideas. That is democracy. "Sending every who opposes you to hell" Is NOT the policy of democracy, but that of the AKP.

Subhan Azeri

6/20/2013 9:47:00 AM

OR, why should I (or my family or friends) get stabbed or robbed by a drunk idiot on the street while I'm out for a fun? Why should my business suffer, or my shop get destroyed because someone was provoked by lies on social media to take to the streets and bring the government down? Are these my faults, or something needs to be restricted here?! The list can go on and on, these r just few examples. You can drink as much as you want/can, or surf on social media as much, but without harming others

Subhan Azeri

6/20/2013 9:37:35 AM

MARA, I'm not legislating morality or religion on anyone and do not recommend anyone to do so either, as it's pointless and we all live different lives based on different principles and values. I never said drinking should be banned, because it's up to an individual to do whatever s/he chooses. What I try to say is no one should distort others' life by living his/her lifestyle. Why should I or my family or friend(s) should be the victim of a road accident where a drunk idiot is behind the wheel?

a shah

6/19/2013 11:57:50 PM

Unfortunately Turkish values will be heavily influenced by the perverse liberal European culture owing to its proximity to Europe its open borders and western influenced Internet, all under the guise of freedom and democracy, and their interpretation of it. It is hard to separate facts from fiction . Europe is determined to change Turkish identity on its own terms, Turkish people are proud educated and intelligent enough to be vigilant and dissociate itself from such pernicious influences.

mara mcglothin

6/19/2013 9:10:48 PM

SUBHAN We are free to comment as we see fit, and we don't agree with your opinions. I don't care how you want to live as long as you don't "demand/legislate/insist that I do the same. That is the difference. If you don't like social media(I don't use it or like it either) then DON'T use it. If you don't want to drink, then don't. To each his own. You cannot OR should not legislate morality or religion because no two of us have the same thoughts and wishes.Get it?

Can Lamberoglu

6/19/2013 7:14:56 PM

S.A., of course you are entitled to voice your opinion, but don't be offended if the real majority ridicules it.

Yıldız pascale

6/19/2013 10:36:00 AM

AKP s digging their own ditch. unemployment s rising past 20% among young graduates but AKP, instead of creating jobs, is busy bilding mosques (17.000+ since in power), dividing people making most jobs are obtainable only by his "his" people, Restricting freedom of speech, communication and expressing opinion, AKP s creating a very dangerous opposition of Youth. The demonstrations will continue and more severe ones to come! AKP should wake up and smell the coffee!

Subhan Azeri

6/19/2013 7:52:09 AM

@ THESSALONIAN and MARA. You should at least stick to the values that you propogate in your comments, such as freedom of expression, tolerance, etc. You don't seem to be respecting others' opinions. This place is not for sparring with others, but for expressing his/her opinion on the article topic. You don't have to agree with me, or vice versa. But should show tolerance and respect. Thessalonian wrote exactly what s/he is against: sending everyone who opposes you to hell! Is this ur democracy?!

James Khan

6/19/2013 1:56:34 AM

Guler have you ever used the internet ? You are very behind the times. Go ahead ban twitter. See if it makes a difference.
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