Amendment lifts jail terms for Internet crimes in Turkey

Amendment lifts jail terms for Internet crimes in Turkey

ANKARA – Cihan News Agency
Financial penalties, rather than jail sentences, will be handed out for crimes committed via the Internet, according to amendments to a draft law on Turkey’s Internet law submitted to Parliament on Dec. 18.

Hate crimes on the Internet will be considered as falling within “catalog crimes,” and access to such pages will be blocked.

An Access Providers Union will be formed to reach decisions on whether to block access.

The amendment also lifts prison sentences for Internet service providers that do not comply with rulings to prevent access. Those that do not inform the authorities that they are service providers, or those that do not comply with the responsibilities of service providers, will now receive fines between 2,000 and 5,000 Turkish Liras, according to the amendment.

In addition, the legal grounds will be strengthened to allow filtering in Internet cafes to prevent access to data that may harm children.

Access to Internet broadcasts will also be able to be blocked if they openly insult a segment of people based on their social class, race, religion, sect, gender or regional differences, according to the law. A group of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies, including AKP Şanlıurfa Deputy Zeynep Armağan Uslu, submitted the amendments to Parliament.

On 4 May 2007, Parliament adopted the Turkish Code 5651, which regulates Internet content and stipulates crimes committed on the Internet.