European Parliament president calls Turkey’s social media ban ‘inappropriate’

European Parliament president calls Turkey’s social media ban ‘inappropriate’

European Parliament president calls Turkey’s social media ban ‘inappropriate’

AA Photo

Bans on social media networks are “not appropriate” according to basic democratic standards, said European Parliament President Martin Schulz, who held meetings with a number of senior officials in Turkey, adding that he expected “meaningful answers” from Ankara on the issue.

“To close social media networks is definitely inappropriate with regard to basic democratic standards, but we should look fully into each situation, case-by-case. I can understand people who say we shouldn’t publicly show pictures of victims with machine guns pointing at their heads. But there is always the option to delete the picture, rather than closing the whole system,” Schulz said in an interview on private broadcaster CNNTürk on April 9.

Schulz was referring to the April 6 ban in Turkey of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which restricted access to all sites until they had removed images of a killed prosecutor. The Istanbul prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz, died in hospital after a shootout between his two captors and police in the Çağlayan Courthouse on March 31.

Schulz said that during the meetings he had raised issues regarding “freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the media situation of the country, the working conditions of journalists, police law questions, and the internal security bill” with ministers and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“We expect meaningful answers from the government. I explained my views, [Erdoğan explained] his,” Schulz said.

Due to the nature of the meeting, neither Erdoğan nor Schulz could publicly discuss the details of what was discussed during the talks.

Meanwhile, speaking of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) chance to pass the 10 percent election threshold, Schulz said that “looking at the recent polls, they [the HDP] have a chance to get more than 10 percent,” adding this may allow the party to play an active role in the future government.