Government working on draft to restrict social media in Turkey

Government working on draft to restrict social media in Turkey

Government working on draft to restrict social media in Turkey

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.

Search for senders

“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.