Turkey's main opposition applies to top court for the annulment of Internet Law
Akif Hamzaçebi, deputy parliamentary group leader of the CHP, (C), speaks to reporters following his application to the court. AA PhotoThe main opposition party has applied to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of the much-discussed Internet Law on the basis that it violates the constitutional principles of freedom of expression and the right to communicate. The Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) appeal to the high court follows a serious disagreement between the government and the Constitutional Court over the latter’s decision to remove the Twitter ban.
“First of all, I should underline that Turkey lost altitude because of this law that brings about Internet restrictions. While Turkey, on the one hand, is trying to negotiate with the European Union for full membership, it’s, on the other hand, placing itself among third world countries as a result of this law,” Akif Hamzaçebi, deputy parliamentary group leader of the CHP told reporters following his application to the court.
The government had amended the Internet Law giving the authority of banning web sites to the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) even in the absence of a court decision following the numerous leaks of phone recordings of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as part of corruption allegations. The TİB banned Twitter just before local elections late in March, sparking national and international reaction. Although it lifted its blackout on Twitter, a ban on YouTube is still in place.
“Bans on Twitter, on YouTube, on the Internet; pressures on the media do not fit with Turkey whose aim is to further raise its bar of democracy. There is a government who is afraid of social media, of the Internet, of the media and freedom of expression,” he said. The law furnishes the TİB with unchecked and limitless authority in providing information from access providers and content providers, he said, adding this could greatly damage the constitutional right to the privacy of individuals.
The CHP’s appeal to the high court also asks for partial annulments of the laws on public procurement, social security and taxation. “The laws we have demanded to be annulled are the ones the government passed from Parliament in a bid to cover up corruption through exerting pressure on judges and prosecutors,” Hamzaçebi said.
The CHP official also said they will make another application to the Constitutional Court on April 17 for the annulment of a law that is closing down the prep schools, which is viewed as the real reason behind the fight between the government and the Fethullah Gülen community, or the Hizmet Movement.