Turkish President Gül ‘working on a couple of issues’ over Internet law
President Abdullah Gül speaks during the opening ceremony of a metro line in Ankara, Feb 12. AA photoEvaluations for the approval of a recently-approved law increasing state control over the Internet is currently in progress, President Abdullah Gül said Feb. 13.
“There are couple of issues [with the law], but we are working on them,” said Gül at a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif when asked about the bill, which has been approved by Parliament and is awaiting Gül’s approval.
The law was submitted to the President’s Office earlier this week. Gül has 15 days to approve the law or send it back to Parliament to be debated again.
Opposition parties and international organizations have been calling on Gül to use his authority to veto the law.
The bill includes controversial arrangements, such as granting the president of the Directorate of Telecommunication (TİB) the authority to block access to sites and pages on his own initiative, in the event of appeals concerning the violation of the right to private life.
It raised immediate outcry among the Turkish and foreign civil society, which argued that the government was seeking more control and surveillance of the Internet.
The controversial draft bill has also been criticized by European officials and groups including Amnesty International and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).