In February the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan put to vote (and was subsequently passed) a law that would enable the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate to block websites if they are determined to violate privacy.
He goes on to say:
“We are determined on this subject. We will not leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook. We will take the necessary steps in the strongest way. . . . These people or organizations encourage every kind of immorality and espionage for their own ends. And there are no boundaries. Such concept of freedom is unacceptable.”
These social networks have become the place to go to for those who oppose the current Government. Comprising information about Erdogan are easily distributed via the internet and email in our 21st century life and it all came to a head with the recent release of telephone conversations between Erdogan and various political allies including his son. But who is really at fault here? Telephone tapping is not unusual or new. The US Government was recently caught phone tapping the German Chancellor. The information is already out there and in fact he basically admitted (in a very obtuse way) that it was in fact his voice on the telephone. Corruption is part of daily life here in Turkey and I expect that had Erdogan admitted to it quickly this latest scandal would have disappeared instead he steadfastly denied any involvement in the scandal and pointed the finger at others.
The Turkish Government previously banned youtube and WordPress back in 2008 and despite the ban the website was among the top 10 most accessed sites in Turkey. Savvy internet users skirting around the regulations. I recall my old place of work banned Facebook for a while but that didn’t stop the younger employees setting up proxy links. Kids can pretty much do anything these days.
Erdogan needs to understand that his time as Prime Minister is limited and that the younger generation of Turkey are realising that social media (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc) are learning to have a voice and to stand up for what they believe is right. Looking back at Gezi should have been a warning sign for Erdogan to listen to the younger generation – he may just learn something.
If Janeyinmersin goes silent you will know why. I imagine I will have to start sending smoke signals to you all if that happens.
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