Turkish minister censors data on internet censors

Turkey's Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Cahit Turhan, refused to announce the data on blocking access on the ground that they could be 'used against Turkey'
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 10:51

Turkey's Transport and Infrastructure Minister, Cahit Turhan, left the parliamentary question about the government's decisions to block access to internet sites unanswered. Keeping the data on censors disclosed, the Minister stated: "The fact that the figures regarding these processes are explained only by our country has caused an unfair perception and misinformation against our country on the international level".

The main opposition party CHP's Group Deputy Chairman, Özgür Özel, has brought the issue of blocking the access to certain websites and under which crimes they are covered to the parliamentary agenda. According to Mahmut Lıcalı from Cumhuriyet daily, the Minister did not reveal any data on the issue after mentioning the legal basis of the decisions to block access.

"The fact that the ministry does not make any assessments on the decisions made by the Union of Access Providers, which are generally aimed at freedom of expression, however, reveals the magnitude of the data that is hidden," the CHP deputy said, referring to the non-disclosure of the information by the Minister.

The Turkish parliament passed a law giving the radio and television watchdog the power to block internet broadcast in March 2018. The move aimed to close a loophole under which some Turkish broadcasters sought refuge from censorship and strict regulations by moving to online streaming platforms.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been a strong enforcer of censorship both on TV and the Internet. A huge wave of protests raised against the government back in 2011 is still widely remembered.