Over 1,000 Web sites banned in Turkey since November 2007: “The head of Turkeys Telecommunications Board has stated that 1,112 Web sites have been banned in the country since November 2007 following complaints by individuals over inappropriate content on these sites.”
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Telecommunications Board President Tayfun Acarer said a center was established within the Postal and Telecommunications Directorate (PTT) on Nov. 23, 2007, allowing people to report Web sites on which they have complaints. He said people also have the option to report their complaints by email or telephone.
“This center has received a total of 24,598 complaints since its establishment last year. Following these complaints, 1,112 Web sites, 861 automatically and 251 with judicial decisions, were banned.”
Acarer said the number of Internet users in Turkey is close to 30 million and, as is the case with all useful things, the Internet can also be used for dishonorable aims. “The duty of the state is to protect its citizens and warn them against harmful Internet content.”
He noted that Web site bans are necessary to prevent the public from falling victim to sites with criminal or ignoble intent, noting that the Transportation Ministry established a Web site, www.guvenliweb.org.tr to this end.
YouTube clips removed
Acarer said complaints were filed for the removal of 202 video clips on the popular video-sharing site YouTube mainly because they insulted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.
It is illegal in Turkey to insult Atatürk, a revered figure whose portrait still hangs in nearly all government offices almost 70 years after his death in 1938.
According to Acarer, 12 Web sites were banned because of prostitution, 51 for insulting Atatürk, 79 for gambling, 415 for exploitation of children and 390 for obscenity.
03 October 2008, Friday: TODAY’S ZAMAN