Bianet: Summit on Controversial Internet Filter System

Bianet: Summit on Controversial Internet Filter Systemt

On 25 May, the Internet Committee organizes a meeting with non-governmental organizations, public representatives and experts to discuss the much disputed internet filter system. The application is going to be enforced on 22 August.

Ekin KARACA – ekin@bianet.org
Istanbul – BİA News Center
25 May 2011, Wednesday

The Prime Ministry Telecommunication Association (BTK) invited non-governmental organizations, public representatives and experts to a meeting to discuss the controversial internet filter. The much disputed internet filter application is anticipated to be enforced on 22 August.

The meeting is organized by the Internet Committee and takes place at the campus of Bilgi University in Istanbul today (25 May). The method and the basics of the decision taken by the BTK will be discussed as well as the contents of the package. A report including all opinions will be forwarded to the participants subsequently.
‘A meeting with delay’

Assoc. Prof. Yaman Akdeniz, lecturer at the Bilgi University Faculty of Law, is going to attend the meeting as well. He criticized that this kind of summit should have been held before 22 February, i.e. before the BTK took its final decision.

‘This meeting comes very late. Yet, it is still important to hear the opinions of the participants’.

‘When the invitation reached me, I realized that there were only very few participants who are against the filer application. Thereupon, I send a list of 22 names to the Internet Committee. Serhat Özeren as Head of the Committee accepted my request. I think today’s discussion will be more fruitful that way’.
‘I think the filter decision will be cancelled’

‘In my opinion, the filter decision taken by the BTK will be cancelled. All these [applications] are indicators for ‘stepping backwards’. Besides, the trial opened by bianet is pending at the Council of State; the legal struggle is being continued’.

‘Postponing the decision is not satisfactory. We will only achieve the result we want if the BTK cancelled this decision and takes a new one. The meeting is important in this aspect’, Akdeniz indicated.

‘If the BTK does not annul this decision, the Council of State will stop the execution in my opinion. The cancellation of the decision would follow accordingly’.
‘Final decision only after elections’

‘The BTK has to submit its defence to the Council of State until coming Monday (30 May) in the scope of the case before the Council of State to stop the enforcement. I do when the Council of State will take a decision after that. Yet, I think this will be left till after the elections’, Akdeniz emphasized.

‘From my point of view, one reason for his hastily organized meeting is to narrow the period of time at the Council of State. The BTK will either defend their decision in writing or they will cancel it and the Council of State will say that they drop procedures’.

‘I think that the social criticism from within the public and the trial at the Council of State have their affects on the steps backwards’.
‘Our protest continues’

‘Considering the worst case scenario, the meeting would have no positive outcome and the Council of State would give a negative reply. In that case, this issue will go as far as to the European Court of Human Rights’.

‘Should the Council of State decide in our favour, we would go to celebrate in the streets. If not, our protest is going to continue. Enforcing this application that is not being supported by the society is very bad. Besides, everyone can install his or her own filter system on the computer. There is no social obligation that requires anybody to do so’. (EKN/VK)

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