Websites will continue to be banned as long as they post content inappropriate for Turkish families, a Turkish minister said Wednesday.
Websites to continue to be banned in Turkey- transportation minister
‘Practices are needed to protect young people and the public at large from harmful material online,’ the Turkish Daily News (TDN) quoted Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim as speaking at the international CeBit Information Technology Summit in Istanbul on Wednesday.
‘Law 5651 sees as appropriate the establishment of precautions against material that might hurt children, youth and families. If these precautions are not enough, then the law sees a Website ban as necessary,’ he said.
Turkey is listed together with Tunisia, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Iran and Vietnam, as the ‘black listed’ countries that implement government censorship controls.
Turkey’s internet activity sensitivities relate particularly to terror, respect for religion, the founder of modern Turkey, Ataturk, and pornography, and while similar sensitivities are in place in most countries around the world, clear differences between censorship and freedom of speech are apparent, as control mechanisms are widely implemented as a way of curbing abuse.
Turkey has blocked access to over a thousand Internet sites since 2007.
The purpose of the law was not to actually shut down Websites but was to ‘encourage the appropriate use of the Internet for the betterment of society,’ he added.
‘The spirit and purpose of the law is to make civil society and public administration work together and thus keep the bans to as low a number as possible, bringing precautions to the forefront,’ he was quoted by TDN as saying.
Yildirim said it was necessary for the Internet Security Directorate and the Internet Board to work together very closely in establishing content harmonious with the public good.
He said the use of the Internet was rapidly increasing, as the 4 million users recorded in 2002 had grown to 33 percent of Turks using the Internet today.
‘In six months, every household in Turkey will have access to the Internet; it is up to us to provide them with the education and equipment needed,’ he said.