02 February 2010

OSCE asks Turkey to change the laws allowing Internet blocking

OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Media Freedom representative Miklos Haraszti asked the Turkish Government to change their Internet law in order to observe OSCE commitments and other international standards protecting freedom of expression. A survey analyzing Turkey's Internet Law has shown that the Turkish authorities were able to block the access to Internet of about 3700 websites. These sites included foreign websites such as YouTube, Geocities, DailyMotion and Google, blocked by court orders and administrative blocking orders issued by the Telecommunications Communication Presidency (TIB). The study also shows a lack of transparency in relation to the blocking orders issued either by the court or TIB and the fact that TIB has not made public the blocking statistics since May 2009. The OSCE representative considers that some of the reasons for blocking sites are "arbitrary and political, and therefore incompatible with OSCE's freedom of expression commitments."