25 June 2010

OSCE - Media freedom representative asks Turkey to withdraw Internet blocking

Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, urged the Turkish authorities to restore access to YouTube and other services offered by Google, and bring the much-criticized Law No. 5651 - known as the Internet Law - in line with international standards on free expression. In a letter sent to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Mijatovic expressed concern about new blocking provisions imposed earlier this month. The alleged reason behind the block is an unsettled tax dispute between the Ministry of Transport and Communication and Google, the owner of YouTube. "But even the widely criticized Internet Law does not include tax disputes among the reasons that it cites as cause for blocking websites," the Representative said. See the legal review of Law No. 5651, commissioned by the OSCE.