“Remember that Adolf Hitler used the same methods when he rose to power,” opposition leader Hasan Oren blasts as Turkish PM Erdogan as the Turkish parliament has approved a bill that would tighten government controls over the internet. As The BBC reports, the new law allows the government to block websites without first seeking a court ruling. “Now you are implementing fascism,” Oren goes on, despite promises of “enhancing democracy in Turkey” when Erdogan was elected. The Erdogan government had already restricted access to “the scourge of Twitter” and Facebook’s “menace to society,” but this latest step dismisses any legal limits or restrictions.
The Turkish parliament has approved a bill that would tighten government controls over the internet.
The new law will allow Turkey’s telecommunications authority to block websites without first seeking a court ruling.
It will also force internet providers to store data on web users’ activities for two years and make it available to the authorities.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been openly critical of the internet, calling Twitter a “scourge” and condemning social media as “the worst menace to society”.
Both Twitter and Facebook were widely used by anti-government protesters to spread information during demonstrations last year.
“When you came to power you talked of enhancing democracy in Turkey – now you are trying to implement fascism,” he said.
“Remember that Adolf Hitler used the same methods when he rose to power.”
However, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said there was “no such thing as internet censorship” in Turkey.
“We are freer compared to many other countries and have freedom of the press,” he said.
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said the new powers meant Turkey’s telecommunications agency would be able to “gather communications data about all internet users without any legal limits or restrictions” and with users “never… able to know when and how this information is gathered”.
We suspect some other sites that are awkwardly telling the truth about Turkey will soon be censored.