Turkey: Erdogan wants to ban YouTube and Facebook

Turkey: Erdogan wants to ban YouTube and Facebook

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been the key topic of a political and financial scandal for many months. He just announced that he could ban Facebook and YouTube in Turkey after the municipal elections i.e.  on March30th, in a TV interview broadcast on March 7th.

Indeed he announced on a private Turkish TV channel: “There are new steps that we shall take in this area after March 30 th […] including [ YouTube and Facebook ] ban ”

Last December, dozens of regime allies i.e. , big bosses, or elected officials suspected of corruption were  convicted and charged . The opposition has been calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Erdogan and many people went to the street to demonstrate against exacerbated corruption among leaders. Telephone conversations directly involving the Prime Minister in corruption cases have been published on the internet, including on YouTube. In these phone conversations which have not been formally verified, we follow the Prime Minister asking his son to hide several million of euros and dollars hidden with relatives and also tackling the topic of a commission paid by a business that is felt as insufficient.

On March 5th, the government leader was again condemning those phone conversations to be all but “immoral assembly” and accusing his opponents of plotting to overthrow his government.

During the election campaign, however, he promised to leave politics if his party did not win local elections, which will be a test for his regime.

Censorship is even further amplified in Turkey, since the Parliament adopted on February 5th, a series of controversial amendments that strengthened state control over the Internet.

For many years, Turkey has been classified by Reporters Without Borders as a country “under surveillance” because of its cyber-censorship policies. It is ranked 154th out of 179 countries in the 2013 Reporters without Borders press freedom index.

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