- ‘Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee’ returns with Seinfeld making a racist joke about China 4 Years Ago
- YouTubers Eugenia Cooney and Shane Dawson make a joint comeback Today 9:06 AM
- The crushing effects of Trump’s abortion ‘gag rule’ on healthcare Today 8:00 AM
- How to live stream Pacquiao vs. Thurman Today 6:20 AM
- Review: Hulu with Live TV ensures you always have something to watch Today 6:00 AM
- How to live stream UFC on ESPN 4: Rafael dos Anjos vs. Leon Edwards Today 5:49 AM
- 2020 Democrats refuse to answer our questions about ‘Cats’ Friday 4:14 PM
- Belle Delphine’s Instagram account removed after mass reporting campaign Friday 4:08 PM
- Mariah Carey refuses old-age FaceApp challenge Friday 3:19 PM
- Journalists horrified by consolidation of Gatehouse, Gannett Friday 3:12 PM
- Facebook and Google could be tracking you on porn sites Friday 1:42 PM
- 7 best sites for psychic love readings Friday 1:20 PM
- Driver demonstrates why you always need to read road signs Friday 12:58 PM
- Area 51 remix video proves it’s the summer of Lil Nas X Friday 12:26 PM
- ‘ICE will come’: Convenience store clerk threatens customers speaking Spanish Friday 12:11 PM
Turkey censors Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, news sites over terrorist photo
Turkey’s censorship machine strikes again.
A single Turkish court order, designed to stop people sharing a single terrorist photo, has led Turkish Internet service providers to block news sites, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
It stems from Tuesday, when two members of the Turkish leftist group DHKP/C, recognized by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, took a public prosecutor hostage in his Istanbul courthouse office. A photo that depicted one member pressing his gun against prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz’s temple started to go viral, prompting the government issued an immediate gag order on news of the incident.
But because of Turkey’s new Internet law, which encourages ISPs that have trouble censoring a single link to instead block entire domains, users in Turkey have since reported inability to access Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, too.
The Istanbul court banned access to 166 URL addresses in a single order. It includes 78 news items, 10 Twitter accounts, 54 Twitter statuses, four Facebook photos, and 16 YouTube videos.
There’s plenty of precedent for this kind of censorship. The Turkish government has used courts to issue 150 gag orders in the last 4 years. From corruption scandals to mining disasters, any news that shows government weakness is prone to censorship.
According to Turkey’s internet law, ISPs are obliged to implement court orders within 4 hours, leading to censorship of multiple news articles from more than a dozen of the country’s most popular Turkish news websites. It also bans reports from The Independent (UK), Mirror (UK), The Post (Netherlands), ABC (Spain) TGCOM24 (Italy), Protothema (Greece), ValueWalk (USA), 1ClickNews (USA), and News.com (Australia). Users in Turkey who click on any of these links see a blank page.
Twitter, which Turkey has previously banned outright for not immediately responding to such orders, acted swiftly. Within five hours, Twitter sent emails to at least 60 users saying “in order to avoid being completely banned in Turkey, we have withheld your status / your account.” Many of the accounts named in the order had previously been targeted for censorship in previous censorship orders.
Illustration by Jason Reed
Efe Kerem Sözeri is a Turkish freelance researcher who lives in the Netherlands. After studying political science in Istanbul, he moved to Amsterdam to study migrants' political behavior. Besides his academic work, he regularly writes on internet freedom and censorship in Turkey.