Mesopotamia Agency (MA) and sendika.org websites have been blocked by a decision of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) in Turkey.
The decision over MA states that a “protection measure has been implemented on this website (mezopotamyaajansi22.com) by BTK regarding decision number 2020/5419D and dated 30/09/2020, ruled by the Gaziantep Criminal Court of Peace”.
BTK’s decision over sendika.org states that a “protection measure has been implemented on this website (mezopotamyaajansi22.com) by BTK regarding decision number 2020/5426 D and dated 30/09/2020, ruled by the Gaziantep Second Criminal Court of Peace”.
Social media law
Turkey’s parliament passed a law in July that provides authorities with greater powers to control social media content. The law requires social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter to have representatives in Turkey who are tasked with dealing with complaints about content on their platforms.
Failure to designate a representative will be punished with large fines, advertising bans and bandwidth reductions that would make the use of a social media network so slow as to be impractical. If the companies do not comply within 48 hours, they will be fined 5 million Turlish lira (US $700,000).
PEN America’s digital freedom programme director Matt Bailey commented on the social media law in Turkey: “Combined, these overly broad provisions not only build on the Erdoğan government’s previous incursions into online free expression but will create a devil’s bargain for platforms choosing to operate in Turkey: anticipate the ruling party’s needs and remove or block anything politically inconvenient, or forego operation in Turkey entirely”.