An Ankara court has ruled to block the web site of Stockholm Center for Freedom, an advocacy organization that promotes the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights and freedoms.
When visitors tried to access to the website stockholmcf.org, they are prompted with a page that states “the protection measure has been taken for this website (stockholmcf.org) according to the decision Nr 2017/2333 dated of Ankara 6. Suh Ceza Hakimliği implemented by the information and Communication Technologies Authority”.
Internet freedom in Turkey has been rated “not free” in the 2016’s Freedom on the Net report by Freedom House, a downgrade from “partly free” status. The report also noted that The Turkish government frequently targets political opponents by applying the country’s draconian defamation laws.
Over 100,000 social media accounts and web sites currently have been blocked or banned in the country. According to Twitter’s latest government transparency report which is updated twice a year, the Turkish government made 493 requests for account information and 2,232 requests to remove accounts or content in the second half of 2016. It marked a 76 percent and 25 percent increase, respectively, from the first half of 2016.
Yaman Akdeniz, an associate professor in law at the Bilgi University’s Faculty of Law tweeted on Friday saying that “on the eve of referendum on Sunday, there is increase in censorship on internet”. He also attached the screenshot of the blocked web site of the Stockholm Center for Freedom to its Tweet message.
Yaman also shared a judge’s order that asked for blocking access to 46 links of news stories that mostly critical of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Moreover, a Diyarbakır court ruled to block 132 social media posts and web links that are related with pro-Kurdish opposition party People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) no campaign in the upcoming referendum.
April 14, 2017