A report drafted by the Freedom of Expression Association (İFÖD) has shown that Turkey made the highest number of applications to the Twitter social media platform for content removal in the first half of 2019, according to Turkish media reports.
İFÖD’s report, titled “EngelliWeb 2019” (BlockedWeb 2019) showed that while Twitter received a total of 50,757 removal requests in the first half of 2019, 8,993 of these requests were made by Turkey, the highest number made by a single country.
It is an everyday occurrence in Turkey for individuals to face legal action, detention and even arrest due to their tweets.
The report also showed that Turkish courts banned access to 130,000 URL addresses, 7,000 Twitter accounts, 40,000 tweets, 10,000 YouTube videos and 6,200 Facebook posts in 2019.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is heavily criticized for silencing free speech in the country. Following a failed coup in July 2016, the AKP government launched a crackdown on critical media outlets and its critics under the pretext of an anti-coup fight, sending dozens of critical journalists to jail and closing down hundreds of media outlets in the country.