Turkey’s Ruling Party enacts “Orwellian” Web Censorship

(Via AFP)

Turkey lawmakers adopt ‘Orwellian’ Internet curbs (via AFP)

Turkish MPs late Wednesday adopted new Internet legislation roundly criticised as a fresh assault by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on freedom of expression, access to information and investigative journalism. The proposals come amid parallel moves…

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Euronews reports, “Turkey approves new law to restrict internet”

7 Responses

  1. Well, I would have to say the EU made a correct decision when it tabled the motion that would have allowed Turkey to join them as member nation after reading this article. But I must admit this Erdogan character is a very wily and cunning politician. Even though he has demonstrated again and again just how authoritarian he can be when it comes to wielding political power.

    • But would the Turkish Parliament have approved such a law if Turkey had been allowed to join the EU, and made subject to its mandates?

  2. Indeed, George Hoffman1 Years of listening to people dismiss Tayyip’s critics as reactionary militarist “Kemalists” were difficult to endure (especially when, mea culpa, one done it oneself a decade ago), but it’s not like they weren’t warned and things will only get worse with the bills behind this one.

    Academic freedom took another beating recently, as Pinar Tremblay discussed on Al Monitor yesterday.

    An Azeri-national columnist for Zaman (yes, it’s Gulen, yes, he’s also evil, but what’s one’s point?) is facing deportation for tweeting corruption stories — links to articles!

    Meanwhile the miscreants go free and over a thousand police and a few hundred prosecutors have been “reassigned.”

    The coordinators of the Taksim Platform (the ad hoc group that sort of represented the Gezi protests) face 29 years in jail as now charged, but don’t expect the killers of protesters to do a day!

  3. There seems to be a big moment looming with the coming elections. Tayyip seems an increasingly transparent and desperate buffoon, and it’s hard to get (educated/literate?) people to even speculate about him winning in his bid for President for Life, as is his apparent desire.

    Still, I can’t help but think that the more his opponents laugh at, dismiss and ridicule the guy, the more belligerent and hardened his supporters become. As when Karl Rove worked to tap into the underlying hatred and resentment of Republicans toward Obama, by whispering into their ears about how “they think they’re smarter than you are…” These people tend to be “true believers,” and not the type to take defeat graciously.

    Strikes me that when things do come to some sort of head, as they clearly promise, we will see whether Turkey really has the strength of institutions and middle class to weather the storm.

    • I won’t claim to be educated or literate, but I’ll say both that your note of Rovean resentment is correct and there is a larger mass to tap into than there is in the US. Also that, oddly, these voters have been the darlings of the academic left who have — many still do — believe in Tayyip as the great liberator even as he now uses the first-person possessive when describing state institutions: my ministers, my army, my police, my courts.

      and let’s face it, despite the (idiotic) argument that it all starts with Ataturk’s authoritarianism, there was this little thing called the Ottoman empire for nearly half a millennium, and it was not noted for its democratic proclivities.

      This morning’s news includes systematic manipulation of polls under demands from the PM’s office, specifically, transfer of support from his old ally, the MHP (with whom he bonded when demanding to know why the CHP didn’t execute Ocalan when they arrested him) to the BDP, the party of the Kurds and his new buddy Ocalan, who insists that the whole corruption plot is being fomented by Jews in Chicago and vague agent in Utah.

      MHP is hard-line nationalist with, generally, an investment in the “Turkish-Islamic synthesis” ideology; its buildings have been attacked twice in the past couple of weeks. My bet is you can’t blame that on the secularists … probably not the Kurds acting alone, either.

  4. and then this addendum to media freedom:

    “A formal deportation procedure took place after Zeynalov arrived at İstanbul’s Atatürk Airport to board a 9:15 a.m. flight to Baku, after which he and his wife were accompanied by police to their flight.

    Today’s Zaman journalist @MahirZeynalov is being escorted by Turkish police for deportation. pic.twitter.com/jqFant2UzA
    — Sevda Nur Arslan (@svdarslan) February 7, 2014″

    • So, with the university left and the Presidency under his sway, controlling 319 of 550 seats of Parliament, as well as having the police, military and judiciary apparently cowed, where is the suggestion that he is not in the driver’s seat?

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