Calls for Turkey to remove Internet restrictions

Some 450 participants from around 90 countries have gathered in Stockholm to attend the third Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF), where freedom and openness on the Internet to promote human rights and development across the world was discussed. The SIF is considered to be a unique forum for discussion about the relationship between technological and social development, and this year’s theme was “integrity, transparency, surveillance and control.”Half of the participants came from low- and middle-income countries, and many were from places where Internet freedom is restricted and efforts to promote it can even be dangerous. This was the very criteria that brought to me to Stockholm as an invited participant. As a matter of fact, unfortunately, almost all participants I met on the sidelines of the forum asked me and other Turkish participants about the Internet restrictions in Turkey, and on what grounds the government has banned Twitter and YouTube. The same feeling returned to me from the mid-1990s, when Turkey was named among countries with the worst human rights and democracy records in Europe.

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