Facebook Faces Possible Ban In Turkey

By Caitlin Fitzsimmons Comment

Facebook could be facing a big problem in its third biggest market – Turkish officials are talking about banning the site.

Fethi ?im?ek, head of the Telecommunication Transmission Directorate (TIB), reportedly said his agency rather than the criminal courts had the power to ban websites, under Article 8 of Law 5651.

Recent debates about Facebook were sparked by requests made by the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu to have offensive content stating that he “is a PKK member” removed. ?im?ek said the K?l?çdaro?lu case was not related to any of the categorized crimes listed in the relevant article but any perceived problem could be a reason to halt access to the site.

“Facebook might be banned if the site posted content breaking one of the categorized laws and, not removing the content, the court decided to halt access to the site,” ?im?ek told NTV, adding that some government figures had already decided to allow the site to be banned.

“It should not to be supported or approved that someone will make comments that insult people on social media or in any kind of media.”

Serhat Özeren, chairman of Turkey’s Internet Board, reportedly said that there would be no need to ban Facebook if the insulting content was removed. I’ve been unable to locate the Facebook group “K?l?çdaro?lu is a PKK member”.

Turkey has already imposed a ban on Google-owned YouTube. However, the country is vying to join the European Union and needs to show a good record on human rights and civil liberties to be successful. Facebook is enormously successful in Turkey, which has a population of nearly 74 million and is the social networking site’s third biggest market.