Turkey’s parliament approves social media bill

Turkey's parliament on Wednesday voted a bill allowing stricter control over social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, news wires reported.

Rights groups and free speech campaigners warned the "draconian" law would give the government more power to increase online censorship and urged tech giants such as Google to reject it. Networks accessed by more than 1 million daily users in Turkey would have to appoint a legal representative in the country, state news agency Anadolu reported. Failure to appoint a representative, who must be a Turkish citizen, would result in fines and gradually having the platform's bandwidth reduced, rendering it unusable. They must also store the data of their users from Turkey in the country, making it easier for prosecutors and other authorities to access.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this month threatened legislation to regulate social media after his grandson's birth announcement was slandered on Twitter. Erdogan called social media centres of "depravity" and a "source of lies, slander, attacks on personal rights, character assassinations."

The bill passed easily as Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), have a parliamentary majority.

Similar articles

  • Turkey has restarted drilling in eastern Mediterranean

    Turkey has restarted drilling in eastern Mediterranean

    President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey had resumed drilling operations in the eastern Mediterranean as Greece had not kept its promises regarding energy exploration in the region. “There’s no need for discussion with those who have no rights, especially in maritime zones,” he said.

  • North Macedonia in search of new government

    North Macedonia in search of new government

    Zoran Zaev began power-sharing talks with two parties representing the ethnic Albanian minority

    North Macedonia’s newly elected lawmakers took their seats Tuesday for the first time after the country’s 15 July elections, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The formal first session of parliament starts a 10-day countdown for the leader of the party that came first in the elections to conclude complicated power-sharing negotiations with smaller parties in search of a coalition, news wires reported.

  • Western Balkans leaders discuss virus crisis, EU future

    Western Balkans leaders discuss virus crisis, EU future

    Government leaders and officials from six Western Balkan nations met on Wednesday for a virtual summit to discuss how to prevent and address economic stagnation and social impacts from the coronavirus pandemic that could derail or delay national efforts to join the EU, news wires reported. The summit “gathered” presidents, prime ministers and government ministers from Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.