The Twitter ban is a result of a court decision following a citizen's complaint
The reactions from prominent individuals in the European Union after the temporary Twitter ban in Turkey surprised even the most radical EU supporters like myself. "Freedom of communication is a basic European right. Turkey's Twitter ban raises serious doubts in terms of its European values and standards," said Stefan Füle, the European commissioner for enlargement and European neighborhood policy.
"I invite Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to immediately release freedom of expression," said Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament.
"The Twitter ban in Turkey is groundless, pointless and cowardly. The Turkish people and the international community will see this as censorship," said Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission.
It truly is interesting. No offense to EU executives, but it is easy to see from their reactions that they do not have sufficient knowledge of the matter.
To begin with, the access ban in question is not a matter that is under the initiative of PM Erdoğan. Turkey follows the rule of law where matters like this are decided by a neutral court.
Secondly, the complaint behind the ban is not related to a political issue or freedom of expression. Social media in Turkey is a place to freely vent insults, threats and blackmail against political powers. Since the EU executives mentioned above are also Twitter users, they can test my words by taking a short tour around the Twitter sphere. The Twitter ban in Turkey is the result of a court decision to remove nude photos of a woman from a fake account upon her complaints. Had Twitter agreed to remove these contents that are in violation of human rights rather than ignoring the court decision, the ban would never have been brought to the agenda.
Nevertheless, article 10 in the European Convention of Human Rights contains quite clear provisions. "Everyone has the right to freedom of expression... The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary."
Is it then not a violation of the European Convention of Human Rights and the Constitution if the Turkish system did not take measures in protecting the personal rights of its citizens?
Or is the degradation of women, exposure of people's private lives, racism, discrimination, targeting and hate crimes legal in EU member countries?
EU executives have to diversify their sources of information. Perhaps they should listen to we, the leftists, Kurdish opponents, liberals and religious democrats as much as they listen to the manipulations of those who want to halt the democratization and demilitarization processes.
Their attitudes cause EU-supporting democratic Turks to approach the Union and its values with suspicion. It leaves Turkish people defenseless in the face of propaganda that portrays the EU as orientalists
with double standards.