As cyber threats grow, Turkey has been tightening security measures through its National Police. Police combing the vast online world detected criminal activities associated with 39,000 social media accounts in 2017, and detained and arrested 3,000 suspects throughout the year. Police also stepped up measures against illegal online betting and confiscated TL 140 million ($36.6 million) from suspects involved in online gambling.
Police recruited 500 social media and cybercrime officers in 2017 to expand its online operations. Recruits were trained in cybercrime investigation techniques and detecting digital evidence. The National Police also set up 12 departments handling online crimes related to terrorist groups, sales of illegal drugs, sexual abuse, child abuse, violence toward animals and for investigating the darknet.
The government is preparing a new and comprehensive cybersecurity blueprint to combat growing domestic and global threats online. Under the new plan, The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK), the national communications watchdog, will also play a more effective part in the nation's cybersecurity establishment. It will continue to oversee efforts to identify people and groups that promote terrorism and apply court orders to shut down websites, but will also actively search for those who support terrorist groups such as Daesh, the PKK and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) on social media. The government will decide whether to increase the sentences of those found guilty of supporting terrorism on social media, a crime that currently carries a punishment of seven-and-a-half years in prison.
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