Social media web sites begin implementing Turkish court orders
by Ali Ünal
ANKARAJun 13, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Ali Ünal
Jun 13, 2014 12:00 am
Due toviolation of personal rights, Turkey temporarily banned the social networking sites Twitter and YouTube but in recent months Turkish officials held talks with officials from social media companies to resolve the situation. In recent weeks the ban was lifted by a Constitutional Court decision but Transport and Communication Minister Lütfi Elvan said that they are still working closely with social media companies. "After we had a talk with Twitter and other social media companies' officials they understood our concerns and I'm glad to say that we are working with great harmony with them," Minister Elvan told Daily Sabah.
The Turkish telecommunications regulatory authority and Twitter officials held talks twice in April and May respectively in Ankara and Dublin. Moreover, Turkish officials recently announced that Twitter would establish a "live customer hotline" in Turkish to handle Turkish citizens' complaints regarding violations of personal rights and avoid settling such issues in court. Concerning the implementation of court orders Elvan said that social media web sites began to implement court orders, but he drew attention to the fact that there are still differences between companies regarding the timing of implementation. "Like other social media companies Twitter also began to implement court orders, but I would say that Twitter is quite slow compared to others. For instance, while Facebook is able to implement a court order in a matter of hours, Twitter takes almost a week to implement the same order," the minister added.
Last February the Turkish Parliament adopted a new Internet bill, which according to government officials, the main aim of the bill was to prevent violations of personal rights. Based on the amendments, people whose personal rights were violated would be able request the removal of Internet content related to their complaint. The amendments were supposed to allow the removal of harmful content by means of blocking the URL instead of blocking the entire website. However, the technical infrastructure was inadequate to implement this amendment. In this regard Minister Elvan said that the infrastructure allows for such orders to be carried out on web sites that use HTTP protocol. "Currently service providers have technical infrastructure for blocking for websites that use HTTP protocol but their infrastructure is impractical for web sites that use the HTTPS protocol," Elvan added.
Communication Minister Lütfi Elvan remarked that Turkish officials and Twitter will hold a third meeting in the coming days. Minister Elvan reiterated that they want Twitter to open an office in Turkey but added that they were not able to reach a compromise on the issue yet.