Starting in late December, some 300,000 people from low-income households will be provided with free internet access, as part of social benefit efforts by the government.
The Ministry of Family and Social Policies aims to ease online access for poor families and simultaneously protect children from unregistered internet lounges, criticized for causing children to develop unhealthy online gaming addictions. The ministry earmarked TL 40 million ($12.897 million) for the project.
The project was first announced last year by authorities pledging equality in rights to access the internet.
Internet services for households will have a family filter to prevent access to harmful online content and will have limited usage quotas.
A government survey in April 2016 found that 76.3 percent of households have internet at home while more than half of those without Internet access say they do not have it because they "have no need."
Turkey has a population of approximately 80 million people and the GDP per capita floats remains under $10,000. Striving for economic growth, Turkey is seeking to bolster its social aid programs, an oft-neglected part of structural reforms in the past.
The government also plans "social" rental residences for low-income families, the next step in ongoing project of cheap residences at apartment complexes for the impoverished.
Through the state-run housing authority, the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ), the government will provide low-rent residences, especially in cities where real estate prices skyrocketed such as Istanbul. Authorities plan to provide some 100,000 residences for low-income families by 2023 while more than 29,000 residences were already allocated for low-income households.
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