The ban on accessing YouTube from Turkey leaves its first year behind as the government fails to acknowledge the issue. Mustafa Akgül from Internet Technologies Association (INETD) urges to leave the "mentality of censorship behind."
The video sharing site had been banned by court order on grounds that it included videos insulting Atatürk -the founder of modern Turkey- and appraisals for the Kurdish rebel group, PKK. Similar ruling against Dailymotion, Geocities and Myspace followed suit.
Akgül emphasizes that Law 5651 on the struggle against cyber-crimes should be amended but this alone wouldn't provide a solution to the problem.
"Any one court in Turkey could cease access to a web site as a precaution, without consulting anyone."
He claims that "harmful content" could be filtered out, without the need to block access totally and NGOs working on the field could be functional in this respect. "The state should leave content control to citizens. That should be the principle."
Akgül proposes establishing specialized courts on cyber-crimes and educating legislative officers on the issue.
PM Erdoğan had confessed to journalists that he was avoiding the court order and accessing YouTube, during an interview on November 2008. "You should also do it," he conveyed.
According to Ercan İpekçi of Turkey's Union of Journalists (TGS) access to 1 631 web sites have been banned since the introduction of the law. Yet it's technically possible to walk around the court censorship.(EÜ/AGÜ)
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