Questions raised about Turkish government's effort to exert control over Internet

December 13, 2011

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In Istanbul, thousands march in protest against the new Internet controls imposed by the Turkish government.

Amidst political turmoil in countries like Syria, Egypt and Libya, Turkey has asserted itself as a regional leader and model for democracy in the Islamic world. But ramped up government controls over Internet access could tarnish Turkey’s global image.

The new rules were introduced three months ago but didn’t come into effect until November for "technical reasons," according to the government. Tens of thousands of Turks have already gone to the streets to protest the controls, marching under the motto "Hands off my Internet!" While officials call the Internet filters "voluntary," fears persist that it could pave the way to even more restrictive censorship.


Matthew Brunwasser's report originally aired on Deutsche Welle. Worldview acquired it through the Public Radio Exchange.