Governing AKP in Turkey proposed a new economic relief package consisting of 66 articles, aims to aid the economy that is troubled due to Covid-19 outbreak. However among the details of the package is a detail that has been mentioned before to bring digital enterprises and social media companies to Turkey for enhanced communication with the government.

AKP proposed a new economic relief package in an attempt to counter an economic downfall caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. With its 66 articles, the package is designed to aid those that were affected by the pandemic with a budget of 100 billion TL ($15.4 billion). However, the government faced criticism for the way it handled the pandemic, from its late intervention in the Coronavirus crisis to its donation-based campaign.

INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT

To counter the expression of criticism online, one article of the package was dedicated to eliminate “inappropriate content” from social media. Consequently, access to websites that do not have representation in Turkey to ‘establish a dialogue’ will be blocked. If representation is currently present, websites will report violations of their users to the authorities.
According to a report of BirGün Daily, the argumentation of the draft law is that there are no moderators on non-Turkish websites to remove “inappropriate content” or to prevent access to it. Therefore, provisions are being taken to narrow internet access as decided by the court.

SANCTIONS AGAINST SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media platforms will be obligated to report violations within 72 hours. Non-social media sites will also have to follow the same procedure and report content to authorities in Turkey.
Moreover, the draft bill mentions that websites hosted in Turkey are obligated to save user data on servers located inside Turkey. Websites that do not implement these measures will be subjected to sanctions.
Translated by Talitha Smit