Double Blow Against Freedom Of Speech For Twitter Users In Turkey

from the bad-precedents dept

Techdirt has written a few times about Turkey's difficult relationship with new technology. Unfortunately, it looks like that now includes Twitter, as two troubling decisions against users have been handed down recently. Here's the first, as reported by the Turkish Web site Hürriyet Daily News:

Model Nilay Dorsa had filed a criminal complaint against Tolga Çam who posted a tweet mentioning Dorsa with "offensive content" in November 2011.



The court board said Çam committed revilement crime by expressing his personal thoughts over Twitter and sharing them with public, considering Twitter as a media platform for the first time in Turkey.
That sets a bad precedent, since it means that writing on Twitter is now regarded as akin to publishing in a newspaper or magazine, with correspondingly severe punishments. Indeed, only a few days later, the same argument was made when a suspended 10-month sentence for "insulting religious beliefs held by a section of the society" was imposed on the well-known Turkish pianist Fazil Say. According to another story in Hürriyet Daily News, the sentence was increased massively because he "published" his thoughts on Twitter:
Say was initially handed eight months for "committing and insisting on committing a crime" before the court tacked on an additional four years because the artist voiced the insult through "a mode of publication."
Fortunately, the sentence was then reduced to 10 months, and suspended, but made subject to a five-year supervision period, during which time it could still be imposed. A similar three-year supervision was imposed on Çam in the case involving Nilay Dorsa, establishing a clear pattern that is likely to have a chilling effect on the use of Twitter in Turkey.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Andrew F (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 5:13pm

    Not Twitter

    The problem isn't that the Turkish government doesn't get Twitter. The problem is that "insulting religious beliefs" and "revilement crime" are illegal to begin with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 5:20pm

    RE:Turkey

    "gobble, gobble, gobble."

    (it's Turkey, not a "free" state like the US)





    /Sarc [for both lines]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    horse with no name, Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Not Twitter

    Don't confuse the author with facts. He thinks that the world starts and ends on the internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 5:39pm

    All I can think

    Oh my gosh, what a waste of resources! Someone says things that only a few people would care about and we have to punish them for thinking!

    What's next? We're going to throw people in jail for breathing too hard?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 6:42pm

    Re: All I can think

    I suspect after the Prenda lawsuits end, the RIAA is going to demand people be thrown in jail for laughing too hard...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 7:00pm

    On a lighter note

    If we pull the internet out of Turkey does that mean we can stop worrying about the Turkish I problem?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Apr 23rd, 2013 @ 8:41pm

    Re: On a lighter note

    talk about coding for Turkeys, wow

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 1:41am

    so, Turkey has finally come right out and joined the likes of China then, taking away all forms of freedom of speech as far as modern forms of communicating is concerned. i bet you anything, the judges are around the same ages as those that keep fighting modern technology everywhere else. they're too old to understand it so think the only way is to ban it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 4:18am

    Re: Not Twitter

    Just what the heck is a "revilement crime," anyway?

    Take note of this because certain politicians here in the US want to push through similar thought crime legislation, under the guise of "preventing bullying" and "for the children," setting the stage for a system similar to Turkey's.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Not Twitter

    Where, exactly, are the lies in the post? You seem to think that some facts are real facts and others are of no consequence. Remember, this is a tech blog, not a religious blog, so the religious question is kept strictly out of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    horse with no name, Apr 24th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not Twitter

    bemoaning the loss of free speech when there was none to start with is meaningless. This post as a result is fairly meaningless, because the people of Turkey did not have that type of free speech to start with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Wxxxx, Jul 12th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

    sffghf

    Ardogan is dead. Just give him time

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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