January 12, 2014 4:27 pm, By Daniel Dombey in Istanbul
A legislative proposal put forward by the ruling AK party would give the transport and communication minister the power to block websites deemed to infringe privacy, as well as compelling internet service providers to retain information of their customers’ movements on the net.
But some critics have alleged that the legislative initiative is part of a general trend in which the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, prime minister, is concentrating more power in the wake of a corruption investigation that has targeted a host of figures connected to the government, including four former ministers and Mr Erdogan’s own son, Bilal.
“These are politically motivated measures to curb the free flow of information on the internet even further in Turkey,” said Yaman Akdeniz, a law professor at Istanbul’s Bilgi University. “Looking at the current political climate, it is primarily for controlling the leaking of videos and WikiLeaks kind of documents.”