Over 400,000 websites, including Netflix, are banned in Turkey, according to the “Bans on the Web 2019″ report published by the Freedom of Expression Association (İFÖD).
The report found that as of 2019, a total of 408,494 websites, are banned in Turkey, meaning the true number is likely much higher today.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan promised on Wednesday that social media platforms will be controlled or shut down after his family was insulted by social media users. The very next day, Netflix was blocked in Turkey.
However, Erdoğan does not have his eyes only set on Netflix, but is also looking at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and others by requesting them to have legal representation in Turkey, so courts can receive the identity of users, which would be a severe breach of online anonymity.
The 2019 report found 130,000 websites, 7,000 Twitter accounts, 40,000 individual tweets, 10,000 YouTube videos, and 6,200 Facebook posts were banned by law No.5651.
“Important statements that the Law No.5651 was used in a broad sense that would lead to arbitrary practices were also included in the AYM ruling,” the report said.
Video streaming giant YouTube was among the platforms that Turkey banned for extended periods over the years, as reported by Ahval. YouTube was first banned in 2007, when a Greek user uploaded a video highlighting that Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was gay.
Unsurprisingly, among the hardest hit were news website, with at least 5,599 news articles banned in 2019, with news networks removing 3,528 of them to avoid a wider ban on their services, according to İFÖD. Hürriyet removed 336 articles from its website, Milliyet 187 and T24 171.
Out of news websites more critical of the government, OdaTV removed 126 articles, showing 98 percent compliance, while the website Sol removed 100 percent of its 69 banned articles. Evrensel followed with 46 articles removed, Ahaval corresponded.
Turkey is one of the lowest ranked countries for media freedoms in the world, is the second most susceptible country surveyed on the European continent to fake news, has the most journalists jailed in the whole world, and 90% of media is government controlled.