Just published is a research report by lawyer Yasemin Öz, “LGBTI People’s Freedom of Expression on the Internet,” concerning internet statutes and regulations, and censorship directed at LGBTI people.
Source: “‘LGBTİ’lerin İnternet Yoluyla İfade Özgürlüğü’ raporu yayınlandı” (“Report published: ‘LGBTI People’s Freedom of Expression on the Internet'”), Kaos GL, 16 October 2015, http://www.kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=20358
The Kaos GL Association, continuing its efforts in Internet freedom, censorship, and discrimination on the internet, has published the report “LGBTI People’s Freedom of Expression on the Internet.”
The report, prepared by lawyer Yasemin Öz, examines the effect of Internet regulation and laws on freedom of expression. Featured in the report are blocked web sites with LGBTI content, the legal process, and a survey of statutes and regulations.
The results of the report reveal that in Turkey, statutes and regulations concerning the content of internet publications and the allocation of domain names is not aimed solely at LGBTI individuals, but in a general sense constitutes a threat in the area of freedom of expression.
“Obscenity,” “public order,” and “morality”
The examples evaluated in the report demonstrate that by means of vague concepts like “obscenity,” “public order,” and “morality,” the way has been paved for the broad application of blocking authority.
Including six chapters, the report begins with a general discussion of freedom of expression on the Internet in Turkey. In the subsequent sections of the report, the relationship between LGBTI people’s freedom of expression and the internet, the statutes and regulations concerning Internet use, examples of blocking access to Internet sites with LGBTI content, censorship applied by global Internet sites to LGBTI people in Turkey, and legal recourse had by LGBTI organizations in connection with restrictions on their freedom of expression on the Internet are successively featured.
At the end of the report are found the Association’s recommendations and the text of “Feminist Principles on the Internet,” prepared by Kaos GL’s Internet freedom project-partner APC (Association for Progressive Communications).
Laws should be designed so as not to discriminate
At the conclusion of the report it is made clear that in order for freedom of expression, guaranteed by the Constitution of the Turkish Republic and international agreements to which Turkey is a party, to be effectively used in practice, there is a need to reformulate the legal provisions granting authorities the power to restrict Internet access so as, without leaving any room for vague criteria, not to make way for discrimination.
You can access the report in its printed form through the Kaos GL Association.
For the Turkish version, click here.
For the English version, click here.
Kaos GL’s Internet-related efforts
Kaos GL, which, with its four-day “New Media School,” brought together over 20 volunteer correspondents from 14 cities last May, also organized in September the meeting [“Virtual-Reality Aficionados Get Together”] in order to establish a network in connection with Internet freedom. On 12-13 September, representatives of LGBTI organizations from various cities met in the hall of the Association for Civil Society in the Penal System (CISST) in order to discuss Internet activism and to seek together the ways of engaging in the fight.
*This research has been financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) within the scope of the “Sexual Rights Project,” of which the Kaos GL Association is a partner. The “Sexual Rights Project” is a project run by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) with partners from India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey. Financial support by the APC and SIDA does not mean that they agree with the ideas set forth in this publication.