New York, March 7, 2014–The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s threats to shut down YouTube and Facebook in order to, in the premier’s words, prevent the negative impact of the Internet on society.
“We call on the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stop censoring or threatening to censor the media in an attempt to control the free flow of information,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “Social media are not a menace to society, as the prime minister has repeatedly claimed–restrictive government policies are.”
Erdoğan made the remarks in a live televised interview late Thursday amid ongoing leaks on the Internet about alleged corruption and interference in editorial policy by the prime minister and his aides. CPJ has previously raised concerns about a newly passed Internet law that allows for the blocking of websites. In addition to the restrictive Internet measures, Turkey is the world’s leading jailer of journalists, according to CPJ research.