• Begüm BURAK


Cyberspace, Democracy, Internet Censorship, Human Rights, Internet in Turkey


Internet censorship has recently been a hotly-debated issue in Turkey. In the age of information society, online freedoms are seen as inseparable parts of liberal democracies. In contemporary world, not only in Turkey but in many other countries, there are many people who use social media platforms and digital news outlets as an alternative to traditional media that consist of TV channels, radio and print media. In such an environment, online freedoms
are significant to be able to reach information. In addition, the right to have freedom of expression through online platforms such as social media sites has been an important aspect of individual liberties. This article is an attempt to address the restrictions exercised in the realm of online freedoms in Turkish context and to analyze how online censorship and online surveillance impact democracy. For this aim, some of the important internet censorship cases
will be covered.


Access Now (2019, July 9). Report: the state of internet shutdowns, Access Date & Address (17.04.2021):

Akdeniz Y., and Altıparmak K., (2008, November ). Internet: Restricted Access A Critical Assessment of Internet Content Regulation and Censorship in Turkey, Access Date & Address (18.04.20201):

Akdeniz, Y. (2010, January 11). Report of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media on Turkey and Internet Censorship, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Akdeniz Y., Güven, O., (2020, August). Engelli Web –An Iceberg of Unseen Internet Censorship in Turkey, Access Date & Address(18.04.2021):

Akgül, M. (2008). İnternet Yasakları ve Hukuk, Türkiye Barolar Birliği Dergisi, 78, pp 352-377.

Akgül, M., & Kırlıdoğ, M. (2015). Internet Censorship in Turkey, Internet Policy Review, 4(2), pp.1-22

Anadolu Agency, (2014, February 26). Turkey’s general assembly ratifies Internet bill, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Anadolu Agency, (2016, August 17). Turkey shuts down telecommunication regulatory body TIB, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Asbarez News Agency, (2010, October 8). Turkey may ban Facebook, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

BBC, (2010, October 30). Turkey lifts two-year ban on YouTube, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Benjakob, O. (2018, April 29). Revealed: The Four Articles That Got Wikipedia Banned in Turkey Access Date & Address (23.04.2021):

Brown D. and Esterhuysen A. (2019, December 4). Why cybersecurity is a human rights issue, and it is time to start treating it like one, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Cumhuriyet, (2019, May 3). Soylu açıkladı: 20 bin 474 kişiye sosyal medya paylaşımı nedeniyle işlem yapıldı, Access Date & Address (20.04.2021):

Dahl R. (1982). Dilemmas of Pluralist Democracy, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Daily Sabah, (2021, April 4). Turkish prosecutor launches probe into retired admirals' 'declaration', Access Date & Address (20.04.2021):

Dockterman, E. (2014, March 20). Turkey Bans Twitter, Access Date & Address (20.04.2021):

Freedom Online Coalition (2017). An Internet Free and Secure, Access Date & Address (17.04.2021):

Freedom Online Coalition-History (n.d.), Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Freeweb Turkey Report, (2021, January). End of news: Internet censorship in Turkey, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Henkoğlu, T., and Yılmaz B. (2013). İnternet Erişim Özgürlüğünün Kısıtlanması: Türkiye Üzerine Bir Değerlendirme. Bilgi Dünyası, 14(2), pp. 215-239.

Holtz, M., (2015, April 6). Turkey turns off Twitter and Facebook as censorship grows, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Hurriyet, (2008, October 27). İnternet Yasağında Digitürk Parmağı, Access Date & Address (19.04.2021):

Hurriyet Daily News, (2016, August 20). Turkey arrests novelist Aslı Erdoğan over ‘terror’ charges, Access Date & Address (19.04.2021):

Kemp, S. (2020, February 18). Digital 2020: Turkey, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

McCoy, T., (2014, March 21). Turkey bans Twitter — and Twitter explodes, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021): Turkey bans Twitter — and Twitter explodes - The Washington Post

Morales, F. (2001). Child pornography and the internet, Conferences on the Civil and Criminal Liability of Internet Service Providers, Barcelona.

MSLA Turkey (2018, January 24). Özgürlükçü Demokrasi news website banned for 45th time, Access Date & Address (19.04.2021):

Musil, S. (2014, April 20). Two anonymous Twitter accounts blocked in Turkey, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

NetBlocks, (2020, February 27). Social media blocked in Turkey as Idlib military crisis escalates, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Nielson, N., (2013, June 3). 'Turkish Spring' tests Erdogan's rule, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, (2012). Freedom of Expression on the Internet, Access Date & Address (17.04.2021):

Parkinson J., and Peker E., (2014, March 27). Turkey Muzzles YouTube, Media Ahead of Elections, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

PC Mag, (2010, November 3). Youtube Banned in Turkey (Again) Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Rossini C. and Green N. (2015, June). Cybersecurity and Human Rights, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Seto, M. C. (2013). Internet Sex Offenders. Washington DC, American Psychological Association.

Stoycheff, E. (2016). Under Surveillance: Examining Facebook’s Spiral of Silence Effects in the Wake of NSA Internet Monitoring. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 93(2), pp. 296–311.

The website of Engelli Web Project, Access Date & Address (20.04.2021):

Turkey Blocks, (2016, December 23). Social media shutdowns in Turkey after ISIS releases soldier video Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Turkey Blocks, (2017, March 21). Turkey leads in social media censorship: new Twitter transparency report Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):

Twitter (n.d.). Twitter Transparency Report, Access Date & Address (20.04.2021):

UNICEF, (n.d.). UNICEF answers top 10 questions about cyber-bullying, Access Date & Address (20.04.2021):

Watson, I., & Tüysüz, G. (2014, March 21). Turkish PM vows to 'eradicate' Twitter, users see service disruptions, Access Date & Address (18.04.2021):




How to Cite




Research Articles