Turkey’s recent history is rife with human rights-stifling legislation and practices. The Internet Law, its amendments, and the recent decision of Turkey’s regulator (BTK) further cemented that trend. The Internet Law and amendments require large platforms to appoint a local representative, localize their data, and speed up the removal of content on-demand from the government. Turkey has also adopted a data protection law; however, it has failed to protect fundamental rights in practice. For instance, Turkey implemented emergency surveillance decrees, after the 2016 coup, that granted the Turkish government unrestricted access to communications data without a court order—a carte blanche for government spying. Platforms should stand with their users and uphold international human rights law and standards that protect privacy and free expression. We fear that platforms instead might knuckle under pressure from the Turkish government.
If another country did that I would be less suspicious, but current Turkish government has been using fines as a political pressure tool for ages now…
Turkish authorities have fined Google on Nov. 13 196.7 million Turkish liras ($25.6 million) for breaching the country’s competition law.
Google is facing yet another fine for allegedly abusing its search ad clout, although the financial punishment this time is less serious than its implications. Arab News reports that Turkey’s Competition Board has given Google six months to change it..