Popular website moving out of Turkey due to Internet regulations

Sedat Kapanoğlu, the site’s founder, said it would be “idiocy” to continue running such a website in Turkey.

Sedat Kapanoğlu, the site’s founder, said it would be “idiocy” to continue running such a website in Turkey.

The founder of the popular Turkish website Ekşi Sözlük (Sour Dictionary) is moving out of Turkey in the wake of the controversial recent Internet bill.

Sedat Kapanoğlu, the site’s founder, said it would be “idiocy” to continue running such a website in Turkey.

“We have now the same Internet structure of countries we have been making fun of, such as China or Iran. Running a website like that in Turkey is pretty much an idiocy,” Kapanoğlu said.

With more than 400,000 users, Ekşi Sözlük, a user-run online encyclopedia in the mold of a funnier version of Wikipedia, is one of the country’s most popular websites. It has more than 22 million definitions under around 3 million titles. It has a crew of editors with the authority to remove content that might pose a legal problem for the website or the user.

“Of course, there should be a law [regulating the web]. But there are lots of problems with the latest regulation,” Kapanoğlu said. “The regulation that is called the ‘secure Internet’ means the state decides which websites children can visit, instead of their parents, which is very dangerous.”

He added that the law did not require a specialized court and “even the most uninformed judges and prosecutors” could take on cases on the Internet.

Last month, President Abdullah Gül approved the government-passed bill. The new measures allow the president of the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) to make decisions on his own initiative to block websites for a privacy violation without seeking permission from a court. The bill will also force Internet providers to keep records on web users’ activities for two years and make them available to the authorities on request.

(Source / 10.03.2014)

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