Turkey: street clashes over cyber freedom

Riot police in Istanbul used water cannons against demonstrators Feb. 9 in the latest protest against a bill that would increase government control over the Internet. Last month, demonstrators attempted to occupy Istanbul's main Taksim Square in protest of the law, before being evicted by riot police with water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets. The bill, granting Turkey's telecommunications authority the ability to block websites or remove content without a court order, has been approved by parliament and awaits the signature of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey made almost 1,700 requests for Google to remove material from the web in the first six months of 2013—more than three times any other country, and a rise of nearly 1,000% in one year. Google says most of the requests were turned down. (AFP, Feb. 9; Jurist, Feb. 7; Euronews, Jan. 18)

  1. Riots sweep Turkey —again

    Protesters clashed with riot police in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and other cities across Turkey after Berkin Elvan, who had been in a coma since being struck in the head by a gas canister during the June 2013 Gezi Park riots, died on March 11. (NYT, March 12; National Turk, March 11)