Turkey refutes US criticism of Internet bill
Thursday, February 20, 2014
ANKARA - Turkey's European Union Minister and chief negotiator Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday said "The U.S. is the last country to give advice to Turkey about the Internet," in response to America's criticism over Turkey's new Internet law on Wednesday.
"The US is well known for its Internet restrictions, especially regarding Wikileaks," added Cavusoglu, speaking on private Turkish news channel NTV.
Cavusoglu evaluated the recent U.S. criticisms, said, "It is unacceptable for us that the U.S. is making such comments before even taking a look at our new Internet law.''
Cavusoglu also referring to new amendments to Turkey's judicial reform bill, said he told his European counterparts exactly what is contained in the bill.
"There are a total of 34 new regulation proposals in the draft bill, eight of them came from the European Union. Five of those proposals directly reflected in the bill, two of them indirectly. Still, the EU is talking about rule of law, separation of powers, democracy and human rights. I am one of the politicians who gave the most importance to those virtues."
The EU Minister also suggested comparing the laws and their implementations in Turkey and in Europe.
President Abdullah Gul ratified the Internet bill on Tuesday although he still wants two further amendments on two articles. One covers the legislation that will allow Turkey’s National Telecommunications Authority (TIB) to block access to certain parts of websites without prior court approval. The other is regarding Internet traffic information which is proposed to be collected by IP and subscriber numbers, instead of web addresses. Turkish opposition claim the new legislation is an attempt to censor the Internet.
On Wednesday, State Department Deputy spokesperson Marie Harf voiced U.S. concerns over the law, urging Turkey to uphold fundamental freedoms.
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