President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has described social media as a “garbage dump,” saying that it became a rampant environment in terms of increasing and varying cyber-bullying.
“Social media has turned into a garbage dump and a completely rampant environment. We will never surrender to this virtual world that people’s rights are violated and that they are harassed, deceived, lynched, insulted,” Erdoğan said at the opening ceremony of the new national agency to protect against cyber-attacks in the Turkish capital Ankara on Feb. 10.
“We are determined to get our country out of this nightmare environment that fake news, slanders, insults, threats, deceits and provocations fall on our society just like an avalanche,” he added.
Saying that necessary precautions weren’t taken on the issue as the legal and technical base couldn’t be formed, Erdoğan urged the interior and justice ministries to conclude their efforts rapidly.
Erdoğan also said that security of data and electronic systems is as important as the country’s border security.
“Trying to provide data security with foreign solutions means leaving border security to foreign soldiers,” he said.
Saying that information and technology is the world’s fastest-growing sector, he stressed that over the last 17 years, the sector’s value in Turkey rose from 20 billion liras ($3.3 billion) to 132 billion Turkish lira (nearly $22 billion).
“In 2019 we saw over 136,000 cyber-attacks against Turkey, up from less than 9,000 in 2016,” he said, adding that recently Turkey has been among the countries most targeted by cyber-attacks.
The way to fight the attacks, done with smart systems, is developing and using smarter systems, he said, comparing using conventional methods against cyber-attacks with trying to block bullets with paper.
Our aim is a Turkey that invents, designs, develops and produces technology, rather than only consuming it, he said.
Turkey is stepping up work for a national solution for data security and officials are being told to take needed steps immediately, he added.
Noting that Turkey will send Turksat 5A into space at the end of the year and Turksat 5B in 2021, Erdoğan said Turksat 6A, Turkey’s first indigenously produced communications satellite, will be operational by 2022.
“This will make Turkey one of the 10 countries in the world that are able to produce communication satellites,” he added.