Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has announced that it will challenge the new controversial social regulation law at the Constitutional Court.
CHP MP Engin Özkoç said during a press conference on July 29 that the new law passed after 16 hours of tense deliberations with the votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputies as they hold the majority in parliament.
“The law demands that representatives from social media companies be present in Turkey. We are not against this but we know that the ruling AKP wants an addressee to impose oppression on like it is doing to the partisan media. So, it is not looking for an addressee to protect Turkey’s rights and laws,” Özkoç said.
The law requires foreign social media sites to appoint Turkish-based representatives to address authorities’ concerns over content and includes deadlines for removal of material they take exception to.
Companies could face fines, the blocking of advertisements or have bandwidth slashed by up to 90 percent, essentially blocking access, under the new regulations.
Özkoç said that from now on, the AKP will threaten these social media companies with slashing their bandwidth if they publish content that is found to be criticizing the government.
Özkoç said that with this law, the AKP is aiming to wipe out the collective memory that “remembers it formed its own political cadres” with the Gülen movement. “It wants to erase the memory that they walked arm in arm, that it appointed FETÖ-linked commanders in the army and protected them,” Özkoç said, referring to the Gülen movement.
“Turkish parliament is no longer in the service of the nation, but rather has turned into a notary’s office that is approving the [Presidential] palace’s orders through the votes of the AKP and MHP. Decisions at parliament are not taken for the benefit of the people, but for the future of the palace,” he said.