On Turkey’s Government Tightening Controls over Internet Freedom

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council

Vienna, February 20, 2014

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States wishes to express its concern about the enactment by Turkey this week of a new law tightening government controls over Internet freedom.

We echo the concerns of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic that “the new law contains several highly worrisome provisions which could block free online discourse on issues of public interest, thus clashing with OSCE commitments on Internet freedom and free expression.”

The United States takes note of the Turkish government’s decision and intention to address some of these concerns by amendment.  We strongly encourage Turkish authorities to work in close cooperation with the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media swiftly to bring the new law into line with the country’s OSCE commitments to protect and promote the freedom of expression and media freedom.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.