Statement on Media Freedom in Turkey

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

Vienna, April 3, 2014

Since we raised our concerns last week on the subject of blocking of social media sites by the government of Turkey, a new block was instituted on YouTube.  Our concerns previously expressed with respect to Twitter of course apply here — as we’ve said, it’s important not to attack the medium or the messenger.  Freedom of expression is an internationally recognized human right, and is fundamental to democracy.

We note that the Turkish Constitutional Court this week upheld the lower court ruling striking down the Twitter ban as illegal, and we urge the Turkish government to act quickly to lift the blocks on all social media sites and to refrain from implementing such measures in the future.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.