Turkish people will march across the country on Sunday to protest the Internet filter application, which is expected to start on Aug. 22.
Internet users have been organizing on different websites, since the filter application became focus of public debate in Turkey in late April. About 600,000 people have stated they will attend marches on May 15 for an event called “Do not touch my Internet” on the social networking website of Facebook. Other Internet websites also include calls for their users to join the marches, including sansurekarsi.com, yasaklamakyasaktir.com, eksisozluk.com, sansuresansur.blogspot.com and others.
Protesters will march simultaneously in different Turkish provinces, including Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Bursa, Eskişehir, Çanakkale, Kocaeli, Mersin, Kırklareli, Adana, Antalya, Kütahya, Konya, Denizli, Elazığ, Kayseri, Isparta, Gaziantep, Samsun, Afyon, Malatya, Hatay, Giresun, Aydın, Ordu, Zonguldak, Muğla, Diyarbakır, Bodrum, Trabzon, Sivas, Van, Düzce, Uşak and Artvin.
Marches are also organized in Germany’s Köln, Netherlands’ Amsterdam and Austria’s Vienna cities, at 1 p.m. their local times, which matches with Turkey’s 2 p.m., according to eksisozluk.com.
Under a decision on “Rules and Procedures of the Safety of Internet Use,” approved by the Prime Ministry’s Information Technologies Board, or BTK, in February, Internet users in Turkey will have to choose one of four Internet packages: family, children, domestic or standard. The list of websites filtered by each package will be decided by the BTK but will not be made public.
The change will be implemented starting Aug. 22.
The Prime Ministry’s Information Technologies Board, or BTK, approving the filtering regulation is inconsistent with Turkish laws and with the country’s Constitution, according to experts, but related Turkish authorities claim the decision will only serve to protect children from pornographic websites. Experts also say the application is expected to slow down the speed of access to websites.
BTK chairman, Tayfun Acarer, said earlier this week that the filter application aimed to address the concerns of conservative parents who are unable to police their children’s Internet use themselves.