Turkey Hosts ‘Open Internet’ Forum at UN After Shutting Down Internet

Recep Tayyip Erdogan / AP

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
September 5, 2014 3:16 pm

Turkey has been hosting a United Nations-sponsored forum promoting open access to the Internet despite its record of blocking websites such as Twitter and YouTube, as well as jailing journalists and online bloggers.

The U.N. Internet Governance Forum is supposed to discuss issues “that could affect every Internet user today and tomorrow,” according to Human Rights Voices.

Turkey’s lead role in the forum is being deemed hypocritical due to its efforts to repress free speech and prevent citizens from accessing the web.

“Earlier this year Turkey had shut down Twitter, blocked YouTube, and jailed journalists and bloggers,” according to HRV.

HRV referred to an Amnesty International report that noted this month: “Twenty-nine Twitter users are being tried in Izmir, Turkey, and face up to three years in jail for posting tweets during last year’s protests that the authorities claim ‘incite the public to break the law.’ None of the tweets contained any incitement to violence. …Three users have been additionally charged with ‘insulting’ the Prime Minister.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also a noted anti-Semite, has referred to Twitter as a “menace to society.”