The depressing reaction of the Turkish authorities to the Taksim and Gezi park protests bears strong authoritarian hallmarks and reflects the Turkish government's fear of open displays of any form of dissent. In the last three years the climate for online free expression in Turkey has gone from relatively bad to awful. The Internet has not been immune from this trend. In 2011 the Turkish government introduced proposals for a "voluntary filtering" of Turkish ISPs. Beyond censorship, the Turkish government has also systematically built up its capacity for surveillance. Such efforts gained renewed fervour in 2014 with the complete ban of Twitter in Turkey immediately before key elections in March 2014. A similar ban was instituted on YouTube.
Paper produced within the framework of the project Turkey, Europe and the World.