Speed Reads


Turkish President Erdogan: 'I am increasingly against the internet every day'

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has some strong words about the digital sphere.

During a press conference Thursday, Erdogan defended Turkey's attempts to control online speech. "I am increasingly against the internet every day," Erdogan said at the conference.

The meeting, held by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the International Press Institute (IPI), was also attended by other Turkish officials. The CPJ reports that Turkey's leaders cited The New York Times and CNN as "polarizing and distorting coverage of recent events."

"Media should never have been given the liberty to insult," Erdogan said at the event. In addition to online media, Erdogan criticized ISIS and other terrorist organizations for using the internet to recruit supporters.

Erdogan's speech comes after he approved a Turkish law "tightening control of the internet and increasing the powers held by telecoms authorities" last month, The Independent reports, though Turkey's top court overturned part of that law on Thursday. A Human Rights Watch report last month criticized Erdogan's censorship measures, which many called "draconian." And in March, Erdogan tried to block Twitter in Turkey and banned YouTube after leaked recordings of government members were released.

Despite Erdogan's speech, though, the CPJ reported that the Turkish government will "recognize the depth of international concern," and the Ministry of Justice "agreed to continue reform" of its anti-press laws, according to The Independent. But as Newsweek notes, Turkey is still 154th on a list of 180 countries that Reporters Without Borders assessed based on their freedom of press laws.