ISTANBUL—“Censorship in Turkey has advanced. Many were happy to see that with respect to Kurdish and Armenian Genocide issues. Now it has spread onto everything else,” said Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, during an online question and answer session with the participants of the Internet Governance Forum in Istanbul, Turkey.
Samvel Martirosyan, an information security expert who was invited to participate in the event, told Panorama.am that Edward Snowden was also scheduled to appear online in the forum, but was replaced by Assange due to technical issues.
“In general, Assange criticized internet governance methods. Then he took upon Turkey and as an example and basis of internet censorship he mentioned Kurdish and Armenian Genocide issues, open discussions on both of which are avoided [in Turkey]. He underlined once again that due to the Armenian Genocide issue, Turkey is trying to keep the Ottoman archives closed,” the expert told Panorama.am.
According to Martirosyan, in another event entitled “Human rights protection on the Internet,” an internet activist from Turkey said there was no freedom in his country, alluding to the 45,000 websites banned, including YouTube. In response, a representative of the Turkish authorities tried to explain to the audience that those measures were for the protection of children on the Internet. “Everyone in the audience started laughing loudly at this explanation of the Turkish official. Turkey is one of very few countries where freedom of speech is in dire situation. Participants from many different countries around the globe were very concerned about this issue,” added Martirosyan.