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Church website blocked as ‘porn’ in Turkey comment (0)

June 12, 2014

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — A Turkish legislator is demanding an investigation into why the website of at least one Turkish church was labeled pornography and blocked from computers at Turkey’s Grand National Assembly (TBMM).

While doing research May 28 for a trip to Diyarbakir, Aykan Erdemir, a legislator from Bursa with the opposition Republican People’s Party, discovered that the website for Diyarbakir Church could not be accessed by members of the TBMM or Parliament.

 “And then I realized it was blocked, and there was an interface screen that said the reason why it was blocked was pornography,” said Erdemir, who sits on the Committee on Inspection of Human Rights. “It’s not an acceptable thing to find out this has been going on.”

The same day he discovered the ban, Erdemir filed a “parliamentary question” to Cemil Çiçek, speaker of the Parliament and member of the ruling Justice and Development Party. Erdemir said he did not know if the fault for the ban lay in some error with filtering software or if someone with access to the computer system, such as a systems administrator or another legislator, labeled the site as containing pornographic material, triggering the ban. The parliamentary question, in theory, forces the Speaker of the Parliament to give an answer.

 “I think both are possible,” Erdemir said. “[But] I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some malicious intent.”

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