Young people from Turkey about social media ban
Youth for Exchange and Understanding as a supporter for human righs, freedom of speech had to react on recent social media ban in Turkey. We provided space for young people to express their thoughts, emotions reagrding this dictatorian step. Here are some personal stories, thoughts, emotions regarding situation in Turkey.
"This is not our first experience with bans! Before Twitter, our government banned lots of websites claiming that they are “harmful” for citizens. So, most of us had changed our PC’s settings to reach the banned content. This time, it was not just a protective(!) mission, it was a dictatorian regulation! But i did not get shocked, because social media is such a tool that thousands of people can use to organize! They –government- considered it as a threat! Mass media is mostly controlled by the government; social media is the best way to keep ourselves up to date. Although we had found several solutions to “jump over the ban”, we are still annoyed at them. And if they keep persistent about such regulations, uprisings like “Gezi” can occur again. Turkey is not an over-democratic, ultra-developed country . But we deserve to live better lives and we know that we have a long way to go. We can not, if the government do not stop doing such ridiculous things."
"I've been living in this country since I was born, but for all these 32 years I lived, I failed to feel like I was a part of this country. With the latest bans of Twitter and Youtube, I feel more alienated than before. Even though the Superior Court made its decision to lift the ban, Telecommunications Authority wouldn't let it be and this makes everyone I speak to, feel hopeless for the common sense of "justice". It's like living in a tribe to be in Turkey right now, which is governed by some family that claims to be elected by the people of this so-called "country". Freedom of speech is the essential instrument for any given community's self-correction system. If absent, new and useful ideas wouldn't thrive, and the improvement of the society would be halted. Social media is the fastest and most comprehensive way to exchange ideas, knowledge and entertainment. It's the new city hall. I don't want to live in such a country that does not improve and advance. I would like to talk about science, economy, games, ethics and everything else with other people, because internet made our lives easier to connect with each other, no matter the distance and it would be ignorant to not to use it. I feel insecure and always being watched upon in this country and I'm left uncreative, heart-broken and always skeptical about the future."