It’s hard to find a politician who says what he really thinks.
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is one who’s not afraid to speak his mind — even if his words are incendiary. The former prime minister reiterated his disdain for the Internet on Thursday, ironically during a conference about press freedom.
“I am increasingly against the Internet every day,” he said during a meeting with the press freedom organizations the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the International Press Institute (IPI), according to multiple news reports.
His words came in reference to concerns that criminal and terrorists organizations like ISIS use the Internet for recruiting efforts.
But his sentiments should come as no surprise.
But his sentiments should come as no surprise. In March, Erdogan issued orders to block Twitter throughout Turkey; he then banned YouTube amid a series of leaked recordings of government officials.
Under Erdogan’s leadership, Turkey has been criticized for its continued and unprecedented efforts to clamp down on Internet freedom and human rights.
On Thursday, Turkey’s top court overturned parts of a new law that gave the Turkish telecoms authority broader Internet surveillance and censorship powers.
During the meeting with CPJ and IPI, Erdogan also criticized media outlets, both local and foreign, for distorting and polarizing coverage of recent events in Turkey. He cited CNN and the New York Times.
“Media should never have been given the liberty to insult,” Erdogan said.