European court fines Turkey for Internet restriction

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on December 18 found Turkey guilty of violating the right of freedom of speech in its practice of blocking access to certain websites on the Internet, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

In a case filed by Turkish citizen Ahmet Yıldırım, who complained that a court decision to block access to Google Sites prevented access to his own personal website, the ECHR unanimously held that Turkey was to pay the applicant 7,500 euros in respect of nonpecuniary damages and 1,000 euros for costs and expenses.

Yıldırım owned a website hosted by the Google Sites service, on which he published his academic work and his opinions on various matters.

On June 23, 2009, a Denizli court ordered the blocking of an Internet site whose owner had been accused of insulting the memory of Atatürk. The order was issued as a preventive measure in the context of criminal proceedings against the site’s owner.

Adapted from Vestnik Kavkaza