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EU, 'Freedom-strong Internet will help Turkey grow'

Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes said on Tuesday that the Internet had helped Turkey enjoy significant growth over the last decade.
“80 percent of the Turkish population goes online at least once a day – they are all enjoying those opportunities,” Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe, said in a panel discussion titled “Media Freedom in the Internet Age,” at Istanbul Bilgi University.
Neelie Kroes also insisted on the protection of free speech and freedom of the press on the Internet.
“If you aspire to development and democracy, you need to aspire (…) to make the most of this open, innovative platform,” said Kroes, who is in Istanbul for the Internet Governance Forum, which brings together more than 2,500 participants representing various governments, non-government organization, and private sector companies.
Kroes called Turkey’s decision to ban on Twitter and YouTube earlier this year “disproportionate, illiberal, and incompatible with human rights.” 
“Fortunately, it was soon overturned by the Turkish Constitutional Court,” she added.
The Turkish government had previously introduced an "administrative" block on Twitter and YouTube in order to protect citizens’ right to privacy. The bans came after an illegally wiretapped recording of a top security meeting -- where high-ranking Turkish officials were discussing threats against a Turkish territory in Syria -- was posted on both the video-sharing website and the micro-blogging platform.
In early April, Turkey lifted the block on micro-blogging site Twitter after the Constitutional Court ruled that it was a violation of freedom of speech,
Turkey’s telecommunications watchdog later removed its 67-day-long YouTube ban following a similar order from the Constitutional Court.

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