Turkey attempted to censor the Twitter account of a Greek website. According to the e-amyna.com Turkey requested from Twitter the removal of content published on the Greek site’s Twitter account.
Specifically, according to the press release from the Greek website, “a request was submitted to that Τurkish court by the Turkish Armed Forces General Staff, leading to decision Nr. 2018/2443 of the 4th First Instance Court of Ankara (issued on the same day), containing the unsubstantiated allegations of «defamation» of Turkish military personnel killed during the illegal invasion in Syria and «support to the propaganda of the Separatist Terrorist Organization» (in the text: ΒΤÖ: Βölücü Terör Örgütü) by e-Amyna account on Twitter, as well as another account on Facebook.”
Read the announcement:
On April 23rd, 2018, Twitter’s legal department informed us of a Turkish court judgment, ordering removal of content published through our Twitter account (https://www.twitter.com/e_ amyna), which is a feature of our website mainly addressed to our English-speaking readers.
It transpires that on March 21, 2018, a request was submitted to that Τurkish court by the Turkish Armed Forces General Staff, leading to decision Nr. 2018/2443 of the 4th First Instance Court of Ankara (issued on the same day), containing the unsubstantiated allegations of «defamation» of Turkish military personnel killed during the illegal invasion in Syria and «support to the propaganda of the Separatist Terrorist Organization» (in the text: ΒΤÖ: Βölücü Terör Örgütü) by e-Amyna account on Twitter, as well as another account on Facebook.
The turkish General Staff’s request was submitted to the court according to the turkish law about crimes committed through Internet publications, on which the Council of Europe Committee on Democracy through Law (Venice Committee) has expressed serious reservations, due to the lack of sufficient guarantees, reasons and legal recourses against the court decisions allowing provisional measures against internet publications; it is also widely regarded as contrary to the principle of proportionality.
Turkish Army Second Lieutenant Muhammed Kır, assigned to the 1st Commando Brigade (Kayseri) was killed today in Syria’s Afrin. Over the course of the 55 days of the #OperationOliveBranch, the Turkish military has suffered 46 confirmed casualties, or about 0.83 per day. pic.twitter.com/jvLduH3WdS
— e-Αmyna (@e_amyna) March 15, 2018
The «independent» turkish justice accepted the General Staff’s request and issued the court order to Twitter. Obviously, for Turkish judges, a mere listing of turkish casualties during a military operation, like the one under the surrealistic name «Olive Branch» (in the text ZDH: Zeytin Dalı Harekatı) using photographic material from turkish social media accounts, constitutes «support of terrorist propaganda» and must be censored.
This is not unprecedented, since Turkey is at the top of the list of third-party takedown requests to one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. According to a transparency report published by Twitter, 466 of the total 513 requests made to the online news and social networking site Twitter for content removal and takedowns between June-Dec. 2017, came from Turkey.
Under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has called Twitter, “the worst menace to society, Turkey has also formed more than half of court orders for takedown requests.
However, as far as we are aware, this is the first attempt to silence a Greek internet medium by the turkish General Staff by court order, aiming not only at content removal and access denial, but possibly also at attaining personal data of the moderators, like the IP address.
The attempt to silence, using a legal pretext, an independent medium of great resonance in Greece and abroad, shows how much annoyance we have caused, but also confirms a position we had expressed lately: «Τurkey is now adopting tactics of hybrid war against Greece, in essence committing war acts without using fire and, in parallel, making use of nationalistic tensions incitement, cyber war, the power of pictures, fake news and fear, and even using law as a weapon, especially under the pretext of fighting terrorism».
We would like to inform every party concerned that e-Amyna and its contributors will not be terrorized; we know how to defend ourselves, our rights and the fundamental rights of free expression and information.