the Right (Not) To Be Forgotten
Within the scope of The Right NOT to be Forgotten on the Internet: Freedom of Expression Assessment of the Application of the Turkish Right to be Forgotten Measures under Law No. 5651 report of the İfade Özgürlüğü Derneği (İFÖD – Freedom of Expression Association), it has been observed and identified that in recent years, individuals increasingly request that their futures not be negatively affected by news or published content related to events caused by themselves or third parties in their past, with reference to their right to be forgotten.
These requests have been frequently evaluated as violations of personal rights under article 9 of Law No. 5651 by criminal judgeships of peace and the judgeships issued decisions of access blocking and content removal involving such news articles and content even though they did not contain any violation of personal rights or violation of the law at the time of their publication. Therefore, such requests may only be considered favourably in cases where there is no superior public interest, and especially in exceptional cases where ordinary citizens have the right to “control their past” and “to request that certain issues erased from their past and forgotten.”
This study evaluates how the right to be forgotten is applied by the criminal judgeships of peace for the purpose of “protecting personal rights” within the scope of Law No. 5651. The study evaluates further the requests, whether the judgeships referred to the judgments of the Court of Cassation, the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights in their decision-making processes, and therefore whether they took into account the relevant case-law.
EngelliWeb Report of the Freedom of Expression Association (“İFÖD”) is predominantly conducted by reference to
the application of Law No. 5651 on Regulation of Publications on the Internet and Suppression of Crimes Committed by Means of Such Publications, which was enacted about 15 years ago and other subsequent regulations in Türkiye.
As a matter of fact, no statistical data on websites blocked from Turkey was published either by the former Telecommunications Communication Presidency (“TIB”) or its successor Information Technologies and Communication Board (“BTK”). Moreover,
no statistical data on blocked websites, news articles (URL-based) and/or social media content has ever been published by the Association of Access Providers (“ESB”).
Blocked content statistics as of December 2022:
İFÖD report includes detailed statistical information on blocked websites, news articles (URL-based) and social media content. It is the intention of İFÖD to share such data and analysis with the general public on a regular basis.
You can find EngelliWeb reports at the below links:
- EngelliWeb 2022: The Constitutional Court in the Shadow of Criminal Judgeships of Peace
- EngelliWeb 2021: The Year of the Offended Reputation, Honour and Dignity of High Level Public Personalities
- EngelliWeb 2020: Fahrenheit 5651: The Scorching Effect of Censorship
- EngelliWeb 2019: An Iceberg of Unseen Internet Censorship in Turkey
- EngelliWeb 2018: An Assesment Report on Blocked Websites, News Articles and Social Media Content from Turkey