[JURIST] A Turkish court on Sunday ordered a ban on Facebook pages that contain materials insulting the Prophet Muhammed. The Golbasi Duty Magistrate Court ruled that Facebook would be blocked in Turkey if the order is not implemented. The Anadolu Agency [official website], Turkey’s official press agency, reported that the court order was forwarded [AA report] to the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication and to the Access Provider Association. Earlier this month, another Turkish court blocked web pages showing the cover of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo [corporate website, in French] that features a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
The government of Turkey has been criticized for its attempts to control Internet and media. In September Human Rights Watch reported [JURIST report] that Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) [party website, in Turkish], is taking steps to weaken the rule of law, control Internet and media, and suppress critics and protesters. In April the Turkish government lifted a ban [JURIST report] on Twitter following a Constitutional Court ruling, which stated that the ban violated both individual rights as well as the freedom of expression. In February Turkey’s parliament passed a law [JURIST report] granting itself greater control with respect to the judicial appointment process.