Online safety in Turkey

An article in Turkey's English-language newspaper Zaman takes a thorough look at potential negative effects of Internet use on Turkish youth – the first I've seen or heard, including in discussions with Turkish Internet crime experts when I was there about 18 months ago. At that time there wasn't much discussion beyond child-abuse imagery, or child porn, and Internet financial crime. "A significant number of children these days spend much of their free time on the Internet," Zaman reports. "However, their parents often have no idea whether they are spending endless hours playing games online or if they are being victimized by pedophiles in chat rooms. Experts warn that surfing the Web can sometimes be as dangerous for children as wandering through dark city streets." The paper cites Turkish Statistics Institute statistics dated last August, showing that 24.5% of Turkish households are online. In them, "a large number of children are using the Internet on a daily basis to browse Web pages, chat, connect to peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and participate in online forums. Parents and teachers encourage children to use computers to prepare them for the future. Some teachers even assign homework that requires students to search for information on the Internet." The article covers everything from inappropriate content and contact to parental controls to Turkish law to parental responsibility (filters as offering some protection but also a false sense of security). [Thanks to the EC's QuickLinks for pointing this story out.]

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