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Cablegate: Turkey: Contesting Terrorist Use of the Internet

VZCZCXRO9157
RR RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #6612 3411503
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071503Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0229
INFO RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 1760
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1408

UNCLAS ANKARA 006612

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/PPD: JRICKERT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KISL KPAO PTER
SUBJECT: TURKEY: CONTESTING TERRORIST USE OF THE INTERNET

REF: STATE 193515

1. (SBU) Summary. There are very few websites in Turkey that fit
the criteria outlined in reftel for use by the Digital Outreach
Team. Overall, Internet usage in Turkey is relatively small.
Arabic websites are not used in Turkey at all, as the lingua franca
of Turkey is Turkish. English websites are also few and far
between, as few Turks have the necessary level of English to
function in an open forum on the Internet. End Summary.

2. (U) According to the Turkish State Statistics Institute, only
twenty-one percent of Turks use the Internet regularly. As a
consequence of this, the idea of blogging and/or posting comments on
public websites has not caught on in the same way that it has in the
rest of the Middle East or Europe. The closest Turkey comes to open
forums on the internet are the websites of the major newspapers,
which often allow for comments on stories.

3. (SBU) There are only two Turkish blog portals of note. One is
http://www.blogcu.com/, which features a variety of blogs on
everything from politics to love to philosophy. Milliyet, one of
Turkey's leading newspapers, recently set up a blog portal of its
own, http://blog.milliyet.com/. Both of these sites are in their
infancy and, judging by the number of bloggers and comments, they
are not visited very frequently by the general public. Conspiracy
theories are a favorite topic of the few blogs that exist in Turkey.
Two of the more extensive blogs dedicated to conspiracy theories
are http://komploteorilerimiz.blogcu.com/ and
http://teori.blogspot.com/ (both in Turkish).

4. (SBU) English language blogs and political websites on Turkey
are few and far between. The ones that do exist are mainly located
on US-based blog portals, and are maintained largely by
Turkish-Americans. Most of the English language sites devoted to
politics are merely compilations of Turkey-related stories from the
western press.

WILSON

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