by Kyle Perkins
Many Sites Blocked By Turkey From its People
On Sunday evening, several websites were once again blocked from Turkey. Specifically, Turkey is blocking Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Paypal. Citizens of Turkey with Paypal accounts, for example, are needing to use VPNs to access their Paypal accounts. VPN means virtual private network, and what a VPN does is allow internet users to bypass censorship. Which is why Turkey is also cracking down against internet VPNs.
Why Turkey Blocks Various Sites
Turkish President Recep Erdogan consistently blocks any site that he sees as threats to his rule. He once said about Twitter for example that “There is a menace out there called Twitter!” But now there is clarification that Erdogan is blocking sites in reply to the Turkish military trying to overthrow him.
Erdogan is also conducting a national purge as his offline reply to the coup attempt against him. But he will also block any websites that allow for discussion of the Armenian Holocaust. As a matter of a fact, he does not allow any acknowledgement of the Armenian Holocaust of the World War I era either.
Why Turkey Needs Websites
Knowing that Economic Freedom is the prerequisite for prosperity and jobs, let us begin with Paypal. The danger in Turkey blocking Paypal is that Turkish merchants will not be able to compete in trade. And this is due largely to how Paypal has changed every economy on the planet. The creation of Paypal has allowed individuals to buy from and sell to almost every nation on Earth. We live in a world economy here in the Digital Age wherein people can sell custom-crafted items to anyone on Earth. Paypal plays a tremendous financial role in making this example a fact of life.
Given that Personal Liberty is the requirement for peaceful coexistence, I shall use YouTube as an example. With people able to communicate to each other through online video shows, YouTube provides people an outlet to get their ideas globalized. For Turkey to block YouTube means no one living there can get their individual thoughts across in video, at least not without a VPN.
Websites are vastly important in this century to economic freedom and personal liberty alike. For Turkey to block off various websites means the Turkish regime is willfully making its nation unstable.
What Can America Do About It?
The United States needs to drop its alliance and its friendship with Turkey. Erdogan’s purging of websites from Turkish daily life is additional evidence that the US alliance with Turkey is truly an unstable alliance. George Washington would likely invoke his “Doctrine of Unstable Alliances” against Recep Erdogan if he were our current president. I individually think there is not much else we can do right now beyond cutting all diplomatic and military ties to Turkey.
However, since Erdogan also once pledged to conquer Israel, I also think we need to be very careful not to ignore his actions and behavior. Turkey currently differs from Israel by banning websites and by proving severe disinterest in free-trading coexistence.
The internet is dramatically more often creative than invasive. I do know there are still problems with the internet, as with anything made by anyone in our species. But as a whole, internet websites are currently the best medium for civil liberty and for free market economics.