Turkey Social Media

The level of internet penetration in Turkey is around 69.6 per cent, placing it outside of the world’s 50 most connected nations. According to a 2014 Gallup poll, about 7 out of 10 adults say they have a working computer at home. In addition, the Kurdish population polled had the lowest percentage of Internet access at 58.2 per cent. Computer ownership and Internet access are lower in the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolian regions, where most of the Kurdish respondents live.

Despite the fact that Turkey has the fifth largest base of Internet users in Europe, strict internet laws make it very easy for websites to be blocked. In 2010, Reporters Without Borders placed Turkey on a list of “countries under surveillance” for its attitude to press freedom. Currently, Reporters Without Borders ranks Turkey 155 out of 180 in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index. In May 2011, it reported that Turkey’s internet regulator banned 138 internet keywords including the word “free,” and this ban continues in 2017. The word “pic” was among the words banned as well, because while it may be short for picture in English, it has a completely different meaning in Turkish. Turkey also blocks sites that condemn the founder of the republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

  • Less than 70 per cent of Turkey has access to the Internet
  • Turkish authorities have strict rules concerning what can and cannot be said online
  • Turkey is one of the more socially engaged nations in the world
  • Facebook is the most popular site in Turkey, but it’s been reported that it censors certain politically sensitive words
  • Twitter is popular in Turkey, with the most popular pages belonging to prominent personalities
  • YouTube has been banned at multiple points in recent history in the country, once in the run-up to local elections in 2014 and again in 2015 when images of prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz held hostage by far-left militants were displayed on the platform
  • LinkedIn has the fastest-growing user base in Turkey, and penetration for LinkedIn is at 34 per cent, or 26.5 million users

In 2017, We Are Social reported that Turkish internet users spent an average of 1 hour and 39 minutes on social networks on average per day. This made Turkey the ninth most socially engaged nation in the world. It has been reported that Turkish citizens are turning to social media channels in place of traditional media, which some feel is under more government control.

In November of 2016, Turkey blocked access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and WhatsApp following the ambassador’s assassination and the arrest of Kurdish-backed politicians. The services have since returned, but Turkish users report that the platforms often operate at slow speeds.

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