Internet access has been slowly but steadily spreading across Turkey, but for economic and even cultural reasons, there are still wide swaths of the population cut off from the digital revolution.
ISTANBUL - Even as Internet use expands in Turkey, a large percentage of the population remains "Internet illiterate." A recent study by the Alternative Information Technology Association (AITA) found that in low-access areas, parents are not only uninformed about digital technology, but sometimes actively resist its spread. In some instances they make a point of preventing their children from using the Internet entirely, the study found.
According to the AITA, roughly 43% of Turkish households have access to the Internet. Still, some formidable obstacles stand in the way of wider access. For starters, there are disparities between the wealthier western half of Turkey and the comparatively poorer eastern side. In the east, only 22.7% of households are connected to the Internet.
Turkey's civil society networks have stepped up to address these challenges. The AITA and other NGOs have joined forces with like-minded actors in government and academia. These groups are working together on a variety of related issues, from improving access to protecting privacy and addressing Internet addiction issues.
The organizations have even published a list of principles outlining a common framework of rights related to Internet use. The document identifies Internet access as a basic right and makes it the responsibility of the government to ensure that Tukish households can go online at the lowest possible cost. It also emphasizes the importance of maintaining the Internet as a space for free expression and open communication.
Read the full original article in Turkish
Photo - Quinn Dombrowski
*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations