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Turkey's Next Challenge: Stamping Out 'Internet Illiteracy'

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.

(Quinn Dombrowski)
(Quinn Dombrowski)


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

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The Last Boss: Messina Denaro's Death Marks The End Of An Era For The Sicilian Mafia

Eight months after being arrested, following 30 years on the run, Matteo Messina Denaro died Monday. The son of a mobster and successor of Sicily's notorious boss of bosses, he had tried to transform Cosa Nostra into a modern criminal enterprise — with only partial success.

photo of Matteo Messina Denaro

Matteo Messina Denaro after his arrest

Carabinieri handout via ZUMA
La Stampa Staff

Updated Sep. 25, 2023 at 4:45 p.m.


PALERMO — Matteo Messina Denaro, who for more than a decade was the Sicilian Mafia's "boss of bosses," died on Monday in an Italian hospital prison ward. His death came eight months after being captured following decades on the run as a fugitive from justice. His arrest in January 15, 1993, came almost 30 years to the day after Totò Riina, then the undisputed head of the Corleone clan, was captured in Palermo.

Tracing back in time, Messina Denaro began his criminal ascent in 1989, around the first time on record that he was reported for mob association for his participation in the feud between the Accardo and Ingoglia clans.

At the time, Messina Denaro's father, 'don Ciccio', was the Mafia boss in the western Sicilian city of Trapani — and at only 20 years of age, the ambitious young criminal became Totò Riina's protégé. He would go on to help transform Cosa Nostra, tearing it away from the feudal tradition and catapulting it into the world of would-be legitimate business affairs.

For 30 years he managed to evade capture. He had chosen the path of ‘essential communication’: a few short pizzini - small slips of paper used by the Sicilian Mafia for high-level communications - without compromising information by telephone or digital means.

“Never write the name of the person you are addressing," Messina Denaro told his underlings. "Don’t talk in cars because there could be bugs, always discuss in the open and away from telephones. Also, take off your watches.”

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