Turkey restricts Facebook in schools

Istanbul,  July 2

Turkey has restricted students from posting pictures and opinions about school life on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, local media said today. The changes, put forward by the Education Ministry, took effect after being published in the Official Gazette on July 1.

Students have been barred from sharing pictures and footage from inside the school without the consent of their teacher, and prohibited from insulting classmates or staff. Violators will face disciplinary action including possible expulsion.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamic-rooted ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have been repeatedly criticised over curbs on social media.

Turkey's Parliament in April approved legislation to tighten control over the Internet by allowing the government to block websites without prior judicial authorisation. The government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March 2014 after they were used to spread a torrent of audio recordings implicating Erdogan -- then premier -- and his inner circle in an alleged corruption scandal.

AKP, which has also been accused of Islamising the education system, lost its overall majority for the first time in 13 years in a parliamentary election on June 7.