Safer Internet Day 2024 in Turkey: safe is beautiful

In Turkey, Safer Internet Day 2024 celebrations took place at the headquarters of BTK (the Information and Communication Technologies Authority). Under the themes Together for a better internet and Safe is beautiful, the initiative sought to raise awareness on online safety for children and youth, fostering a more ethical, safe, and secure digital landscape.

People standing for a picture

The Safer Internet Centre, operated by BTK, played a pivotal role in prioritising awareness initiatives. Over the past decade, approximately 1,500 events have been organised, reaching over 200,000 people through seminars, workshops, and training sessions. In 2023, on-demand training programmes for educational institutions reached an additional 25,495 people. Plans for 2024 will continue this important work.

This year, a two-day transformative event surpassed traditional awareness campaigns, actively engaging stakeholders from various sectors, including policymakers, industry leaders, educators, families, and young people. It also served as a catalyst for collective responsibility, emphasising the need to create a safer and more ethical digital environment, particularly for the younger generation.

During the event, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure and the Director General of Communications underscored the importance of a collective commitment to digital safety. Targeted workshops and seminars were organised, catering to different age groups (10-13 and 14-15), while encouraging digital literacy, online safety, and responsible online behaviour for all.

SID events in Turkey took place at the headquarters of BTK (the Information and Communication Technologies Authority)

Organisations such as Google, Meta, and TikTok conducted workshops on safer internet issues, equipping children with tools to protect themselves from online threats. These interactive sessions, attended by over 500 children, provided invaluable insights into private-sector support. Moreover, an illuminating question and answer session featuring both national and regional level panels further enriched the discussions of the day.

Beyond mere awareness-raising, the initiative articulated a visionary approach to positive change online. The call was for responsible, respectful, critical, and creative use of technology. Turkey's aspirations extended to inspiring positive digital behaviour and cultivating a healthier online environment. This commitment was conveyed through a multi-pronged approach involving policymakers, industry leaders, educators, parents, and young people, collectively contributing to shaping a safer and more positive internet.

In a pivotal second session, academics, video bloggers, and digital journalists championed positive content creation. Exploring diverse facets such as countering negativity, balancing safety and privacy, and the impact of positive content on mental health, these discussions shed light on the transformative potential of constructive digital content. Success stories were shared, underscoring the notion that online platforms can serve as catalysts for positive change.

A panel discussion was a feature of the Safer Internet Day event in Turkey

As the celebration of achievements continued, the narrative acknowledged ongoing challenges, maintaining a steadfast commitment to continuous improvement. The overarching message remained clear: “through collaborative efforts, a safer and more positive online environment can be cultivated for all, with a particular focus on nurturing the well-being of future generations”.

The Safer Internet Truck, initiated to offer technological opportunities to children with limited access and raise awareness about conscious internet use, also opened its doors to children at the event. The project’s scope extends beyond the event, ensuring ongoing visits to schools and clinics across Turkey so that even those without easy access to technology can benefit from Safer Internet Day initiatives.

Young people featured prominently in Turkey's celebrations

Visit the Turkish Safer Internet Day SID profile page to learn more about actions in the country.

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