Date of Award

Summer 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

David C. Earnest

Committee Member

Regina Karp

Committee Member

Avi Santo


Social, economic, and technological developments are widely accepted as powerful forces that affect the role, power, and functions of nation-states. Being one of the most influential technological developments in the recent decades, the internet has come into prominence in this regard.

With the use of the Internet, the monopoly of media and information controlled by official ideologies, capitalist barons, or elites is seriously challenged. Consequently the power balance between individuals and authorities in the mass media and communication has been transformed in a significant way. Though their reliability may sometimes be questionable, the number and type of information resources has increased dramatically, and accessing information has become easier substantially. People are more interconnected today than ever before. They can easily find, join, or construct their personal, social or political networks. With a number of internet applications and social media, collective reactions, social movements and activities are more organized and effective today than ever before. That is why we have seen so much social fluctuation, unrest. protest, and political activism all over the world in the last few years.

Moreover new terms and phenomena like cyber-crime, cyber warfare, and cyber-attacks have urged nation-states to be more careful about the internet and increase their efforts to control it. This level of social chaos in different states and increasing cyber-crimes lead us to question the effectiveness of nation-states' controlling measures. Focusing on one state, the Republic of Türkiye, this study analyzes two important dimensions of state control efforts, prevention and prosecution. On the prevention side, I explore the effectiveness of internet access blocking. On the prosecution side, I analyze the effectiveness of prosecution in internet child pornography.

The result of testing to measure the effectiveness of Internet website blocking reveals that there are significant gaps, complications, and dilemmas in these policies. A similar situation is also seen in the investigations of internet child pornography. Analysis conducted of the operational investigation files reveals that in most of the files, suspects could not be identified, traced or brought before judicial authorities. As seen in these two fields, state policing efforts of the Internet in a country are not absolute, and the Internet can be a vulnerable space in which any local or foreign actor or agents like criminals, opposition groups, terrorists can create problems for nation-states.


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