Turks and the Internet

Top 10 Countries on Facebook

Being Turkish, I dived further into Turkiye’s internet usage I linked to a study on global Facebook usage in my last post because I was suprised with country rankings for Facebook users:

  1. US: 111 million (no surprise)
  2. UK: 23 million
  3. Indonesia: 19 million
  4. Turkiye: 18 million
  5. France: 15 million

China would have outranked them all if Facebook wasn’t banned in China or out of fashion, as GeGao writes, Japan would have beat UK if Facebook could compete with the culturally appropriate Mixi, and the most connected online nation of South Korea prefers Cyworld. But I am not surprised Turkiye landed 4th place. I’m surprised it didn’t pass Indonesia, but then again, I don’t know Indonesians’ Internet usage.

Back to the Turks. This identity confused country has a population of 76.8 million with 24.4 million Internet users. If there are 18 million Facebook users (assuming they are individual users and not tween boys setting up multiple accounts for online dating purposes), that means 75% of Internet users have a Facebook account. This is surprising considering Turkiye was and still is far behind national Internet connectedness with only a third of the country online, maybe due to government control that lead to the banning of YouTube and other sites they deemed harmful to nationalistic feelings.

How is Turkiye doing now? According to a 2009 comScore report, Internet users in Turkiye were found to be the most engaged users in Europe, spending an average 32 hours and viewing an average 3,044 pages of content per month.

Commenting on this report is Mike Read, managing director of comScore Europe. He says, “Much of this heavy engagement is driven by usage of social networking and entertainment media sites, which maintain users’ attention for extended periods of time.”

Not a Turkish Internet cafe, but looks just like one I visited. From David Richardsonn (cropped image). Click on picture to go to website

My general understanding of Turks leads me to believe that that Turks like being connected, entertained, and up to date. A few no-other-choice visits to local Internet cafes in Turkiye proved to me that boys love online gaming and chatting up Russian girls via Skype or MSN Messenger. This connection between Turkiye, the Internet, and Russia  goes deeper than I thought. If travelling overseas, beware of surfing the Internet in Turkiye and Russia. More on this topic next week!

But until then…

Tell me: How do you think culture affects Internet usage?

This entry was posted in censorship, culture, Facebook, research, USA, YouTube and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Turks and the Internet

  1. gegao says:

    How do i think culture affects internet usage: from my understanding, there are different ways to define culture. For instance, the family or the community people grown up has their distinct culture. The country which they have the permanent rights to live has a different culture. Even a group of classmates have their own preference towards internet usage.

    I come from an inner city in China. Even before year 10, using Internet frequently or go to Internet Cafe is seen as unacceptable, and people assume that being a good student, you should spend most of your time in library and school. Teachers tell us that most of the information on internet are false. A lot of cases about internet obsessive usages are told.

    However, my parents always encourage me to use internet for searching information and get connected. My father requires me to do so at least twice a week. So i say that many sub-cultures can affect people’s internet usage.

  2. esmayu says:

    You’re right. That’s an interesting way to look at it. I wasn’t quite sure what I meant what I asked about culture. I think I was referring to mainstream culture. Students internet usage is discouraged, but does it affect students?

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