From January 18 to 19, ICANN hosted the second Turkey DNS Forum (TRDNSF), which was attended by more than 100 participants. The forum provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the current Internet landscape in Turkey and its potential for continued growth.
With its young, tech-savvy population and high rate of technology adoption, Turkey should continue to expand access, improve service quality, maintain confidence and trust in the network, and develop the necessary skill sets as it moves toward digital economy; doing so will ensure that the country's Internet continues to grow at a steady rate.
According to a recent study by EURid, Turkey stands as the largest domain name market in the Middle East, with over 1.3 million domain name registered, of which 375k are registered under the country's top-level domain (.tr). The study also noted that while only 5% of websites associated with the Middle East region are hosted within the region, Turkey stands out as the exception. Over 50% of its websites are hosted within the country.
However, experts who participated in the forum agreed that the Turkish Internet marketplace is far from saturation, and a lot could be done to further develop the ecosystem and transform the country into a digital society. The forum was an excellent opportunity for the local community to get an update on the new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) program, and to hear directly from the Istanbul municipality on its plans for (.ist) and (.istanbul), the two city TLDs that are set to launch in the near future.
The local community decided to dedicate the second day of the forum to workshop sessions they organized, and invited relevant groups and individuals to participate in. Three workshops were organized on DNS technical security, domain name legal aspects and global governance issues. More focused and interactive discussions on those topics took place among smaller groups, who shared their perspectives and knowledge.
The Turkish legal industry participated heavily in almost all the discussions. Many participants raised concerns over aspects related to national laws and legislations, and argued that reforming the legal frameworks pertaining to information and communication technology is important to foster innovation and create new business opportunities.
With a visible increase in attendance, the forum has clearly made progress since its launch in 2014. This was demonstrated not only by the increased participation and level of engagement, but also by the local community's involvement in the forum's preparation. They actively worked to promote the event across various networks and encouraged participation.
Overall, the forum was very well received and participants appreciated the opportunity to engage in discussions and reflect on issues that affect the evolution of the Internet in Turkey. We look forward to seeing this event become an important part of the Turkish Internet ecosystem.