Turkey: Blogspot.com Banned

In another long string of website services blocked in the Republic of Turkey, yet another blog service has been blocked: Blogspot.com. A court in Diyarbakir Turkey has banned Blogger/Blogspot.com in relation to an intellectual property infringement case. First-time Global Voices blogger, Adam Klempner, translates some of the Turkish bloggers reactions.

From Armut [tr]:

T.C. Diyarbakır 1. Sulh Ceza Mahkemesi 20.10.2008 tarih ve 2008/2761 sayılı kararı gereği günlük sayfama erişimin engellendiğini öğrendim, ne bir duruşma çağrısı, ne bir karar, ne bir tebliğ aldım, yargısız infaz edildim, sesim soluğum kesildi sansürlendim.

İki yıldır bağırıyoruz, internet sitelerini TV kanalı gibi gören bir kanun, koltuk sevdasından bu kanuna arka çıkanlar, bu kanun sayesinde Türkiye'de istediği siteyi yasaklatabileceğini bilen hainler ile bunlara maşa olan cahil vatandaşlarımız yüzünden kendi kendimizi mağdur ediyoruz.

I have learned access to my journal page has been blocked by decision of the T.R. Diyarbakir First Criminal Court of Peace no. 2008/2761, dated Oct. 20, 2008. No subpoena, no verdict, no written notice; I have been judged without trial. My voice, my breath has been taken away. I have been censored.

For two years we have been shouting: because of a law that views internet websites as though they were TV channels, people who lend their support to this law to hang on to their positions, the scoundrels who know they can forbid whichever websites they want to thanks to this law and our ignorant citizens who allow themselves to be used, we are victimizing ourselves.

So what is the criteria for a website to be banned in Turkey? Elma+Alt+Shift explains:

Blogger banned in Turkey!

Since the beginning till today…
Google groups, porn sites, slide.com, wordpress, YouTube… Blogger.com is the latest addition to this list of banned web sites in Turkey.
After the passing of the new law, web sites in Turkey can be banned without a warning for several reasons:
– Obscenity: This of course leads to a whole lot of questions like “How to define obscenity”
– Promoting drug use
– Provoking suicide: Another open-to-interpretation clause. Would a movie about a suicidal teenager be promoting suicide?
– Sexual abuse of children
– Insult to Turkishness and Ataturk
– Prostitution
– Gambling
– Providing material harmful to public health
Although the law, passed seemingly to fight child porn, when the statistics are examined, the main reason of the banning of web sites, seems to be obscenity, which is 3 times more than sites shut down for child molestation.
Besides these clauses, personal insult can lead to the banning of the web site as it happenened with Adnan Oktar vs. Richard Dawkins in which Adnan Oktar, a religious writer, claimed Richard Dawkins web site was insulting his book. Therefore. The web site of a well known scientist was shut down to Turkish users with a singfle click. Adnan Oktar seems to be the reason of many other web site bannings lately, including the web site of one of the biggest newspaper’s in Turkey (Vatan) and ateist forum.
Sites are shut down, without a single warning to the owner and instead of removing the specific harmful material in question, web servers are shut down completely leading millions of web site and blog owners frustrated. That’s what has happened with geocities.com and unfortunately with blogger.com as of today (October, 24th 2008).

Undoubtedly the banning of yet more Turkish blogger's voices has left a large web-community outraged. Protest movements of Turkish netizens are already in place from earlier website bannings, the details of the movement can be found at www.sansuresansur.org. You can trust Global Voices to keep an eye on this developing situation.


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