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Censorship

Turkey Censors YouTube 482

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the tastes-like-chicken dept.
FM Reader writes "After a controversial mock-up video reportedly submitted by a Greek member about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, Turkish courts ordered the national ISPs to ban the online video service, YouTube. YouTube hostnames are currently redirected at the DNS level to a page that announces the court order."
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Turkey Censors YouTube

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  • by Reverse Gear (891207) * on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:19AM (#18262092) Homepage
    I think this is about the stupidest thing I have heard from Turkey for a long time (not that I hear much from there). Seems the courts and government doesn't agree on if Turkey should work on tying to become part of the European Union.
    Things like these are going to be a problem a serious problem in any negotiations, I can hardly think of any way to demonstrate more clearly that freedom of speech is not something that is not practiced in Turkey.

    Thinking about it I find it a bit ironic that the country I live in, Denmark (member of the EU) have done exactly the same thing with allofmp3 that Turkey now did to youtube, yet Denmark is probably quite well known for their so called defense of freedom of speech, latest demonstrated by some drawings of Muhammed.
    I guess the reasons behind the two court ordered bannings are a bit different.
    In Turkey the reasons being nationalistic and religious, while it in Denmark is the music industries (and according to them also the artists) interest and money that is the reason (one could maybe then start arguing that we just have a different kind of "state religion" in Denmark, I will keep out of that discussion).

    Anyhow I kind of understand if the Turkish negotiators will think of the EU as talking with two tongues if they start telling them that Turkey can't do this kind of thing if they want to be part of the EU.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geoffspear (692508)
      If you think that the "right" to purchase copyrighted music from another country without copyright laws is a "free speech" issue, anything else you say probably isn't very credible.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by CRCulver (715279)

        If you think that the "right" to purchase copyrighted music from another country without copyright laws is a "free speech" issue

        While it is debatable whether AllofMP3 was following them correctly, the Russian Federation does have copyright laws.

        • by dinther (738910) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @03:08PM (#18265678) Homepage
          That must classify as the stupidest thing I have heard all week. I would say all month but we are only 8 days into March.

          If a government of a "free" country that advocates free speech and all those things the "Western" world is so proud of, then they have no right to block access to any particular web-site just because it offers the opportunity to do something wrong (Which by the way is still disputed)

          Why should people in Denmark not be allowed to browse allofmp3? Why should they not be allowed to listen to sound clips and browse and read the enormous music library there? No, let's block access for the entire population so that they won't be tempted to break the law. Those idiots better ban movies like "The fast and the furious" because people may be tempted to speed when driving home after the movies.

          People, I say it again...

          We are rapidly breaking down our western model of civilisation. We are giving away and taking away our own freedoms for which our forefathers fought so hard to obtain. Allied forces kicked out Nazis in the second world war so people would to be forced to show an "Ausweis" (passport) at every street corner and now I hear that in the Netherlands's you have to carry a passport on you at all times even when not leaving the country!

          Governments, Local councils and other "authorities" continue to dream up new law's and new rules at a neck breaking pace to control the local and national issues. Yet they never remove any rules and now often are hamstrung themselves by their own net of burocracy.

          WE ARE CHOKING OUR SELVES!
           
    • by Anonymous Coward
      This is actually quite in line with what many nations in the EU would do. I mean, just yesterday we had a story posted to Slashdot about France apparently outlawing the filming of violence [slashdot.org]. Leading EU member nations like Germany, France and Austria also have rather draconian "hate speech" legislation. Censorship is a European way of life. Most Europeans like to think that they're free to speak their mind, but in reality that's not the case.
      • The French want to outlaw the filming of violence by non-journalists but allows for sexual content...and the Murricans want to up the violence but censor anything vaguely sexual.

        Turkey is the worst of both worlds it seems! Turkey....you're never going to join the EU this way. Probably best for the EU too, Turkey's economy is not so hot.
      • by Da Fokka (94074) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:35AM (#18262298) Homepage
        Don't be ridiculous. Hate speechs laws in (some) EU countries might be harsher than in the US, but these laws are not in the same league as what Turkey is pulling off here. And when critisizing free speech in Europe, you might want to keep in mind cases like The Fishman Affidavit [spaink.net], in which the Dutch supreme court ruled that the right of the public to know about the practises of Scientology superceded the intellectual property of Scientology of their teachings.
        • by giorgiofr (887762) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:53AM (#18262512)
          Nonsense. My friggin constitution states I'll go to jail if I praise the wrong political party. I think this is even worse than what Turkey is doing.
          • by Da Fokka (94074) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @12:04PM (#18262670) Homepage
            I don't know which constitution you are referring but assuming you are European there are two possibilities:
              1. You live in Belarus.
              2. You live in one of those countries where racist parties could be outlawed.

            Although I don't believe that outlawing *any* opinion is a good idea, by no means is that worse than Turkey, where someone was convicted to a jail sentence when he referred to terrorist/freedom fighter(*) Ocalan as 'Mr. Ocalan'.

            (*) Depends on whom you ask.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Skunkhead (66686)

            My friggin constitution states I'll go to jail if I praise the wrong political party.

            Well, if you refer to praising parties which have their roots in that one party committing the prime example of genocide, then yes, i think you should go to jail. Comparing censorship with the defense mechanisms to ensure that stuff like that never happens is a bit daft, even if these measures result in censorship. Illegalizing denial of the holocaust is different issue than denying access to lonelygirl15s videoblog.

    • by julesh (229690)
      Thinking about it I find it a bit ironic that the country I live in, Denmark (member of the EU) have done exactly the same thing with allofmp3 that Turkey now did to youtube, yet Denmark is probably quite well known for their so called defense of freedom of speech, latest demonstrated by some drawings of Muhammed.

      Of course there are differences between the right to free speech and the right to distribute unlicensed music.

      Anyhow I kind of understand if the Turkish negotiators will think of the EU as talking
      • I don't think it will carry much weight. Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights reads:

        1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

        2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

        Emphasis is obviously mine. Bascially, Turkey could argue that their laws are not restrictive to free speech, and that their laws only "protect the morals [and] reputation" of the citizens of its country. (Both past and present.)

        Other EU countries can try to make a stink about it, but I seriously doubt that anyone is going to push Turkey too hard.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by julesh (229690)
          Emphasis is obviously mine. Bascially, Turkey could argue that their laws are not restrictive to free speech, and that their laws only "protect the morals [and] reputation" of the citizens of its country. (Both past and present.)

          Protection of morals has been used as a get-out in the past; it is how censorship of pornography and/or "hate speech" is typically justified. I just don't see how it would apply in this case, as (if I read the summary correctly) nothing even approximately moral is involved. The is
          • by inviolet (797804) <slashdot@ideasmat[ ].org ['ter' in gap]> on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @12:21PM (#18262904) Journal

            Protection of morals has been used as a get-out in the past; it is how censorship of pornography and/or "hate speech" is typically justified. I just don't see how it would apply in this case, as (if I read the summary correctly) nothing even approximately moral is involved. The issue is purely political.

            Few people are wise enough to understand the distinction between moral and political. Observe the common practice of equating right/wrong with legal/illegal. How many Americans understand Oliver North's point, that often it is morally correct to break the law?

            Few people get it. And even fewer societies manage to legislate it, in the form of legally protecting immoral behavior. America, the alleged bastion of "separation of church and state", just can't resist the urge to ban anything even vaguely self-destructive. Well, except maybe for Nevada.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by nomadic (141991) *
              How many Americans understand Oliver North's point, that often it is morally correct to break the law?

              I have a pretty strict policy of not going to Oliver North for advice on morality.
      • Of course there are differences between the right to free speech and the right to distribute unlicensed music.


        Since when is music distributed under a license?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:38AM (#18262340)
      Stupidest thing you've heard from Turkey in a long time? Ever hear of the Armenian Genocide? To this day Turkey has refused to acknowledge it even happened. I'd say refusing to acknowledge a 1.5 million body count, almost 2/3rds of the entire population of Armenia, is pretty stupid. Considering there is enormous amounts of data supporting it, eye witness accounts, paper trails, almost every major government on Earth having an official position stating that it occurred.

      To them, it never happened. They should not be allowed to join the EU until they own up their atrocities, nor should they be supported or even considered.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jabagi (83535)
        How nice to hear that the Armenian Genocide really happened!

        First of all the events happened 90+ years ago, second Turkey acknowledges that the Armenian population in the East regions were forced to relocate by the Ottoman Empire, third they also acknowledge a lot of deaths occured on both sides, fourth this is the first time I heard the death toll as 1.5 million, fifth there is a lot of evidence disproving that it was a genocide in a legal sense, sixth there are only a handful of governments with an off

        • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

          by deesine (722173)
          If you're against hyper-Turkish-nationalism, and the Armenian genocide is offtopic, then why did you just defend it? You're either disingenuous or hypocritical.
        • by quag7 (462196) <deepspace@dataswamp.net> on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @01:28PM (#18263900) Homepage
          I'm not Armenian or Turkish or Greek; so I have no specific axe to grind at all, except to say that this site, referenced in a previous reply as some sort of "evidence" against the genocide, is pathetic:

          http://www.tallarmeniantale.com/ [tallarmeniantale.com]

          Within 3 paragraphs, it builds the same kind of "they have wealth and power and control information" conspiracy bullshit in the same way anti-Semitic literature does, and then makes this remarkable statement:

          "Turks characteristically shun propaganda, and have chosen not to dwell on the tragedies of the past, forging ahead to build upon brotherhood."

          That may be true of most Turks, but I have my doubts about the guy publishing this site. Not much brotherhood in that website.

          Armenians in the United States, at least, are not a large ethnic group.

          "As descendants of the merchant class from the Ottoman Empire, Armenians have been successful in acquiring the wealth and power to make their voices heard... and they have made good use of the "Christian" connection to gain the sympathies of Westerners who share their religion and prejudices."

          Is utterly ridiculous. Absurd. Most Americans, I'd wager, have never even heard of the Armenian genocide, or find Armenia (or Turkey for that matter) on a map. I'm not proud of this, but this statement rings like a total fabrication in light of it. As for the other Western nations, I cannot say - I hope they know more about this than I assume most Americans do, but I find it hard to believe that Europeans, for instance, are "just making crap up" to fuck with Turkey.

          Either a genocide happened or it did not. Almost to this day, some people expect Germans to continue to apologize for the Holocaust (which is ridiculous and insulting to the generations during and since who have contributed dramatically to the human rights cause and freedom around the world), but the way Germany has dealt with this event in their history (and continues to deal with it) provides an interesting contrast to the way that countries like Turkey (if these comments are representative of the prevalent attitudes in Turkey - I honestly do not know if they are, so I do not mean to impugn all of Turkey) and Cambodia have dealt with theirs.

          *Everyone's shit stinks, including Turkey's.* I know, my own country is right now run by monkeys hurling more than their fair of shit - a display of excess so quintessential to the United States. We also have our unfortunate and shameful legacy of slavery and racism and genocide of the American Indians - something pointed at by the stupid website above - and one thing we do not do - most of us, anyway - is deny it. At least, no one I know does. It is part of our legacy, and who we are. We may not have done enough in penance for these sins - I'm the first to admit it - but no one denies that it happened, and that many of our ancestors - relatives - were responsible for it. There is a statue in the center of Santa Fe - a monument, I forget to who - some cowboy - which talks about how he "battled Indian savages". Not only was the word savages ground off of the statue, but a memorial plaque acknowledging our shit treatment of people who owned that land was placed on it as well. A pittance of a gesture, but at least an acknowledgement of it, and anyone who visits the park in the middle of Santa Fe will reflect on what happened where they're standing. The statue is an example of a nation coming to terms - to some degree - with its unsavory past. Acknowledgement alone isn't enough, but it's the first step.

          Wikipedia has a map of who recognizes this as genocide, and who does not, hence my comment on Europeans since much of Europe recognizes it:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:ArmenianGenocid eRecognition.png [wikipedia.org]

          Yes, technically this is off topic, but as an American, I'm getting a little tired of having to take responsibilit
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by caluml (551744)
        A bit about the Armenian genocide here: Turkey and the EU [alasdairlean.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nietsch (112711)
        This argument is always abused when somebody wants to argue that turkey should not be part of the EU. As far as I know, the EU is most of all an economic union, this argument has no economic merit at all. 'They' can not own up their atrocities, as the 'they' that committed them are long dead and buried. Only if you have very oldfashioned morals you can think that a country (or people as turkey is not the ottoman empire) carries this guilt over the generations. Its mostly racism that motivates these 'Turkey
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bogjobber (880402)
        Just to clarify, Turkey does acknowledge that the Armenians were killed, they just claim that it was a result of the war and was not intended as genocide. This is just as bad as claiming it didn't even happen, as the evidence overwhelmingly shows it to be an attempted (and largely successful) ethnic cleansing.
    • Except those laws criminalize different speech. I fully expect YouTube to be banned in parts of the EU for hosting either old Nazi propaganda films or Holocaust denial.
    • by Dogtanian (588974)

      Things like these are going to be a problem a serious problem in any negotiations, I can hardly think of any way to demonstrate more clearly that freedom of speech is not something that is not practiced in Turkey.
      There are strong forces opposed to EU membership within Turkey, and it has been speculated on at least one occasion that decisions like this and others are attempts to rock the boat and weaken the chances of Turkey joining the EU, orchestrated by such people.

    • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:50AM (#18262462)
      I just have one question. How can the EU seriously consider Turkey for membership when it
      1) refuses to recognize a member of the EU (Cyprus) and
      2) refuses to end its illegal occupation of that same member (the bogus "nation" of Northern Cyprus)?
      Does refusal to recognize an existing member somehow not matter? If it was me, I'd tell Turkey in no uncertain terms that until those issues are resolved, talks are meaningless because there can be no membership without resolution of both issues and both issues can only be resolved in a way that Turkey will never agree to. I suppose the EU has nothing better to do than waste everyone's time with this charade.
      • by LizardKing (5245) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @12:30PM (#18263016)

        Read the background to the partition of Cyprus. It came about after a coup was launched by the military junta running mainland Greece. The goal of the coup was to assassinate the Cypriot president and replace him with a puppet leader who would declare Cyprus part of Greece. This ran contrary to the agreements signed when Cyprus gained independence and was opposed by most Greek Cypriots as well the Turkish minority. Following the coup, Turkey invaded the Northern part of the Ireland to protect the large ethnic Turkish minority (who had often been treated as second class citizens by the ethnic Greeks since independence). Since then reunification attempts under the auspices of the EU and UN have failed, the Turkish Cypriots are mostly in favour, but the Greek Cypriots elected an strongly anti-reunification president to derail the process.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nietsch (112711)
        Did you know that before Cyprus was to be admitted, it had to reunite with the other half and form one country. So a referendum was held in both parts. The turkish part had a large majority for reunion. The greek part rejected the reunion so both parts were not reunited and as such did not comply with the EU demands. Instead of not admitting Cyprus, they went ahead and admitted the greek part(the part that rejected reunion) anyway. So why again do you want Turkey to recognise that half-nation? Lets not forg
    • by antibryce (124264)

      France didn't seem to have a problem joining the EU, despite some free speech issues. [slashdot.org]

    • by DrWho520 (655973)
      Istanbul was Constantinople
      Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
      Been a long time gone, Constantinople
      Now it's Turkish delight on a moonlit night

      Every gal in Constantinople
      Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
      So if you've a date in Constantinople
      She'll be waiting in Istanbul

      Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
      Why they changed it I can't say
      People just liked it better that way

      So take me back to Constantinople
      No, you can't go back to Constantinople
      Been a long time gone, Constantinople
      Why d
    • Stupid things from Turkey? How about having an anti-science culture that actually demonizes Darwin? That crap isn't government policy, but it's hard to imagine such ignorant ideas becoming widespread if the government provided adequate public education.
  • Edit your hosts file to point to 208.65.153.253 or 208.65.153.251. Here are the instructions for each OS:

    # Unix/Linux/OS X

    1. 'su'
    2. 'echo "208.65.153.253 www.youtube.com" >> /etc/hosts'

    # Windows

    1. Start > Run > 'cmd'
    2. 'echo 208.65.153.253 www.youtube.com >> c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts'

    You may need to edit your hosts file with a text editor to ensure that it was properly edited. On Windows in particular, there may not be a line break added in. Just open the file, find the "208.", position the cursor in front of the "208." and press enter. Save the file.

    There. All done.

    As you can see, the Turkish government's solution is incredibly sophiticated and difficult to circumvent. :-/

    Here's an actual story on the issue. [jpost.com]

    The long and short of it is that Turkey found the video "insulting" and hasn't even decided yet if the video is legally "wrong". So much for being a "democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic". (Taken from Wikipedia.)
    • by WinterSolstice (223271) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:24AM (#18262164)
      Actually on OSX:

      sudo bash
      echo "208.65.153.253 www.youtube.com" >> /etc/hosts

      (can't just su on OSX usually - root has no password)
      • Good point. I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't notice that little snafu. Thanks for the update. :)
      • "sudo -s" is more friendly to people who use a real shell and want to continue using it as root.
      • by jeremyp (130771)
        Actually on OS X

        sudo echo "208.65.153.253 www.youtube.com" >> /etc/hosts

        or what I do

        sudo vi /etc/hosts
        <password>
        :$
        o208.65.153.253 www.youtube.com<esc>:wq

        Well, that's a lie actually, what I normally do is

        vi /etc/hosts
        :$
        o208.65.153.253 www.youtube.com<esc>:wq
        :q!
        sudo vi /etc/hosts
        <password>
        :$
        o208.65.153.253 www.youtube.com<esc>:wq
    • by Moby Cock (771358) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:25AM (#18262174) Homepage
      Anything that "insults" Turkishness is illegal in Turkey. It makes for some very odd behaviour. For example, their most famour novelist was recently tried in the courts because he admitted (while in SwitzerlandO) that he believed that Turkey played a role in the Armenian Genocide. Participation in genocide is construed as insulting Turkishness and thus prosecutable. My friend married a Turkish woman and she is the most nationalistic person I've ever known. She will not tolerate any jokes or snide comments about Turkey.
      • My friend married a Turkish woman and she is the most nationalistic person I've ever known. She will not tolerate any jokes or snide comments about Turkey.

        That's not nationalism, it's just good sense. She knows that if she returns to Turkey after tolerating jokes or snide comments in another country, she could be imprisoned for life for toleration.

        I believe the penalty for using the letters q, w, and x has been liberalized and no longer calls for immediate execution.
      • by phasm42 (588479)

        She will not tolerate any jokes or snide comments about Turkey.
        Funny that, coming from a country we call Turkey.
      • by Bogtha (906264)

        She will not tolerate any jokes or snide comments about Turkey.

        I bet she's no fun at Christmas.

      • I was feeling embarrassed for my own country, which is drifting in this direction, and then I heard Turkey was enforcing a law making it explicitly illegal to insult it. Lots of countries have old laws on the books like this, and political factors make it difficult to either repeal or prosecute them, so they're just ignored. But in Turkey people have been actually prosecuted for violating this one- in modern times too!

        Great going, Turks, real classy. Nobody could have insulted you any more deeply than you i
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by inviolet (797804)

        Anything that "insults" Turkishness is illegal in Turkey. It makes for some very odd behaviour. For example, their most famour novelist was recently tried in the courts because he admitted (while in SwitzerlandO) that he believed that Turkey played a role in the Armenian Genocide. Participation in genocide is construed as insulting Turkishness and thus prosecutable. My friend married a Turkish woman and she is the most nationalistic person I've ever known. She will not tolerate any jokes or snide comments a

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Moby Cock (771358)
          Even so, we at least have the colossal distinction of being the first country on Earth to have the power to militarily conquer the world

          So...what happened in Iraq?
    • by zappepcs (820751)
      You have the right idea, and soon Turkey will be another example of why and how governments can no longer censor information from the people. Clearly if you funnel misinformation to the people, similar effects can be achieved (See the U.S.A) but censoring information does not work. For all that the Chinese government has done, its people are not stupid. All attempts to censor information will eventually work themselves back around to bite the censor.

      That might sound optimistic, but it is still true. The sci
  • How inconvenient (Score:3, Informative)

    by NinjaTariq (1034260) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:21AM (#18262126)
    ... That they have to go to http://208.65.153.251/ [208.65.153.251] or edit their hosts file to do it.
  • [Access to this comment has been suspended in accordance with decision no: 2007/384 dated 06.03.2007 of Istanbul First Criminal Peace Court. Move along, there is nothing to see here.]
  • by wolfgang_spangler (40539) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:26AM (#18262184) Homepage
    In response to inquiries from the press about censorship, Turkey responded, "Gobble Gobble!!! Gobble Gobble Gobble!!! Gobble Gobble. Infidel. Gobble Gobble"
  • sad (Score:2, Insightful)

    And people say we shouldnt worry about things like that here in the US. What Im surprised with is when these things happen in other countries there is no outrage. Dont the people of Turkey care? It is a Democracy. How can you have a democracy without criticizing those in power?
    • Re:sad (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @12:03PM (#18262654)
      As noted in other posts, you can't criticize the Turkish government unless you want to be arrested. How do you tell a government that it's done something stupid if you can't do so, even a little bit, without being arrested?

      The answer is simple: You leak the information to the world and let them do it for you.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ak3ldama (554026)
      Dont the people of Turkey care? It is a Democracy. How can you have a democracy without criticizing those in power?
      islam.
  • And you will understand this. What drives them to do this, and what makes them different from America.

    Just a hint. Don't go back too far. Turkey lost World-war 1. In a bad, very very very bad way. Then what happened ? What was the political system that got defeated ? What was the political system that replaced it ?

    Mustafa Kemal Ataturk replaced something. Why don't you check out what he replaced. You will understand VERY clearly why he's a saint in Turkey.
    • by julesh (229690) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:41AM (#18262364)
      Mustafa Kemal Ataturk replaced something. Why don't you check out what he replaced. You will understand VERY clearly why he's a saint in Turkey.

      I don't care what he did. Winston Churchill did great things when he lead Britain to defeat the Nazis, yet I can call him a fat drunken slob without fear of recrimination if I so desire. That's what freedom's about: not having to care about offending people just because they did something important.
      • by cdrguru (88047)
        You cannot offend people in the US any longer. It is illegal. It is called a "hate crime".

        Of course, you have to be a member of a protected class of people in order for this to work. Currently, about the only non-protected class of people are older white men. This means that you can refer to older white men in any way you want.

        However, if you say the word "nigger" you can be arrested. Faggot can get you repremanded or arrested as well.

        While women are generally considered a protected class, I am not sur
        • by UberOogie (464002)
          You're an idiot with a persecution complex.

          First of all, you're wrong. Substantively and specifically.

          It is not a "hate crime" to use a racial epitaph. You cannot be arrested for using any of the words you mentioned.

          Now, can you be fired for them? Sure. But that has nothing to do with the law. That has to do with whether a company wants the liability of a racist idiot on their staff. And it is not out of the goodness of their heart, but your ability to offend potential partners and clients.

          You're ju

      • by fritz1968 (569074)
        That's what freedom's about: not having to care about offending people just because they did something important.

        You're not in politics, are you?
      • by debrain (29228) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @01:53PM (#18264342) Journal

        I don't care what he did. Winston Churchill did great things when he lead Britain to defeat the Nazis, yet I can call him a fat drunken slob without fear of recrimination if I so desire.

        You can also call him an alcoholic, but he might tell you you're ugly, and that he'll be sober in the morning.
  • This is why (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jbeaupre (752124) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:34AM (#18262272)
    I enjoy living in a country where not only is it legal to point out flaws and ridicule those in power, it is a national pastime. What more restrictive countries miss is that by letting everyone vent their opinions any time they want (and vote from time to time), dissent never seems to lead to revolution. Granted, this was a case of a Greek making fun of Turkey. A bit of historical animosity there. But a better response would have been along the lines of "Is that your best shot?" Maybe take a page from Cyrano. Like when an Israeli publication launched it's own anti-jewish cartoon contest in response to an Iranian newspaper's similar contest with the stated goal that they could self criticize better than any outsider (no idea on the outcome).
  • by xs650 (741277) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:34AM (#18262282)
    Is Syria attacked Turkey from the rear, would Greece help?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by o'reor (581921)
      I am apalled at the number of replies that would deserve a "-1, *wooosh!*" moderation for not getting your joke in the first place ;-)
  • ... In other news, the Slashdot effect is about to censor the court order.

  • by Denial93 (773403) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:37AM (#18262322)
    Turkey, as a country, has what in a human would be diagnosed as pathological narcism [wikipedia.org]. They just jailed a Kurd for six months for respectfully referring to convicted rebel Abdullah Ocalan as "Mr Ocalan" [bbc.co.uk]. They brought criminal charges against their Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk [wikipedia.org] for mentioning a government-sponsored genocide almost 100 years ago [wikipedia.org]. Turkey denies this holocaust [wikipedia.org].

    Why do I say this? Just to make clear this new ruling is just a small symptom of a much wider problem. It shouldn't surprise us in any way, but merely drive home the point Turkey is currently rather distant from European ideas of how to apply state power. More insidiously, this new conflict also points at the ever-increasing difficulty of isolating minority opinions from outside critique - the only way to do it, ultimately, is the North Korean route. I don't think Turkey will do that - they have a very proud and nationalistic government, but it is not a dictatorship with the power to force the ever-increasing price of its ego issues on all of the population.
    • by xtracto (837672)
      Well, I do not know what does Turkish do to piss everybody but, so far since I have arrived the UK almost everyone who speaks about Turks say the worst things about them.

      For example, a Greek girl told me that they were racists and they were assholes that tried to invade certain Greek lands and that a lot of Turks try to emigrate to other places and do terrible things. Then, a cousin living in Spain also told me to beware of the Turks, he told me "I am no racist or anything but it seems that at least in Barc
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        For example, a Greek girl told me that they were racists and they were assholes that tried to invade certain Greek lands and that a lot of Turks try to emigrate to other places and do terrible things. Then, a cousin living in Spain also told me to beware of the Turks, he told me "I am no racist or anything but it seems that at least in Barcelona the only people that will assault and rob you are Turks". And then an American who lived in Egypt and other places also talked of Turks as shit (of course, well...

      • by LizardKing (5245)

        So three people label an entire nation as "mugging, racist assholes" and you take it at face value? I certainly hope not. You also might want to have a word with your cousin as most "middle eastern" looking people in Barcelona are from Morocco or Algeria (they are responsible for a lot of petty crime though, but does that make all Moroccans or Algerians muggers?). As for the Greek girl, it sounds like she either doesn't know or doesn't want to know the facts about the partition of Cyprus. It's simply not a

    • First off, what the hell is wrong with /.? I can't find the post a reply message here with Firefox.

      Then, to respond to the parent, I tend to agree with much of what you say. There is a progressive minority within the country that would admit to the Armenian genocide, become more secular, and embrace European ideals.

      But they're just that, a minority. Turkey isn't ready to join the European Union, and this is just one of the indicators that shows it.
    • Despite being a Jacobenite Turk, totally in compliance with ideals of French Revolution jacobins, i have to also say that that 'convicted' 'rebel' is little more than a thug that has amassed 30.000 kills from both sides in the last 20 years to his own account.

      As for the minority that is 'suffering' in southeastern turkey, the kurds, he is 'fighting for', a few facts here, so you can decide if there is anything to rebel about :

      - 80% of the electricity used in that region is illegal - they directly stea
      • by UberOogie (464002)
        Yeah, hi. You're a racist. Just thought you'd like to know.
        • by unity100 (970058)
          Definitely. Humanity unfortunately slips away when you happen to fall in a position that you need to save your ass, and repetitively, from the same ethnic group, and despite the fact that he and you are under the same equal treatment in a country.

          Excuse me, i said equal, which is actually not so - nobody touches a kurd in turkey for the fear of their clan retaliating against you - police evades them, low level bureucrats do kurds' work faster to evade any quarrels (which might result in being bashed in a
  • In retrospect, it's probably a good thing that Google bought Youtube.

    they have enough muscle that they will not remove a video merely because of political pressure. It's hard to know if a startup company could have the same cojones.
  • OpenDns then this is it.

    No need to mock around with your hosts file with Sudo, hosts.etc and who knows what kind of crap. Just open your connections settings and instead of "use ISP DNS" just pop in 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220
    Works like a charm.

    And if that doesn't work (99% guaranteed it will) than fork over some dough for PublicVPN Relakks or whatever. $5 per month or whatever is not a whole lot for freedom of speech.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:50AM (#18262474) Homepage Journal
    Turkey is a place where 'holy state' concept still lingers on. Anything said against the state, or 'holy' values instantly justifies and extreme measures - like banning of a whole mega site from ALL users in an 60 million nation.

    it doesnt matter what purpose for the site is generally used or not - just say something that is not to the liking of the state, and voila, all is gone.

    Turkey is not a modern country by any means unfortunately. Everything is shown to be in that direction by the turkish negotiators to european union, however suppression of the citizens by the government still continue on.

    Recently, if you remember, a list of 30+ games including Knight online, counterstrike, halflife and such were banned in turkey from internet cafes with the state decision, citing reports from obscure, unknown local academician's reports that said 'these games teach kids violence'. These reports were given on the fly, with demand from government, in a few hours without any research. Simple as that. An executive decision that took half a day for the governmental bureucracy to take and implement.

    Same goes for anything else - citizens are pariah to the state in turkey. If you go to get something done in a local government branch, the appointed/elected authority holders scorn over you, elected representatives of the assembly behave like they are local feudal lords, not as normal people elected to serve people. The current Finance Minister passes out FOUR laws in order to erase HIS OWN COMPANY'S tax debts to government, and nobody can oppose it. A newspaper/television says something not to the liking of the ruling party, and suddenly finance ministry starts a thorough and not-by-the-book tax examination of that newspaper/televison to suppress them.

    Recently a law was prepared and proposed in order to make it much more easy for government to control what is being said on the internet, with the help of a certain media group's fud-spamming, saying that 'internet is evil and needs to be straightened out'.

    Unfortunately this is turkey for you.
  • by sesshomaru (173381) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @11:58AM (#18262564) Journal
    Here's a Turkish blog with an excerpt from an article by Gary Brecher about the "Father of All Turks"

    Gary Brecher: Glory to the Turks [myspace.com]

    Oh, and also here is the Pingus engine game, Gallipoli: The Game [um.com.au] which has a very short bio of Ataturk on the page("Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Turkish): Killed a lot of Australians (and New Zealanders) at Gallipoli and therefore became the first President of Turkey."), but it also has a picture. You can play as Ataturk in the game which is a good example of Australian sardonic humor.

  • by jabagi (83535) <jabagi.kok@sf.sbs.com . t r> on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @12:43PM (#18263200)
    The Turkish government and bureaucracy does not understand the Internet yet. The legal system still holds user generated content sites responsible for policing the content and may legally stop them a take down order (similar to DMCA take down notices). For international websites, they may disable access till the dispute is cleared (similar to freezing bank accounts in criminal cases.) However the legal system is not yet aware of using IPs instead of URLs and such blocks as this one end up being nothing more than an annoyance. This mentality causes quite a lot of problems for Internet users in Turkey but let's not forget that this is not unique to Turkey. Before you criticize Turkey, please remember that the USA hosts a menace called RIAA whose sole purpose has become to stop P2P (they'd have better luck trying freeze hell.) And this latest block is not even remotely the stupidest legal act in Turkey; 1-2 years ago the government tried to revise IT related laws and declared that every web site must present its content to the local authorities, on paper, in triplicate! It took a few months to make the government understand that this was not possible. Disclaimer: I'm a Turkish citizen but not Turkish...
  • Link to video? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by chainLynx (939076)
    Um, how about a link to this alleged controversial video? Would be nice to know what the hubbub is all about...
  • by FriendOfBagu (770778) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @12:59PM (#18263456)

    Turkey Censors YouTube

    Censorship is serious, but there's no need to resort to childish name-calling!

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @01:24PM (#18263848) Homepage

    The ironic thing is that Ataturk himself wasn't big on censorship. He was something of a liberal dictator, and was responsible for turning Turkey into a secular, liberal democracy. Turkey is the only Islamic country in the Middle East that works.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @01:47PM (#18264236) Homepage Journal
    and what he did.

    Actually Mustafa Kemal is a jacobin, someone who is extremely in line with French Revolution ideals. (Same ideals were in fact envisioned before french revolution in france with the likes of voltaire, rousseau and the contemporaries, and put forth as bill of rights in American Revolution and united states's founding ideals).

    By that time, Turkey was Ottoman Empire. The 'holy state' understanding was in much heights after the ending of reign of Sultan Abdulhamid, who was an absolute monarchist, and ruled with an iron fist. Actually, that iron fist regime has ended with the intervention of modernists in the military, the Jonturks, who was roughly french revolution idealists, jacobenites, who Mustafa Kemal was a member of. They have led an army from modern day greece to istanbul, and effected the removal of Abdulhamid.

    Pre world war I and in world war i, mustafa kemal shown much aptidude and prowess as a commander. In gallipoli, most known examples of his profess in matters military. This, have put him in much renowned position among the military commanders.

    It was known that he was a republican (not in u.s. sense, but in a sense that is much more in line with Danton), and he and similar people wouldnt accept subsequent invasion and occupation and partition of turkey with the proposed Sevrés treaty that effectively turned Anatolia into modern day yugoslavia (you got my meaning), and therefore he was appointed to a non-existent, fud army by the Sultan (then Mehmed) to an obscure region of turkey so that he wouldnt stir anything up.

    Instead, he resigned from the military, and Jacobenites (Jonturks, as they are known in turkish lingo) have gathered up in eastern anatolia, called for national assembly to be formed without approval from istanbul government, and created a national assembly with elected representatives there.

    From that point on, the government in ankara, which was a rebel ragtag's convention in istanbul government's and occupation forces' eyes, was de facto government of anatolia.

    Then this government proceeded to gather the spread-out resistance movements to the occupation (english, french, italian and then later greek) occupations of anatolia, and turned them into a regular army.

    what ensues is known as 'battle of independence' in turkish history, which roughly summarizes a major war against occupying greek forces, who were being used as a thug by the british government in power than, and some local fighting against the french in southern regions of the turkey. curiously italians and turkish did not fight at all, italian occupation of allotted territories have been uneventful, neither side complaining from each other, and passing time peacefully until ankara government's victory against greek forces and establishment of turkish republic and subsequent removal of italian forces from turkish territories, which italy did themselves by their decision, again, uneventfully.

    fight against the greek invasion, who was fueled by extremist nationalists in greece was bloody though, and many people died in both sides. fight ended when the final greek units were pushed out of izmir, in western turkey.

    occupation forces in istanbul, who were british, did not create a skirmish with turkish forces, a standoff ensued, which ended with english forces pulling out as a result of Lausanne treaty, in which international community recognized the now Turkish Republic.

    Immediately after, Mustafa Kemal embarked in many reforms. This is the main issue why Mustafa Kemal is idolized.

    First, he ended the khaliphate, effectively ending mohammad's successors combined rule of matters religional and governmental. Secular state was introduced, based on rationale. This annoyed the hell out of islamic segments of turkey.

    Second, he instituted educational reforms. There were 1 or 2 % people who were capable of reading & writing in turkey. After 20 years, this rate has gone to, what, 70% or so, if

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