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Blogger.com Banned In Turkey 262

Posted by timothy
from the no-longer-young-turks dept.
petermp writes "A Turkish court has blocked access to the popular blog hosting service Blogger (Blogger.com and Blogspot.com, owned by Google), since Friday, October 24th, 2008. According to BasBasBas.com, a Dutch blogger based in Istanbul, who alerted readers about the issue: 'It is suspected that the reason for this has something to do with Adnan Oktar, by some considered the leading Muslim advocate for creationism, who has in the past managed to get Wordpress, Google Groups, as well as Richard Dawkins' website [banned].'"
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Blogger.com Banned In Turkey

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  • Turkey? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guido del Confuso (80037) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @06:23AM (#25516185)

    I have to say, I'm really surprised this is happening in Turkey. Turkey is actually a fairly westernized country, and while it is predominantly Islamic, it is quite progressive on religious issues. Its constitution even guarantees freedom of religion (and Turkey has no official state religion), and since 1924 has maintained a secular government. I was led to understand that there is strong opposition in Turkey to the government interfering in matters of religion, but perhaps that is no longer the case for whatever reason...

  • Re:Turkey? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Sunday October 26, 2008 @06:31AM (#25516217) Homepage

    Its constitution even guarantees freedom of religion...

    Regrettably, this was never implemented well in practice, as both the Islamists and the secularists are suspicious of outside religious traditions, whether because they are not Muslim or because they are not "Turkish". Case in point, the attempts to wipe out Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Turkey. The law states that the Ecumenical Patriarch must be a Turkish citizen, and not brought from e.g. Greece or another Orthodox country, but the authorities have tried to shut down all Orthodox seminaries in Turkey so that it's increasingly difficult to raise up a successor.

  • Reality knocks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @06:43AM (#25516251)

    If you have followed events in Turkey this does not come as a surprise. Let's hope they will never be allowed to join the EU.

  • Re:Turkey? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @06:44AM (#25516259)

    There are some issues that are covered up. There is essentially a cult of personality around their founder Mustafa Kemal. And while Kemal was the person who forced and enshrined secularization on Turkey, this doesn't mean that those ideas are protected. In any country that focuses more on the virtues of a great leader than on the ideas they argued, there will be a level of nationalism and paranoia. Extreme examples include the Soviet Union and North Korea, while milder examples include countries like the United States where the Founding Fathers as a group are used by some certain groups as an absolute authority in a political chess game. If people in the United States can argue for government interfering in matters of religion and base their arguments on the minor cult of personality surrounding the Founding Fathers (i.e. the Founders wanted a "Christian nation" argument), a much more conservative government with a much stronger cult of personality in Turkey can take it to the extreme.

  • Re:Reality knocks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @06:49AM (#25516281)

    Let's hope they will never be allowed to join the EU.

    Let's hope they change their ways so that we wish them to join the EU.

  • Re:Reality knocks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @06:57AM (#25516315)

    Let's hope they will never be allowed to join the EU.

    Let's hope they change their ways so that we wish them to join the EU.

    Like a German comedian of turkish descent once said:

    What are you talking about? We're already here.

  • Re:Turkey? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by camcorder (759720) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @08:14AM (#25516665)
    Thank you now with this post, /. can be banned as well, and even *without needing court approval*. Since you were offensive to Kemal Ataturk.
  • by Rumagent (86695) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @08:24AM (#25516709)

    And there are people who still argue that Turkey should be allowed to join the EU. We have enough problems as is, let us not compound them by giving (more) religious zealots power in Europe.

  • Re:Turkey? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @08:52AM (#25516829)

    What ignorance. What about Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia? They're all peaceful*,

    Peaceful my ass. You should live there first, then open your eyes to know the real issues. there's no democracy in moslem-dominated countries. fucking granted!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @08:53AM (#25516837)

    Let's see...

    Using ideological disagreements as a reason to oppress or kill other people, even other Muslims? Nope.

    Forcing women to cover themselves from head to toe and basically be reduced to the status of the family dog, and beating her mercilessly if she forgets her place? Nope.

    Gouging out young womens' clitorises in the name of keeping them pure for the abusive pig-fucker that will eventually be chosen as their husband? Nope.

    Casting rape victims out of the community? Nope.

    Executing homosexuals? Nope.

    Lying to the western media while inciting genocide in front of the local media? Nope.

    Banning alcohol, even in moderation? Nope.

    Gunning down Theo Van Gogh and pinning an Islamic hate tract to his chest with a knife? Nope.

    Burning cars and murdering random people en masse every time Muslims perceive the tiniest slighgt against their religion or their pedophile "prophet" (i.e. Dutch cartoons, Paris riots)? Nope.

    Let's face it, Muslims. It's time to grow up, leave your 12th century beliefs behind, and join the rest of the adult world.

  • by kdemetter (965669) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @10:26AM (#25517343)

    All religions are dogmatic , and extremly dangerous if they becomes to powerfull.

    And it's everyone's right , or even duty , to guard against that. Period.

  • Re:Turkey? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @10:32AM (#25517387)

    Allowing a "bandana" in universities would force conformism to islam on any teacher and student. It would prevent any subject (including evolution) from being taught except mindless repeating of the incorrectly-spelled more-grammar-errors-than-a-2-year-old-makes-till-he-turns-20 islamic "theology".

    That would be *so* much more free now wouldn't it ? Can you please grow a brain and think ahead more than 1 hour ?

    And when these effects are brought to their attention, they'll start killing, like they did last time.

    Before ataturk genocides were the order of the day in turkey. Genocides on people like you, "freethinkers" or merely anyone disagreeing with the state, or someone who gets pointed at by an imam, or ...

    That's *so* much more free, now, isn't it ?

    Idiot

  • Re:Turkey? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheLink (130905) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @10:34AM (#25517393) Journal
    Indonesia? Go ask Yusman Roy how tolerant things are there.

    He's a muslim preacher that got jailed for conducting worship services in Indonesian (and Arabic) instead of just Arabic alone.

    Seems he got the bright idea that his fellow indonesians should actually _understand_ what he is saying (most Indonesians don't understand Arabic).

    He got jailed for inciting hatred. Great way of keeping Indonesia "peaceful" - jailing such people who incite hatred.

    They burn down churches regularly in Indonesia. And christian villages. If they do those things to what the Koran claims are People of The Book (and thus should be treated better), it does make one wonder what the chances are for the hindus who are likely to be regarded as polytheists, and for the atheists.

    As for Malaysia, the muslims there also don't know very much about their religion (it's all in Arabic, and most don't understand it and the people at the top like it that way).

    They're like the lower rung scientologists who don't have access to the top level documents. By the time they have access they've got enough power that they're probably have become part of the problem themselves ;).

    Only the Leaders are supposed to be able to interpret stuff, and that's the way they like it.
  • Re:Turkey? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jabithew (1340853) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @10:34AM (#25517395)

    Malaysia has peaceful elections. One party always wins, but you could say the same about Japan or Bavaria. Bangladesh has a two-party system no less democratic than America's. Indonesia's last election was verified as fine, with shortcomings, by Jimmy Carter.

  • Re:Turkey? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the_arrow (171557) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @10:51AM (#25517489) Homepage

    Yes, Turkey has done some bad stuff and killed quite a lot of people, but never in the name of religion. Turkey is almost aggressively secular. The military is known to step in and take control whenever any religion gets to much power. There is at the moment 86 people in a single trial for treason because the tried to perform a coup against the government, which is run by an openly Islamic party (elected in a free and open election). But then the grandparent is also wrong in calling Turkey a Muslim country, the currently ruling party still tries to keep Turkey a secular country.

  • Re:Turkey? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 26, 2008 @10:58AM (#25517551)

    This is a very stupid idea, why the hell should people be worried about "interpreting" the Koran and the Hadith? Do you place that burden on the Christians as well? Shit, leave people alone man

  • Let's not argue... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spartz (1164699) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @12:42PM (#25518213) Homepage
    Let's work together instead of arguing on which country is better. The fact is, the situation sucks. Digiturk (not Oktar!) was able to get all of Blogger/Blogspot banned [basbasbas.com] due to dated or poorly composed laws. It sucks, but it's the reality. What we need to do is spread the message, get it out in the open... A lot of media hasn't even picked up on it yet, I had to contact the media myself to get them to report on it (gave a short radio interview to radio 3FM in Holland this afternoon). Spread the news. Talk about it. Blog about it. Social bookmark it. Whatever you do. This is not just about Turkey and their laws, but the future of the internet. It cannot become acceptable that countries (or ISP's) block off parts of the internet on false pretenses. You can read the article on why exactly Blogger got banned in Turkey here: http://www.basbasbas.com/blog/2008/10/26/digiturk-causes-turkish-ban-of-bloggerblogspot/ [basbasbas.com] No more speculation.
  • Re:Turkey? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @02:02PM (#25518817) Journal

    Malaysia? The country the ruling party in which uses a slogan, "race, religion, nation"? The country which divides its citizen into Malay - first-class cream of the crop (bumiputra), and everyone else - second-class scum, and requires all Malay to be Muslim by law? (if you aren't Muslim, you aren't Malay). The country which forbids changing one's religion in the passport from Islam to anything else, because the mullahs won't recognize the change ("There is no such thing as leaving Islam. Apostasy is a crime.")?

    Right. Such a cute peaceful little country...

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday October 26, 2008 @02:08PM (#25518859) Journal
    Excuse me, but doesn't what you're saying boil down to this: periodically, the people of Turkey elect leaders which campaign on a fundamentalist Islamic platform, who, once elected, start to push the country towards theocracy. At which point the Army intervenes. Which is pretty much what the GP was saying, no?
  • Re:Turkey? (Score:3, Insightful)

    Its constitution even guarantees freedom of religion (and Turkey has no official state religion), and since 1924 has maintained a secular government.

    Since 1924, the educated and westernized upper classes in Turkey have maintained a secular government. But with the increasing education and prosperity of the middle classes, that is changing. Most people in Turkey want a religious government, not a secular one. There is always an assumption that education and prosperity will give rise to a decline in religion and an increase in secularism but this has been proven false time and again by many and varied counterexamples.

    Formal education does not promote critical thinking or a rational mindset. Modern technology does not reduce the demand for religion. Democracy does not lead to the separation of church and state, or to the rule of law.

    It is foolish to think that any amount of "modernisation" will "westernise" the rest of the world. Western countries should realise that no amount of education, democracy or industrialisation was enough to "westernise" the west itself either. It took an altogether greater force to shape our societies into the form we have today.

You can not win the game, and you are not allowed to stop playing. -- The Third Law Of Thermodynamics

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