Note: Updates are being added towards the end of the post. Please keep checking.
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 us to 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.
Turkish Internet users are seeing this message when trying to visit Blogger.com and all blogs hosted on blogspot.com hosting service: “Access to this website has been suspended in accordance with decision no. 2008/2761 of the TR Diyarbakir First Criminal Court of Peace.”
Screenshot of the Turkish blockpage. Source: BasBasBas.com
This is the second instance of a popular blogging service being blocked in Turkey. In August 2007, the Turkish Fatih Second Civil Court of First Instance blocked access to the entire wordpress.com domain after alleged libel of Turkish Islamic-creationist, Adnan Oktar, aka Harun Yahya.
Adnan Oktar has been very harmful to the access of Turkish Netizens to the Internet. He has succeeded in getting a variety of major websites banned by court decisions. Next to these two blogging services, Adnan Oktar also filed a complaint against Google Groups, which led to the ban of the website.
Update #1 via Cyber-Rights.Org.TR:
It is now being reported by Turk.internet.com that the blocking order is related to an intellectual property infringement. Digitürk is a subscription based digital TV platform in Turkey which owns the right to transmit the live coverage of the Turkish football league games. Digitürk obtained the blocking order through the Diyarbakir court according to the Turk.internet.com news as there were blog entries providing information and links to known websites which transmit pirated transmission of the live football league games.
It is, however, unclear why the order has been lifted and it seems like the ban is lifted until Digitürk provides to the court further evidence with regards to its claims for football streaming piracy. Therefore, I would not be surprised to see the blocking order and the ban reinstated.