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.
Turkey also blocks access to both video-sharing websites, Youtube and Dailymotion over videos deemed insulting to the country’s founding father, Kemal Atatürk.
Slide, the maker of social networking widgets, has also been blocked by a Turkish court for “harboring pictures and articles that are considered to be insulting to Ataturk.”
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.
Update #2 via CyberLaw Blog: CyberLaw Blog reported today (October 28, 2008) that the ban on blogspot.com blogging platform has been lifted by the Diyarbakir First Criminal Court:
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.
citizens of turkey, and those who can read turkish can sign this petition against the blocking order.
I’m just relieved to find confirmation! I thought I’d gne nuts – from Thursday to Friday my (apparently highly subversive) blog disappeared! I’m also an ex-pat, and my blog helps my family and friends keep up with my life here. Sometimes, they even learn something interesting about Turkey. (What a horrid idea!) My apologies if the sarcasm drips onto everyone’s computers. And thanks for the tips on how to get around this mess.
Why not ban the ‘offensive’ site, instead of punishing and banning the entire blogging service?
Stupendous at best, idiotic at worst.
The courts, however, have their hands tied. It is the laws that need to be changed/updated/revised and/or brought into the 19th Century.
Speaking of ‘courts’ by the way, to all who can’t access their only method of contact with the outside world, McCain quit the campaign, and Sarah Palin was elected President by the U.S. Supreme Court!
There will be NO elections next Tuesday!
Haluk, looks like you are more interested in the traffic to your own blog than in what’s really going on in Turkey.
Regarding ‘energy issues’; Turkey try to be a pimp but nobody falls in that trap.
Do you know that, for example, Norway is a major oil supplier or/and the Netherlands supplies natural gaz for the last 40 years, domestic and internationally. Google: Slochteren.