So near, yet so far
In utterly unrelated news: Turkey is the country that gets upset because half the European Union doesn't want it to join.
Turkey is getting a dressing-down today from free press organization Reporters Without Borders, as the country's blockage of YouTube enters year two. Google's video-sharing site has been banned a number of times in Turkey since early 2007, in most cases because of videos deemed insulting to the country's founding father, …
What sort of a country gets offended by insults on a message board?
A very immature one, for sure. One that's not certain enough of its status in the world.
It's like someone saying "Your Mum's a slag" to me. It's just laughably childish. Are they expecting me to start a fight?
... you shouldn't comment. Having lived in Turkey I can understand the phenomenon and reverence held for Ataturk. His achievements and legacy are what holds this sizable country together as a cohesive entity.
A little bit of respect and common decency in the modern world would make everyone's life easier. If you poke fun at someone or something and it blows up in your face, well don't try blaming someone else for your own stupidity.
“The monitoring of the internet has gone on long enough,” Reporters Without Borders said today in a prepared statement. “We urge the British authorities to amend their legislation regulating Internet use instead of than arbitrarily monitoring content. Such behaviour is unworthy of a country that claims to be democratic and makes us very concerned for the future of the Internet in Britan. We call for the revision of Jacqui Smith's position that led to this unwarranted intrusion.”
Couldn't help but laugh at all this indignation with the Turks, coming from residents of one of the few countries to block Wikipedia.
Might it be, that Turks are about as happy with their archaic internet laws as Brits are with the IWF?
At least the Turkish censorship has a basis in law and is subject to democratic control.
That said, I don't see why insults to Ataturk should be in a list of otherwise generally undesirable content either. Maybe one needs to be a Turk to actually understand.
Can a Turkish reader explain why insulting Ataturk is right up there with terrorism and child porn and the other great evils of our day?
'I mentioned it once but i think i got away with it*...'
* that would be WW1 where troops of the Ottoman Empire (now modern day Turkey) carried out genocide against the Armenian people. Except in Turkey history says this never happened, the official line is denial. Try posting that on the web in Turkey, whilst relating it to Attaturk and his role in the genocide, and see how soon you end up in a scene from Midnight Express
I imagine Mustafa Kemal must be spinning in his grave at the lamentably dumb behaviour of his republic's "protectors".
A journalist friend told me a story about an unusual "graveyard" somewhere in the Turkish hinterland. Apparently all statues of Ataturk that are produced (and boy are there a lot) are subject to quality control by some ministry or other, who presumably check for appropriate dignity, likeness etc etc. A statue that fails the test is of no use of course, but in keeping with the 'no insults' regime, can't be destroyed as presumably this would be insulting. So they are all carted off to some great statue graveyard to live out their (rather lengthy if they're bronze) days in peace surrounded by their own, slightly imperfect kind. Must be a sight to see.
Apparently they are an important element of the rites of passage for rebellious Kurdish youth, who like to piss the state off by climbing the statues that festoon Turkish squares, drop their cacks, and deposit a large steaming Mr Whippy on the Founding Fathers noble head.
Any country that gets so bloody precious about historical figures is just asking for it really.
"Turkey is just one of several countries to have barred YouTube, including China, Armenia, Morocco, Pakistan, Thailand, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Saudia Arabia, and Syria."
I'm not a fan of YouTube, in fact I've only visited it a handful of times. However, I think that it says more about the countries that have barred YouTube than it does YouTube itself.
In other news, has Turkey officially addressed the Armenian genocide yet? In this modern world you can run but you can't hide from history ... Better to own up to the past than try to shovel it under the carpet. Refusing reality only makes you look silly.
Tell you what, how about we report on their wonderful human rights abuses instead of wasting time banging on about the fact that the Turks have been saved the pleasure of watching crap videos?
Crap vidoes from crap camera phones of young women in various states of undress ( so I am lead to believe! ) , Chavs getting drunk and setting fire to themselves and idiots with skateboards and too much fecking time on on their hands!
Really though, perhaps we could drew up a report on how this wonderful country buys UK made arms, murders and tortures it's own citizens whenever they start complaining about things. This country has more serious problems that require attention, than what lack of presence the worlds biggest corp has. Yes, sorry to break it to you, but Google is a mega-corp like MS not a fluffy, fun web company!
First of all, google "turkey human rights". The Turkish police and security services use torture routinely, and extrajudicial executions freely. The only people who are not afraid of them are the Turkish Mafia, who know where they all live and so have a de facto veto over all parts of law enforcement (the only reason why they haven't taken over the country is that they can't be arsed).
Kemal Ataturk isn't the only one so protected - there are laws in Turkey against offending the Turkish army and the Turkish identity as well. The government and judiciary are not protected by such laws, but they have other ways hit back at those who annoy them. Added to that, there is a whole minefield of subjects that you broach at your peril. The massacre of Armenian Christians, for instance, is something that most of Turkey is determined to forget.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the modern Turkish state, on secular lines. He outlawed all the overt trappings of the old culture (e.g. the fez) that would look out of place in a modern country, and forced all his citizens to abandon arabic-style names in favour of European surnames. Every family chose their own surname - his own surname, Ataturk, means "father of Turkey".
Respect for notable national leaders is all very well, but when raised to such a fervent pitch and enforced by criminal law, it becomes a state religion.
Seems fine to me. Its been working for a while now. I assume youtube may have a new IP addy that isn't on the block list. However if you use TTNet's DNS you get directed to a government site where no doubt they (as in them) are taking names and numbers as to just who's trying to look at what. Speaking of which how about https for the comments. You know you want to.
Open DNS is much more...well..... open.
Alan Brown's suggestion of a 30 second bypass is a bit tricky as people here are very obedient in comparison with other nations and most would probably not even consider it as an option which was open to them. The internet is also limited to those with money. 50TL a month for a 1024 ADSL line £25ish which with an average wage of Sweet FA comes in big. Other than that internet cafes are the main form of interaction with the world online.