Turkey Bans Richard Dawkins' Website, Because It Offends A Creationist

from the why-not-just-ban-the-internet? dept

We already know that Turkish officials have a pretty quick trigger finger when it comes to banning certain websites. They've banned YouTube multiple times due to videos they found offensive, and then banned Slide, a multimedia hosting company as well. Still, it's a bit surprising to discover that now they've banned the website of Richard Dawkins after a Turkish creationist complained that the site had insulted him. Apparently, this guy, Adnan Oktar, has become quite successful at getting sites blocked in Turkey. In the past, he also got Wordpress.com and Google Groups blocked after he became upset at content found on both of those sites. And, even better, he claims he's not against free speech, he's just against insults. And, apparently, anyone who disagrees with him is insulting.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 9:39am

    wonder

    Can you now get techdirt in Turkey He is in the right country Turkey for Turkeys.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 9:53am

    i will never understand this pacification bullshit. Just because one person has a "belief" doesn't mean that everyone else that is interested in a subject has to suffer.

    How bout this fucking buy STOPS SEEKING OUT SITES THAT HAVE INFORMATION THAT "OFFENDS" HIM.

    IT'S PERSONAL FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY, IF YOU DON'T LIKE SOMETHING, IGNORE IT, DON'T READ, WATCH, or LISTEN to IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    STOP RUINING IT FOR EVERYONE ELSE.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    deathbychichi, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 10:04am

    Wondering how all this banning of stuff will affect Turkey's attempt to join the EU.

     

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  4.  
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    Tweenybobber, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 10:29am

    Huh?

    Why does Turkey hate the guy from Family Fued?

     

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  5.  
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    eXistenZ, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 10:32am

    You think EU countries will let turkey get in? Come on you are talking about a nation who is %99 muslim they will never let us in. Even after giving up north Cyprus.
    About the block it is stupid but hey, atleast over there ISP are listening to what people has to say...

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 10:34am

    One person doesn't equal the opinion of everyone. it's complete and utter bullshit that any ISP would do this for any one person.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 10:46am

    Adnan Oktar is a moron!

    oops....I guess I just got Techdirt blocked in Turkey.

    Oh well, who the hell cares?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 10:51am

    Not about Creationism

    Get it straight! This is about offending Muslims, not creationists in general. You go against Islam in Turkey, you're done. When you talk about Islamic countries, you're not just talking about the popular religon there, you're talking about the government. Islamic law is just that... the law!

     

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  9.  
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    Dosquatch, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 10:58am

    and the cheap shot award is sent out

    Well, I mean, Damn. It's Richard Fucking Dawkins. This is just good policy, isn't it?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Bear, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 10:59am

    Re: Not about Creationism

    I could be wrong but I think I remember reading that Turkey was the only country in that region that has a deliberately secular gov't. Can anyone else confirm?

     

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  11.  
    icon
    TX CHL Instructor (profile), Sep 19th, 2008 @ 10:59am

    Islam

    Islam, the bronze-age superstition started by a pedophile, is currently the most dangerous superstition on the planet.

    I'm all for tolerance, but a superstition that preaches "submit, pay a special tax, or die" is not something I'm willing to tolerate. It does not merit tolerating, and its followers have no legitimate place in a world of decent people.
    --
    www.chl-tx.com

     

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  12.  
    icon
    TX CHL Instructor (profile), Sep 19th, 2008 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Not about Creationism

    So far, the government there is nominally secular. However, since the muslim superstition claims over half of the population of Turkey, that won't last much longer.
    --
    www.chl-tx.com

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    eXistenZ, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 11:03am

    You idiot Turkey is a Republic not ruled by islam. And there are thousands of Jewish and Christian people live in Turkey.
    Nothing will happen to you if you don't insult people because of what they believe...

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Saturn, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 11:22am

    Re:

    But that's the rub, eXistenZ - it doesn't matter what someone says, it only matters how someone else takes it (and possibly twists it out of context).

     

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  15.  
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    Jillian, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 11:24am

    Won't make a big difference - the rest of the EU filters the Internet too - how about Germany's ban on Holocaust denial sites?

    Forget the difference in subject matter, clearly the EU isn't all that big on freedom of speech.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Jillian, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 11:26am

    Re: Not about Creationism

    Um, Turkey is a secular country. What you just said could very well apply to the U.S. as well. We've got politicians trying to integrate law and religion as well, we just veil it under the more precarious abortion debate.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Jillian, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Not about Creationism

    No, wrong. Syria's government is notably secular as well. A dictatorship, but a secular one.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Jillian, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Not about Creationism

    No, wrong. Syria's government is notably secular as well. A dictatorship, but a secular one.

     

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  19.  
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    another mike, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 11:39am

    godwin in 15. nice.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    interval, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 11:46am

    I'm still waiting for some one to be insulted by an islamic website and try to get it banned. Why doesn't that happen? I'm not talking about blocking a site that displays the Koran. But I'm insulted by violence. How about blocking a site that advocates murder by suicide car bombing?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    John, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 12:03pm

    Who is this guy

    Who is this guy in Turkey and how did he get so much power? I'll admit that I'm not up on Turkish politics, but is this guy the President/ Premier/ Prime Minister/ Lord Over the Country?

    So any time he thinks a site is offensive, the government will block it?? Not even President Bush or Bill Gates has that kind of power.

    And I worry about a country where ONE person complains about a site and government will block it. Or is there more to this story? Did the guy take the case before a review board? Was there any kind of "court hearing" about the offensiveness of the site?

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Islam

    "Islam, the bronze-age superstition started by a pedophile, is currently the most dangerous superstition on the planet.

    I'm all for tolerance, but a superstition that preaches "submit, pay a special tax, or die" is not something I'm willing to tolerate. It does not merit tolerating, and its followers have no legitimate place in a world of decent people."


    Dude I know, why cant they be Christians like decent people. Anyway nice to see another quality American on these forums finally.

    Vote McCain 2008 - For change without a difference.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    Re:

    "Nothing will happen to you if you don't insult people because of what they believe..."

    What happens if you do insult people for what they believe? Free speech is not a highly valued doctrine I assume?

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 12:21pm

    Re:

    "How about blocking a site that advocates murder by suicide car bombing?"


    Well there goes most of the best video game sites . . . thanks!

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Adnan Oktar, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 12:37pm

    Adnan Oktar sounds like a wonderful person

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    J.Locke, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 12:55pm

    its the opiate of asses

    If you believe something is a moral affront to the very word of GOD, don’t you have a responsibility to stop it? This is of course one of the many things wrong with organized religion (and one of the many things that make Iran and Israel very similar). I can’t wait until the world is free of the old prejudices, hatreds and superstitions called religion.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Ferd, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 12:57pm

    Network Solutions banned a Dutch web site that contained little more than the words "Fitna" (which is an Arabic word meaning a test of faith) along with a picture of the Qur'an and "Coming Soon." which was being used to promote a Dutch movie critical of the Qur'an... from pressure from Dutch govt.

    YouTube in England banned educational cancer screening video cause it showed nekkid stuff.

    Thailand blocked access to YouTube after a video critical to its king was posted (and commonly bans similar websites... as well as recently imprisoned a man for 10 years for writing graffiti on a poster of the king)

    England has banned all YouTube videos glamorizing weapons and/or their use.

    Over 853 major websites are banned in Turkey (including the aforementioned Dawkins "we evolved from the DNA of advanced aliens" website).

    China blocks thousands of websites, including such radical locations as harvard.edu, mit.edu, and google.com.

    and on and on and on...

    Count your blessings while you still can in this country. Fight tooth and nail to not give up the rights endowed by your Creator that government meddlers, politically correct feel-gooders, and lazy thinkers seem determined to take away from you, bit by bit.

    God bless America :)

     

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  28.  
    icon
    WarOtter (profile), Sep 19th, 2008 @ 1:00pm

    Re: wonder

    Dude, make like my wife and get a period or two.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Not about Creationism

    And the marriage debate. And the "science education" debate. And the "freedom of prayer in public schools" debate. And...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Islam

    You know, Bill O'Reilly is not a scholar on religious studies. Quit taking his word on what Islam means. Quit taking the CNN footage of three scarved freaks as representative footage of the billion normal people who subscribe to the philosophies prescribed by the religion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 1:10pm

    Re:

    Who is it you want blocking these sites? The governments of the Western world who mostly subscribe to the rights of free speech???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    DarkDancer, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Godwin's Law

    I don't think I would call Godwin's on that as no one was being compared to Hitler or the Nazi's.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 1:18pm

    Re: its the opiate of asses

    Not when your religion prescribes that every practitioner should question everything and seek their own answers. If they do not accept criticisms, then they are not true followers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 1:22pm

    Re:

    God bless America

    You are kidding, right?

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    bobety Boberanna, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 1:29pm

    Re: its the opiate of asses

    You seem full of hate Brohm and prejudice yourself. The world may be a better place without people like you too.


    NoBamma 2008

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    eu, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 1:46pm

    What do we expect from a country that every party in the Parliament are more or less a nationalist one.
    And women are treated like pets also...

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    rfburnhertz, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 3:01pm

    Re:

    I happen to be a creationist and find this persons crying over Dawkins website to be beyond stupid and silly.

    I suspect this creationist is unable to defend his creationist beliefs and that is why he fears sites such as Dawkins or he simply has a dictators mindset.

    I am able and willing to defend my beliefs I see websites/information defending evolution as an opportunity to learn what and why the 'other side' believes.

    I believe this person would be better served if he too looked at it in that way.

    While I believe my worldview (Christianity) is the correct/true worldview I do not believe it my place to force others to reject differing worldviews.

    I often make attempts to convince others to reject their worldview and adopt a Christian worldview, but I see no sense in trying to force someone in such a direction.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re:

    A good debate can often be fun... But evolution is a fact not a belief. It's as much a theory as gravity is.

    Still, just 'cause evolution happened doesn't mean god doesn't exist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    AJ, Sep 19th, 2008 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Not about Creationism

    Every "believer" is a creationist or supporter of one. By believe I mean person following a religion. Christians are no better dude. Islam is not any worse than any other religion on the planet. To every person, his or her religion seem better.

    Now you will definitely reply back, that Christianity (or whatever is your religion) is better. I'd answer, bingo! I am right in the above statement :)

    Just be rational. Before criticizing others, look at yourself and your "faith". Having a faith is bad, no matter which one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    RD, Sep 20th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    AC

    Quote: "A good debate can often be fun... But evolution is a fact not a belief. It's as much a theory as gravity is."

    hahahaha. heh, whew, thanks, good one, havent had that good a laugh in quite a while on this subject.

    Evolution is a theory. Theories by their very nature are yet to be proven. Things not proven (or not provable) are not facts. Accepting such things is FAITH. Sorry, but thats just how it is.

    There is NO CONCRETE PROOF of life as we know it deriving from some primordial soup (or whatever mechanism evolution believes in this week). Zero. Zip. Nada. FAIL.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Oh My Goodness, Sep 20th, 2008 @ 8:23am

    Re: AC

    Granted, and some theories might never be "proven" although they are accepted as being the prevailing most accurate model.

    Here is some light reading you may find interesting.
    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/39512

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2008 @ 9:06am

    religion is for people who don't think.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Sep 20th, 2008 @ 7:37pm

    Wait....

    Hold on a second...who gives a fuck what Turkey does?

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    DS, Sep 20th, 2008 @ 9:18pm

    Re: wonder

    Well, you can't get techdirt in Turkey anymore. At least once this dolt sees this page.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Dawger, Sep 20th, 2008 @ 11:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Well you are an idiot, but a nice idiot.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Dawger, Sep 20th, 2008 @ 11:42pm

    Re: Re:

    Well you are an idiot, but a nice idiot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Another Planet, Sep 21st, 2008 @ 3:21am

    "Religion" is what happens when Spirituality fails.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    spanners the wonder panda, Sep 21st, 2008 @ 2:46pm

    "Religion" and "Spirituality" are what happen when weak minds are infected by similarly weak minds ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Yagmur, Sep 21st, 2008 @ 6:17pm

    It's not about religion... It is law abuse.

    I'm from Turkey and living in Germany.

    I think the whole mess about banning sites is a good example of legal abuse. The law which allows (even local) courts to ban websites was actually intended for matters like terrorism and child porn. At that stage a lot of people including me and most of the civil rights groups in Turkey were not happy with the law. People complaining about it were marked as terror preachers and child-porn-downloaders by the populist media. For a while courts with overprotective (or conservative) judges used it to ban porn sites (even some manga sites were blacklisted under the child-abuse assumption).

    Then came the abuse of law by the media by pointing to sites which they don't like. Very popular newspapers like Hurriyet started pointing a site (like youtube) by actually talking about one file or link or some media and than targeting the whole site. The rest of the media, liberals and conservatives all alike followed the example. Politicians did not miss the move, so they also started complaning about bad content in the tubes. In Turkey it is not very hard to find a judge which has the free time for listening complaints and not the guts to dismiss a case coming from popular media or politicians. And there is still the authority of judges to self-initiate cases if seen fit as in "good for people".

    As this whole abuse of law was not enough, we have people like Adnan Oktar. He is the turkish version of the Church of Scientology, but think of him as Xenu himself leading the church. He and his followers are using any possible means of law to make life miserable for other people. On a given day you can find a few thousand court invitations in your mailbox for just blogging about him. His cult was famous with their polygamic lifestyle and orgies they were organizing at 90's. On the gossip pages one can always find something to read about him and his concubines from fashion industry. One sure thing is that they have nothing to do with any kind of semitic religion.

    So here my two cents, now i have to go check my mailbox. ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Jake, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 6:50am

    In the Turkish creationist's defence, Richard Dawkins has displayed an unfortunate tendency towards... tactlessness, shall we say?

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 6:52am

    Website banned but book on sale

    They might have banned the website, but you can still buy the book (in English and Turkish) in major bookstores all over Turkey. See: http://www.dr.com.tr/FO/ProductDetailForBook.aspx?work_no=0000000227732

    Additionally, while Turkey has a strictly secular constitution, the current government (democratically elected by a landslide) has strong Islamic roots and this inevitably emerges in some of it's policies. There is already plenty of public and media attention on the anti-secular policies of the government. It's just a matter of time before they are forced to backtrack on these.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Victor, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 10:01pm

    Dawkins

    Maybe its wrong for Turkey to ban his website, but this guy he boldly goes to debate the most ignorant fundamentalist preachers in the Bible belt he can find and makes a video program about it, but gives the lamest excuses to avoid debates with Christian Philosophers or Apologists such as JP Moreland, Willam L Craig, or Dinesh D'souza. The fact of the matter is, is this individual is not interested in people to think for themselves. He makes some legitime issues and makes some points, but his temper and lack of objectivity concerning philosophical and theological issues, and in the end, his critique of religion in general is a straw man argument based on a distorted view of science, a series of straw man arguments against Christianity and other religions, and pseudo explanations based on a very speculative psychological theory (his meme-ology). I don't like censorship, but censoring Dawkins isn't exactly the most outrageous thing one can censor.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Carole Heath Wallington Surrey, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 8:50am

    Richard Dawkin's

    Hasn't Richard Dawkins a right to his opinions can't a free thinker voice his views, I am a member of the British humanist society and also a non-religious person like Richard I agree with much of what he says. What would Turkey like to do ban all free thinkers, people who do not agree with religion have aways been on earth since humankind first started it, I think these people who object to us non-religious are small minded and can't except other's views, ie evolution and Darwinism, I don't object to their beliefs. I think Richard has many people who agree with him ride on Richard that's what I say.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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